Quotebook - Will Allen

Charles Babb recently had a chance to talk with OSU safety Will Allen fpr an article in the upcoming issue of Bucknuts the Magazine. Will discussed a variety of topics, and we have some quotes from the conversation that did not make the article posted now.

What is Coach Tressel like with the team versus with the media?

"I would say he's pretty clear cut about everything he says and he does. I mean, he has to be the same way. I mean, he's probably more relaxed around us because we're around him every day, but for the most part he's the same."

Does he ever get just flat out blunt with players? With the media he is often accused of being ‘political' with his answers.

"It all depends on the subject I would say. He seems to be both ways. It just depends on the interaction, it depends on the conversation, it depends on what's being said or what is needed to be said. That's (what) it depends on. I'm not Coach Tressel. I really can't speak for what he is thinking or how he is going to react to some things. I just know what he says to us, and I hear some things that he says to you guys. Based off of that, it is pretty much the same."

Has he ever had to lay down the law this year?

"Not really, but he has approached the team. He gives us challenges each and every day, each and every week, so I wouldn't say he's like ‘This must happen…' He just gives us challenges and sees how our seniors handle it and see how our team handles it."

What would be an example of one of those challenges?

"The challenge of the loss we had against Wisconsin. He asked us, ‘What are we going to do now? What's our next step? How are the seniors going to step up to this in practice?' (When) we just came off a great win against Iowa, he was saying, ‘What are we going to do against Indiana? Are we going to get complacent? Are we going to get lax? Are we going to think that Indiana is not going to try to play their hardest against us? What are we going to do?' It's a challenge to the whole team."

What has been the biggest surprise for you in your career at OSU?

"Just to see how a team can go from losing 6-6, 7-4, to national championship in one year. Just turning it around like that, and just the focus we had just the willingness to go out, play hard, and be determined. That's a huge surprise. It's not really a surprise but it is in a way because to see a group of guys, 105 guys along with coaches come together in agreement, that's amazing to me. If I had to put it into words, amazing."

What is your favorite part of playing safety?

"I would have to say just coming up and hitting somebody. I mean, you have to love that. That's football -- being physical. You know, during the week, you practice and you're tired and you go out to the games and want to hit somebody. I think that is my favorite part?"

How tiresome is it to deal with the media? Honestly.

"It's not really tiresome. I understand they have questions, and they want to know more about you as a person, they want to know more about the team. Obviously the public wants to know, so it comes with the territory."

What do you see in your future? What's next?

"Hopefully graduate and go to the NFL."

Are you on course to graduate?

"In the spring, yes."

Where will you be in 10 years if you had a crystal ball?

"If not in the NFL then a successful businessman somewhere."

You have seen a lot of changes at OSU. Talk about some of those.

"Obviously there is more discipline in the infrastructure here. It's more of a family atmosphere. It seems as if it's just overall, everybody is willing to push each other and help make each other be the best, and coach Tressel stresses that – just being the best and being better each day."

How helpful is it to a player to have the discipline versus maybe having a ‘players' coach who is more lax in that area?

"It's definitely – if you want to win championships, you can't win games without being disciplined. If it is constantly stressed and constantly put in your ear then, it's like you always have to do the right things, and that's what Coach Tressel stresses – doing the right things all the time on and off the field because if you do it off the field it carries over on the field and in everything you do."


What is something the public might not know about Will Allen?

"I don't know. I think I'm a pretty good guy, a decent person."

What hobbies do you have outside of football?

"I was in the process of teaching myself how to play the piano, but it kind of got halted because of football. Right now, I am just trying to focus on football; (I) play it a little every now and again but not too much."

What does the future of the linebacker corps look like with D'Andrea, Hawk, Schlegel, Kerr, Carpenter?

"We have some great players, some great young players that I really think are going to do great things for this university. All of those guys I think are already doing well right now and when they have the chance to play, they make plays so I think they have a great future ahead of them."

Besides Football, what do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy my own company, going to church and, like I said, teaching myself how to play the piano and just relaxing and chilling out.

Talk a little about some of the changes between Pagac/Tenuta and Dantonio.

"With Tenuta and Coach Pagac, it was more of a man to man concept. We played a little zone but more man to man. (Now) we are able to make big plays, but back with that defense it was more just – you are man to man, you've gotta make the big play. That's the way it was. That's why our corners were highly touted, highly recognized. They were in the man to man and had opportunities to make the plays, and our safeties were the same exact way. They were in man to man, deep middle of the field and able to break on the ball and coming up for the run. Just a lot of in the box play, man to man with the running backs, so now it is more of a zone oriented defense, and that can help you too if you are disciplined and you know the scheme of the defense, you know how the offense is trying to attack you. So, once you realize that you can let your athleticism take over. It is just a little different, but overall it is the same concept.

Which do you prefer?

"Really, both. Because they both can help you at the next level. Here, with Tenuta I was able to play man to man coverage. I understood man to man concept (and) how to play man to man. Then now I am learning a zone concept so at the next level it is just all going to help me. So, both of them are beneficial."

Do you not mix it up a bit and show man and then go to zone, etc?

"We try to disguise. Every good defense disguises, but we are a zone oriented team. It is a little different zone because sometimes we play a zone and sometimes we play man with the zone so we play combinations of things depending on what kind of athletes you have and how well your players understand the defense and what needs to be done. I think our coaches are doing a great job of teaching us and getting deeper and deeper in the zone concept. So, now we are able to mix it up and confuse teams a lot."

What is something you laugh at or that was your most embarrassing moment?

"It is really nothing that I want to forget but is something I laugh at. You know when I first came in, a lot of people doubted me. A lot of my teammates, a lot of probably coaches doubted me. That was kind of discouraging for me because that was the first time I was faced with that reality. To have a lot of adversity and come back from it has just been – it has just helped me with my confidence, it has helped me as a person and as a player on the field."

Can you talk about the McGahee incident – did that affect you personally?

"No, it wasn't difficult on me. I won't say I felt bad, but I felt – I had remorse because I don't want to see a person, any person, be hurt on the field. I didn't feel bad because it was football. You have to play hard. That is a part of the game; people are going to get hurt, but I had remorse because I didn't want to see him hurt. I didn't want to see him hurt afterwards. As you all know, I made the phone call to him and spoke to him. I am happy he is doing well."

What has most surprised you here at OSU?

"Nothing really. Ntohing has surprised me really. You never know what is going to happen, so there is nothing that is really going to surprise me. You have to expect the unexpected because every day is something new, every day is something different."

What has been your favorite class and why?

"I had a comparative studies class where we compared the beginnings of the world, the beginnings of the earth, and we looked at different types of religions and how they based it. That really stretched me a lot in my faith and really stretched me in just researching different ideas and different facts and really just expanded my horizons a little more from what I already knew. That class was really beneficial, and I enjoyed doing the paper, I enjoyed the tests and everything."

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