Signee Update: Josh Allen

Under normal circumstances, it's a given that an incoming freshman offensive lineman will be red-shirted his first season on campus. However, with depth a concern in 2014, North Carolina signee Josh Allen says that's not a certainty in his case.

"Coach [Dan] Disch and Coach [Chris Kapilovic] strongly believe that once I get up there, I can definitely be a starter," Allen said. "But they definitely let me know it's going to be a lot of hard work to get where I want to get. I've already told them that I'm willing to do what I have to do to be a part of this team and bring a championship to North Carolina."

Allen has started at right guard for Jacksonville (Fla.) University Christian School. He says Kapilovic will give him the opportunity to earn playing time at both guard positions, as well as center.

"I'm pretty happy about that, because I've never played center," Allen said. "I think it will be fun. But I'm going to be in the interior [of the line]. It's probably going to be guard and they know that I'm good from the left or the right."

Since his senior football season ended on Nov. 22, Allen's focus has been doing all that he can to be ready to compete come fall camp. Prior to this year, he was a part of University's basketball and track-and-field teams, in addition to anchoring its O-line. He considered spurning both basketball and track to concentrate solely on football specific workouts. However, in embracing his senior year, he settled on the compromise of only giving up track.

"We won districts in basketball, but after that it went downhill," Allen said. "I just play basketball to stay in shape."

At about the same time University was bounced out of the FHSAA 3A basketball playoffs, Allen received a workout routine from UNC's Strength and Conditioning Staff.

"When I started, I was pretty confused," Allen said. "I was like, ‘What is this stuff?' But my coaches showed me and walked me through how to do it."

Allen is now on week four of the regimen.

"I've definitely seen an increase in strength – like 20 pounds," Allen said. "I'm now benching 465. I was like, ‘Woah, this works pretty well.'

"Stamina wise, I'm trying to keep that up, but it's definitely tough – especially the 100s and 300s. I have to run like five 300s now. Hopefully it will pay off once I get [to UNC]."

Allen has also trimmed down to 308 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame. He hovered between 295 and 305 pounds during his senior football season, but ballooned to 320 when he was weighed by UNC during his January official visit. He suspects holiday meals as the culprit for that weight increase.

"I was like, ‘Man, I didn't see that coming,'" Allen said. "I'm just happy I'm losing weight and getting in shape now."

Allen says the communication with UNC has died down since Signing Day, but he never goes more than two weeks between phone conversations with a coach. That contact is typically with Disch, who served as Allen's primary recruiter, but he also speaks with Larry Fedora and Kapilovic, UNC's offensive line coach.

"I'm not a guy that wants phone calls every day," Allen said. "So it's good that they keep in contact but give me room to breathe."

Allen hopes to continue to wear No. 55, his high school number, during his UNC career. The number is currently vacant.

"My freshman year of high school, I was going to pick 95, but my coach was like, ‘No, you need a medium number like 55,'" Allen said. "I picked 55 and it went on from there."

Allen has not yet been deemed qualified by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

"I just took my last ACT on April the 12th," Allen said. "It takes about four to five weeks [to get the score]. I just went ahead and scheduled myself for the June the 14 [testing] just in case. I'm trying to get a high ACT score to be sure."

The Clearinghouse utilizes a sliding scale that couples test scores (ACT or SAT) with a prospect's core GPA to determine qualifying status.

If his April 12 score puts him in qualifying range, Allen will enroll in the second summer semester at UNC. He is undecided on a major, but is leaning towards nursing.

"[Nursing] is something that my mom does and it's in the family," Allen said. "I don't know where we get it from – I guess we're just good-natured people. We love to help people."

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