When Quinn Johnson graduated from LSU, the next man in line for head coach Les Miles was sophomore Stevan Ridley. With the Natchez-native being a much lighter back than Johnson, running backs coach Larry Porter hit the recruiting season looking for a bruiser.
In Tennessee, one of Porter’s strongest recruiting areas, he found just that. Dominique Allen, a 6-foot, 250-pound senior fullback out of Paris, was making waves as one of the best prospects in the Volunteer State.
A one-time commitment to Phil Fulmer’s Tennessee squad, Allen reopened his process and found a new home in Baton Rouge. Having been on campus for nearly three months, the freshman said that the ball is in motion for a successful college run.
“I was not sure how things would play out once I put the pads on at the next level, but my time so far this fall has been great,” Allen said. “Coach Porter has been a great coach, and I just focus all my energy on digesting his plays. I am getting some reps with the frontrunners, so I think I am starting to get the feel for it.”
Working behind Ridley, Allen said, has expedited his learning process.
“Stevan is a great teacher, because he will take you aside after practice and explain everything,” he said. “It brings you closer to the team when someone does that. I can ask him any question, and he can explain it thoroughly and really help me understand.”
With James Stampley and Richard Dugas also in competition for time at fullback, the battle this fall has grown thicker each day. Allen said that has given him a reason to start shaping up.
“I am going to get down to whatever coach Miles and the staff want me at,” Allen said. “They keep telling me that they are going to give me the ball and let me run with it, and if I am moving well then I will be fine. I am at 270 now, and I got here at 275. I just made sure to let them know that I would come down if need be.”
After an 8-5 season, the first priority for Miles and his staff was to land a solid class. Allen said that the mission was accomplished.
“It feels really good to be in the same class as guys like Rueben Randle and Chris Davenport and Chris Faulk and Michael Ford,” he said. “The list goes on, and more guys are stepping up each day. It just feels really good.
“My entire Baton Rouge experience has been nice, especially considering that I am eight hours from home,” he added. “It really ain’t that bad, and when you add the fact that you get to be a part of all the talent that came into LSU in the class, it is all worth it.”