Treadwell was always there to answer those questions and now a year later, Conklin is paying that forward with true freshman Brian Allen.
”I can see where Brian is asking me all these questions and I’m like, ‘Alright, Tready, I see you helped me out a lot more than I thought,” Conklin said. “He did a great job coming in there. He is learning, he is going to make some mistakes, but he is not going to make them twice.”
Allen has broken into the rotation on the Spartans’ offensive line as a true freshman, something easier said than done. Conklin said it is a credit to the fact he has taken well to coaching, which offensive line coach Mark Staten seconded as Allen has worked at three spots on the O-line.
”He’s been good about asking questions and taking good notes and following through,” Staten said. “We mix and match having him at different spots in practice as well as some of the other guys.”
The plan is for Allen to primarily work at the guard spots more than at center, which generally is manned by his brother, Jack. The fact he was able to play all three interior line spots at Oregon is, in part, a testament to Jack, Staten said.
”Asking him to do all three is tough for anybody but he’s learned from Jack over the course of the last three, four years,” Staten said. “You’ve really got to commend Jack on that for taking his brother along with him, and the relationship they have.”
But as the guy giving depth and allowing inside linemen to get a breather, Allen has made a solid impact already in his first two games and should continue to do so.
”Brian Allen’s just such a great addition to our offensive line,” senior Travis Jackson said. “Having a true freshman playing hasn’t been done in a while, so that’s really cool.”