Allen Gives Some Payback

Despite his love for Michigan State now, there was a time when Ohio native Denicos Allen thought about playing at Ohio State. Lucky for Spartan fans, Allen didn't fit into the Buckeyes plans and on Saturday he showed them the mistake they made.

Hamilton (Ohio) native Denicos Allen has heard the same story all during his football career. At 5-foot-10, Allen was thought by many to be too short to be a major factor at a BCS program. On Saturday, Allen again proved the naysayers wrong posting two sacks against the home state program that said he was too short.

What was it like proving the Buckeyes wrong?

"In the Shoe getting two sacks against a school that said I was too little to play for them, this is a special feeling for me," said Allen. I feel I made my point today and that is what I had set out to do all week."

Allen wasn't alone in his thoughts of being considered not good enough.

"That's been our motivation all week in practice," said Allen. "We had to win coming back home, coming to Ohio State and the Shoe; it's a great feeling for an Ohio dude."

While the victory was sweet, the chance to post a shutout would have been icing on the cake.

"I really wanted a shutout," said Allen. "A shutout against O-State would have made my year. But, their offense made a nice play at the end. We came out victorious at the end and that is all that really matters to me."

As for the attacking game plan that gave the Buckeyes fits, Allen said coach Pat Narduzzi told the team this was what they were going to do.

"Our whole game plan was to go after them and get the quarterback," said Allen. "I knew he was going to send up a lot because he told us beforehand that we were going to attack them and suffocate the quarterback. We we're going to make them throw the ball."

Allen was happy to be able to provide some of the spark to the Spartans defense.

"Our defense has done such a great job and we keep improving every game," said Allen. "I try to push the defense to get better every week and every game and I think we're getting a lot better. We still have some challenges ahead of us, but we're getting better.

"I like tackling the quarterback. I like being the guy who gets the momentum for our defense and make our defense exciting and ready to do some more hitting."

Has Allen ever seen a game where a defense dominated to the point of posting nine sacks?

I've really never seen that and I was amazed at how many times we sacked him," said Allen. "It got to the point where I was asking if they were letting us through."

One reason Allen and the linebackers had a field day was the play of defensive tackle Jerel Worthy. What does the presence of Worthy mean to the defense overall?

"Jerel makes our job easier as he's a great player and a great dude. We all feed off him as he's a nice guy and likes to crack jokes. He keeps our defense running and he's just an overall good dude."

Returning to Ohio found Allen and several of his teammates looking to make a statement. However, each of them know if not for the way Mark Dantonio and his staff looked at them coming out of high school, they would have never been give the chance to prove their talents.

"A lot of my teammates are like me," said Allen. "This has been our whole motivation throughout the week. We just had to come and prove a point that it doesn't matter what size you are. Anybody can make a play, it's all about heart.

"The coaches here see the inner person in every athlete. They don't just look at them as an athlete; they look at them as a person in every aspect and take that into consideration during recruiting them. They don't just worry about you being a Five-star player or if you're 6-foot-7, they see the athlete in you. They see the playmaking ability in you and I'm glad I'm here because I love it here."

Dave Berk has followed Ohio High School football recruiting since the late 90's. In 2002 he joined covering Ohio High School sports and football recruiting before moving over to cover The University of Cincinnati in 2005. In 2010 Dave was offered a chance to cover Michigan State ( and Notre Dame ( as a football recruiting analyst. Over the years Dave has been a guest on several radio shows and appeared on College Football Now on the NFL Network. This fall Dave appears on Fox Sports Ohio's Southwest Ohio football telecats giving recruiting insight on players in the game. You can contact or follow Dave at the following.
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