Allen having all-Big Ten season, coach says

Sophomore offensive lineman praised for toughness and strong play in first half of season. So good that offensive line coach Mark Staten said it's an all-Big Ten season. See what else was said about Allen's play this season.

It's easy for offensive linemen to fly under the radar for their play in football.

It's even easier to not notice an individual lineman when the group is playing well.

So when Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was asked which player is having a really good season that no one is talking about he went to an offensive lineman: Jack Allen.

"Don't get asked much about Jack Allen," he said. "I think he's playing very, very well."

Offensive line coach Mark Staten took it one step further with the season Allen is having.

"Jack's having an all-Big Ten season, there's no doubt about it," Staten said. "If he's not, then I'd like to see the person who is and watch that person who is a little bit more and see what else we have to do with Jack because he is playing tough and he is playing with great power."

Allen, who missed the first two games of the season with an injury, returned for the Spartans' 55-17 win against Youngstown State on Sept. 14.

He has started all four games since his return.

"Jack Allen is a special player," said Travis Jackson, who started the first two games before suffering an injury. "I think we knew that as soon as he came in here. He is a great kid, a great player, he's a state champion wrestler. He's just kind of a guy that gets after it. I think he's a real NFL player, at center especially. He's just perfect at the position. He does a great job."

With Jackson healthy, the Spartans have the luxury of two strong players in the middle of their offensive line.

"We call ourselves the dual-center threat," he said. "We don't know how teams prepare for it. It's been really cool."

Staten said having Allen back in the mix has helped bring a sense of toughness, but also provides a deeper rotation.

"That allows us to do some rotations and maybe give (Blake) Treadwell a little rest or give Danny (France) some rest," he said. "Travis can bounce in and out. I just think overall these guys have been together and they have one goal and it's nothing to do with themselves, it's to make this offense and make this team better."

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