Last Stand

Now in his fifth season as a Rebel, senior Tight End Ferbia Allen has seen the highs, lows and in between. He's grateful for a fresh start as he makes his last run as a Rebel.

It's easy to like Ferbia Allen, the fifth-year senior tight end for the Ole Miss Rebels.


In a day when fans at all schools seem to be holding their collective breath for the next bit of bad news or bad behavior from players, Ferbia is a model citizen.

He's already finished his degree at Ole Miss in Parks & Recreation Management and is working adding a minor.

He's always got a smile on his face and possesses an "easy" personality. He's never been in any kind of trouble or in any discussion of any misbehavior.

And on the football field, he gives everything he's got from the drop of the hat to the finish line.

"You couldn't ask for a better kid," said Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze. "He never shows up on any lists for missing class or being late or anything. He takes care of his business. As a coach, you wish you had 120 Ferbia Allens."

Allen is sentimental as his final Rebel season rapidly approaches.

"Man, this is it," he said. "My last year to walk through the Grove, the last year to try to give our fans something to be proud of. It's a great feeling, but a sad feeling. I love this place and I have loved my time here. I wish it didn't have to end.

"But I promised myself when I first got here that when I left I would be able to look in the mirror and say I gave everything I had to the program and to the school. I owe that to Ole Miss, to my coaches and to my teammates."

If you ask anyone who knows him, they would say "paid in full" about the way Allen has conducted himself during his five years.

Ferbia Allen
Chuck Rounsaville

"I've been fortunate enough to be on a couple of real good teams and then we didn't get it done, but I try to look at it as part of life as a man," he said. "You are not going to win or lose all the time and you just have to go out there and do your best, in whatever you do, and live with the results."

As the 2012 season opener approaches, Allen has a good feeling about the Rebels.

"We are ready to get out there and see how it's going to come together and work for us. We all feel real good about our chances this year," he said. "The tempo we are using now is a total change, but we like it. We think it's going to work to our advantage this season."

It took some time before the players adjusted to the fastbreak speed of the new offense, but Ferbia sees major advancement from the first of spring to the eve of the first game.

"We are way better from our first practice in this offense to now. People aren't gassed any more, we are flying around and we are starting to think quicker," he said. "We are not where we want to be just yet, but we are heading in that direction quickly.

"I'll be honest, it took some time to adjust - this is totally different than huddling up and catching your breath between plays. It's non-stop, but we are in better shape and are getting used to it now."

Allen is also excited about the way the tight end is used in the Rebel offense.

"We are everywhere. We could be in the backfield, out wide, at the wing, in the traditional position next to the tackle with our hands down, in motion - anywhere," he smiled. "It's a very versatile position.

"There are a lot of plays where we can tough the ball, a lot of plays where we help set up the guy who's getting the ball, plays where we can spring a big play by blocking someone downfield and not just a defensive end. It's set up for the tight ends to be an important part of making something big happening and I like that," he critiqued.

At the start of fall camp, the Rebel defense was way ahead of the offense, but lately the offense has started catching up.

"Early on, they were sending people from everywhere and we weren't ready for that, but as we got more into our playbook and film study, we saw what we could do to counteract what they were doing and things started to click. When we started making some plays, it gave us all some confidence and it has just built from there," he explained. "We still have a lot to do, but we can feel it getting better and better."

As an offensive player, Ferbia appreciates the different looks the offense is getting from Dave Wommack's defense.

"We feel like we have seen everything we will see during the season. Whatever we face, we should be able to recognize and adjust to in the course of a game. There should be no major surprises all year of things we haven't seen," Allen noted. "As an offense, we are prepared for whatever any defense can throw at us."

The Central Arkansas game has a special meaning to Ferbia, an Arkansan (Pine Bluff).

"I'm looking forward to seeing (UCA WR and former Rebel) Jessie (Grandy). I've been playing with him since I was a little boy and it's going to be fun to see what we both do in the game," he added.

Ferbia wants to end his career on a high note and believes that will happen.

"We will probably have some ups and downs, but if we stick with the plan and the process, we will all be happy at the end of the year," Ferbia closed.

Ferbia has seen it all. The good, the bad and the ugly.

He believes more of the good is on the way.

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