Often times freshman defensive linemen need time to bulk up before they are
ready to see the field at the college level.
Defensive tackle Antonio Allison, an incoming freshman at ECU, is already physically imposing at 6-5, 300-pounds. He has the potential to add depth right away, or to prepare for the future by redshirting.
"They haven't told me whether I'll get on the field early,"said Allison, a graduate of West Iredell High School in Statesville, N.C. "I kind of hope I get redshirted. I'm confident, but it's always good to get that year of preparation. I have to think it would help out a lot.
"I'm not even 100-percent sure the coaches want me to play defensive tackle yet. I really hope that's where they put me, just because I've been playing that position since middle school. That's where I think most of my potential is."
Allison is a solid pass rusher from his tackle position, and describes
himself as a "sideline to sideline" type of lineman. He has good quickness and
agility for a man his size. He plans on arriving at East Carolina on June 20
to begin summer classes. Allison said his academic situation is fine. The
coaches wanted him to earn three A's in his last semester of high school
classes, and he accomplished that.
"In the end my decision came down to ECU and Marshall," he said. "The biggest factor for me was location. I wanted to stay in state and play for a good program instead of packing up and moving a long way from home. I committed to East Carolina on my visit, so I didn't even go to Marshall. I was impressed with the academics, and I should be able to do some work on computer programming there. That's what I want to major in.
"Coach Kirkpatrick recruited me and he did a good job. I don't really know any of the other recruits coming in, but the guys already on the team showed me around on the visit. We had a good time and got along well. They told me a little about themselves and how they like it there. They said it's a good college experience all around."
As a senior at West Iredell, Allison recorded 102 tackles, 4.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss. He also blocked four kicks on special teams.