Player Spotlight: Marcus Allen

Close to 30 miles northwest of Jacksonville, Fla. sits the town of Hilliard in Nassau County. Linebacker Marcus Allen escalated his game last fall in his first season as a football player and now has just received his 23rd scholarship offer.

"My first offer came about two days after I put my highlights on YouTube," said Marcus Allen. "It was from SMU. The latest one came today from Marshall."

At, 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, Allen made a big splash at inside linebacker for head coach Paul Whittenburg's Red Flashes in 2010. His highlight film turned the head of Eric Russell, the University of Tennessee's tight ends and special teams coach.

"About a week and a half ago, he [Russell] called Coach Whittenburg and said he really liked my tape and wanted to show it to the linebackers coach and the head coach," said Allen. "The next day Coach Russell and Coach [Peter] Sirmon called back with the offer. It's a great program. They do a lot for their players both on-and-off the field. The coaches told me about the ‘Vols for Life' program. It put them pretty high in my book."

Allen also plays basketball and runs track for Hilliard. He placed 3rd in District in the long jump and 8th in Regionals. He also competed in the 400 meter dash and the high jump. While a standout in both sports, Allen's glad he decided to give football a shot.

"I was always a basketball guy," Allen stated. "I didn't want to go through high school having missed out on any experiences, so I decided to go out for football. This spring I was making good reads, tackling better, and focusing on the fundamentals."

Allen plans to stay busy this summer with unofficial visits to prospective campuses. He'll have quite a support cast with him, at least for the trip to Knoxville in June.

"I'm going to Tennessee with my AD [Athletic Director], two of my coaches, and my basketball coach," Allen said. "Then I'm going to try to make it to some of the Florida schools, some of the Georgia schools, Kentucky, Louisville, and Duke."

Although Allen is starting to consider who he favors, the offers may not be finished coming. Georgia Tech, Miami, FSU, Florida, Wisconsin, and TCU are showing a lot of interest.

"I'd like to go to a place that offers a great education," Allen said on choosing a college. "One that prepares their athletes to become better people in society when football is over. I want to play for coaches who are going to take the time to help develop me into a great player."

Allen hopes to make his decision prior to the start of his senior year, but that could change depending on how things go during the summer months. He does have some schools that have peaked his interest early.

"I'd say my favorites right now are Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, and Boston College," Allen said. "All of those programs have a lot of the main things I'm looking for."

While 2010 was Allen's big debut season, it wasn't one to remember for the Red Flashes as they finished with a 2-8 record. He hopes they can turn things around in his final year.

"Our goal is to make the playoffs," Allen said. "We need to have better production to improve on our record. I want to be one of the team leaders and inspire my teammates to play at 100-percent. I just want to keep getting better and gain more experience on the field."

Allen is second cousin to former UGA standouts, Champ and Boss Bailey. He's doing stellar work in the classroom at Hilliard with a 4.0 GPA.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories