Q&A with Eric Allen

Former Sun Devil and All-Pro cornerback Eric Allen was part of the Sports Illustrated College Football Experience event this past Saturday. Allen was kind enough to chat with Devils Digest following that event.

Devils Digest: Welcome home Eric, when was the last time you were here on campus?

EA: "Me and the family came out when they did the (ASU) Hall of Fame a couple years ago with myself and a couple other guys so it was a great opportunity, but it's always great to come back."

Devils Digest: When you come back to campus what's the biggest difference you notice from when you were here?

EA: "It's a campus that just blew up. It's so big but it still has that college feel to it and that's the one thing that you look for as a student or an athlete. You look for that kind of college feel. You see the kids walking around, the crazy hair and stuff so it's still a great feeling."

Devils Digest: Your favorite Sun Devil memory has to be the 1987 Rose Bowl, but is there another memorable moment at ASU?

EA: "There was a moment I believe in '87. We were tied with U of A, and they were driving down the football field and it was 4th down and they were going for it and he (the Arizona QB) threw a ball up and I intercepted it and got my feet in and it was like the whole crowed erupted and it was one of those feelings like, man, we're so supportive, this is great place to play, and it kind of made the choice to come here, the coaches, the players, it kind of all brought it into sync, so it was an outstanding feeling."

Devils Digest: When you look back at your career at ASU, what most prepared you for life in the NFL?

EA: "There's no question about it; it's Willy Shaw. He was my first defensive backs coach here at Arizona State. He was from San Diego. Not just on the football field, but there were lessons that I use today when I'm coaching my kids that come right from him. So he was number one in making sure that I was prepared on the field and off the field, so I owe him just a ton of credit for helping me become an ASU hall of famer and a pretty good dad."

Devils Digest: As far as the ASU football program, the last few years have been down and the team is trying to bounce back this year. As someone who is looking from the outside but also a person that tries to keep close to the program, what's your take on the last two years and this year?

EA: "It's been difficult; it really has because I think we all, especially alumni, expect this football team to have a couple traits, and it's ok if you struggle, but I didn't see those traits. I didn't see defensively that tenacity and those guys that are going to be playing on Sunday every week. Offensively I didn't see that spark and explosion the last couple years.

"But since last year, defensively, a huge turn-around, which has been a great, great thing to see and I know all the Sun Devils really love that. Offensively, he's kind of changed the culture a little bit. We're all expecting high things from coach Erickson, and offensively with Threet and the quarterbacks that have come in recently, we think we're going to get finally a taste of what ASU football is about back on the Pac-10 scene and most importantly on the national scene."

Thanks to Jon Kingston who assisted with this article

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