|High schoolThomas Jefferson|
Originally published Feb. 2, 2006 in the Omaha World-Herald
Did you know?: The Rocky Mountain News recently wrote of Allen waking at 5:30 every morning to reach a Denver elementary school by 6 a.m. to be a teacher's assistant. "They only come up to my bellybutton. But, I treat them kindly, so they're not scared of me," Allen said.
Coachspeak: "As far as athletic ability, the kid is unbelievable." -- Matt Nicolo, Thomas Jefferson High assistant coach
What the gurus say: The Denver Post named Allen to its All-Colorado football team for 2005, listing him at "athlete."
About Allen: It's a wide-open future in Lincoln for Allen, who can play defensive end, tight end or even receiver -- and he has designs on maybe playing basketball down the line, too. His AAU basketball coach said the coordination between the NU football and basketball staffs helped land Allen, the MVP of last year's Colorado state Class 4-A tournament who finished his junior season averaging 21.1 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.3 blocks a game. He anchored the Thomas Jefferson football team's defense last year, making plays whether opponents ran toward him or away from him. "If you were running the option, he could cover the quarterback and cover the pitch at the same time," Nicolo said. Football recruiting was lukewarm, but Nicolo said some schools were assuming he would sign a basketball scholarship.
How we see it: In terms of tools, Allen looks a little like Barry Turner, who was able to contribute as a pass rusher as a freshman in 2005. The Huskers' defensive end depth is decent, but not great, so Allen might be able to get a look with a strong preseason. Any uncertainty about where he'll play, however, could lead to a redshirt season.
These are the players who built Nebraska football.
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