Brian Allen is a highly rated junior offensive lineman from Hinsdale Central. The younger brother of Michigan State center Jack Allen, he has already enjoyed state-wide success as a heavyweight wrestler and has a scholarship offer from Illinois.
He was one of the top performers at the second Illini lineman camp held recently on the C-U campus, but he demands more of himself than he demonstrated that day.
"Personally, I thought I did pretty terrible. I have a lot to work on. I got an idea where I'm at. I didn't do well in the one-on-ones, so I'm not very happy with that."
Surely you exaggerate? Coaches paid extra attention to you, and other campers respected your effort.
"There were a couple good things, but there's a lot I've got to work on this summer."
Allen couldn't force a smile then, but he has a bright future. If anything, his reaction proved he is determined to work his tail off to be the best he can be. When asked his best attributes as an offensive lineman, he began to see a brighter side.
"I think being a wrestler helps me a lot. I have pretty good leverage, and I can stay low. I guess I'm fairly fast. Not that fast, but I can move a little."
The 6'-1", 267 pounder confirmed he is an interior lineman.
"I'm a center/guard. I could be a tackle, but I'm not gonna be 6'-5".
It also helped to talk about his team rather than himself.
"We were kind of in a rebuilding stage last year. We were 6-5 and lost in the playoffs to Vontrell Williams's Mt. Carmel Caravan. We were one-and-done in the playoffs, so hopefully this year we can get down here."
Indeed, 2012 looks like a big year for Hinsdale Central.
"We should be pretty good. We've got a good quarterback coming back who is gonna be a senior. He did pretty well last year. And then we've got a lot of guys returning.
"And a 2014 kid my age named Ian Bunting is a wide receiver I think is going to have a pretty good year this year. With the quarterback and him together, it makes it pretty easy to score."
The possible Business major has offers from Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin in addition to Illinois, and that list is sure to increase as time passes. He shared generalities of what he wants from a school.
"Location and education are big things. I want to get on the field, so if they have five guys ahead of me..."
At least his camp frustration was personal rather than anything related to his surroundings or coaching.
"I'm most definitely considering Illinois."