Mulling his options

CLEMSON - Dwayne Allen has a life-changing choice to make at the end of this season. Should he or shouldn't he leave school for the NFL?

A redshirt junior, Allen put off an early departure for the NFL once. On Tuesday, he told that his decision, for now, is on hold.

"I haven't even sat down and made a decision about even considering leaving school," Allen said. "I wanted to concentrate on playing football and really being the best leader I could for my team."

This season, Allen is third among Clemson pass catchers in receptions [38] and yards [470] and is second with five touchdown catches -- all of which are career bests. In his first two years, Allen had 43 catches for 481 yards and four touchdowns.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper currently lists Allen as the top tight end in the 2012 NFL Draft, if he were to declare.

Allen, who will be six hours away from completing his degree in health science at the end of the current semester, will base his decision on several factors.

"What's going to go into it is just what's best for my family and me. I'm big on accomplishments and leaving something behind.

"I want what I leave here to last. I want it to be a legacy, not a memory. Some memories fade. Legacies are there forever. That's what I want to leave here at Clemson."

Still, the question is thrown his way "all the time" from just about every angle.

"The teammates joke about it, but they don't really ever ask me about it," he said. "Anywhere else, I get it constantly. 'Dwayne, you're going to stay, right?' My answer is, 'Last time I checked, I've got another year.'"

Allen has at least four, if not five games left before he'll seriously think about his two options.

"You start figuring out -- the importance of money to a person and the importance of friendship, family camaraderie to a person. That's what people think it does," he said.

"Your athletic window, as soon as you step on a college campus, it gets smaller and smaller. As important as an education is, when we're being honest, you can always come back and get an education. You can always start that degree right where you left it.

"What is it to my family? Would I better myself by coming back? Or am I at my peak right now? That's what's going to go into my decision. " Top Stories