Little Guy Has Big Shoes to Fill at UCF

Emery Allen doesn't have the size the most schools covet in a starting collegiate cornerback. He doesn't even have the height that a lot of high school team's desire, but through sheer effort and tenacity, Allen has put himself in a position to become a star in UCF's defensive backfield.

Listed at a generous 5'9", Emery Allen doesn't strike fear into the hearts of opponents. His game though is anything but petite. Last year, Allen contributed as UCF's nickel corner and has displayed excellent technique during his time as a Knight. Because of his attention detail, Allen has been able to overcome his short comings with relative ease.

"Height isn't everything on the field. It's about your ability and what you do with it," Allen told "It's all about timing and your technique, just like Bob Sanders in NFL. It's not about size but what you do with it and how you play your game; it's the size of your heart."

Heart has gotten Allen far and he knows that he will always play with extra emotion and with a chip on his shoulder in order to make it in FBS football.

"I come to the game with a lot heart. I always try to have fun and I never go out there and just lag around. I'm a little feisty on the field. It gets me in trouble some times, but I have to be feisty because nobody's nice on the field, everybody has to be mean."

Logging 18 tackles last year and two sacks, Allen made the best of being the team's third corner. He had to play behind UCF legend, Joe Burnett and another undersized, feisty player, Johnell Neal. Now Allen is relishing his chance to get on the field and contribute as UCF's most experienced defensive back.

"I'm just ready to go, ready to get my chance in my debut."

Allen's first several weeks of being the leader of UCF's secondary has gotten off to a rocky start though. He was demoted to second string for missing a class, according to Coach George O'Leary. Allen knows that he made a mistake and is just waiting for his chance to line up with the first-team defense again.

"It was (a wakeup call.) I have to be on the top of my game and do the right things to improve."

With a little under two weeks until UCF' Spring Game, Allen is working on honing a few aspects of his game so he can be ready to replace Burnett.

"I just want to stay healthy and learn to read my keys. I need to get those right and just make smart decision on and off the field."

Thus far, Allen has been the most consistent player in UCF's secondary and although he has big shoes to fill, he's confident that he can help ease the loss of Burnett and Neal. And height certainly won't be a problem.

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