Allen Picks Up Football Offer

When Maplewood (Mo.) High School junior Bryant Allen received his first scholarship offer for basketball, he knew it was coming. But when he received his first offer to play college football this week, he couldn't believe it — and he couldn't take the smile off his face.

Allen already had offers to play college basketball at Saint Louis, Southern Illinois, Missouri State and Western Illinois when his football coach David Harris summoned him early in the morning at school this week.

"My coach came and got me," Allen said. "I thought there was something going on. My A.D., my head football coach, my defensive backs coach, we were just all in the room. I sat down and was like what happened? They told me Missouri offered me. I said, quit playing. I couldn't take the smile off my face."

The scholarship offer from in-state Missouri, which finished fourth in the final Associated Press rankings this season, was his first for football even though he's received mail from Iowa and Wisconsin and attended Mizzou's Junior Day event the previous weekend.

"It feels good," he said. "When I first got my basketball offer, I knew that was going to come. But with football, I wasn't sure because we were a small school. To have the No. 4 team in the country come to recruit you, it's a big thing."

It looked like the 5-foot-11 junior's future would be as a point guard somewhere, knocking down 3-pointers, playing lock-down man-to-man defense and running the fast break offense on the hardwood.

Now, he could be playing defensive back or wide receiver at Faurot Field for the Tigers playing against Big 12 Conference rivals like Nebraska and Kansas.

"The coach said I could probably be the next Jeremy Maclin," Allen said. "They said they saw my highlight tape. They were saying that they didn't need to see too much."

Allen's college decision just became a lot more difficult.

"It just got tougher," Allen said. "I got my first offer from football and it's looking nice right now. It's going to be a tough decision. I have to sit down and talk to my parents."

The Blue Devils' standout might end up playing both sports in college.

He certainly has a strong resume in three sports at Maplewood.

As a freshman, Allen averaged 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 4 assists per game and made 39. 6 percent of his 3-point attempts (61 of 154) and 69.8 percent of his free throw attempts (67 of 96). That year, he was a starter on the football team and also won the Missouri Class 2 championship in the 300-meter hurdles.

As a sophomore, he passed for 1,102 yards with 15 touchdowns and rushed for 421 yards with eight more touchdowns while playing quarterback in the fall. Over the winter, he averaged 23.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.9 steals and 3.7 assists and made 42.9 percent of his 3-point attempts (60 of 140) and 80.7 percent of his free throw attempts (71 of 88).

Allen had his best football season this fall, as a junior, when he rushed for 672 yards, caught 30 passes for 607 yards for 1,281 total yards and 21 touchdowns. He was selected second-team All-Metro by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as Maplewood went 12-1 and advanced to the state semifinals.

Allen is currently averaging 23.7 points, 6 rebounds, 5.1 steals and 4.9 assists per game and has made a team-best 64 3-pointers.

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