.NET Exclusive: Small-school TE heads to Indy

Scouts for Division 1 football usually don't make a habit of visiting 0-9 high school football teams. The chances of finding a solid prospect tends to fall in the slim-to-none category and most scouts don't even waste their time. However, Northwest scouts are probably wishing they'd paid closer attention to a skinny receiver from Interlake High School in Bellevue.

At 6'4" 195, Michael Allan didn't seem like a player that would be hard to miss. But after sending game film to Boise State and Weber State, Allan heard little and enrolled at tiny Whitworth College in Spokane, WA. He redshirted his freshman year and a transformation began. Allan grew another two inches and put on sixty pounds, tipping the scales at over 250 and forcing a move to tight end. Almost overnight he became a physically imposing force, all the while maintaining the hands, speed and quickness to dominate the NWC.

Coach John Tully immediately saw the mismatches he created and took full advantage of it, lining Allan up all over the field. Whether it was playing the "X" or "Z" in five-wide sets or playing with his hand down in double-tight sets, Allan flourished and the honors and awards started pouring in…so did the NFL scouts.

Behind Allan, Whitworth dominated in 2006, going undefeated in the regular season for the first time in the school's history. He hauled in 53 catches for 1,100 yards and 9 touchdowns, averaging 20.8 yards a grab and he's leaving Whitworth as its all-time leader in touchdown receptions (29) and yards per catch (18.7). The national media has also taken notice, honoring him with AP Little All-America First Team, D3football.com All-America First Team and being named to the AFCA Division III All-America team for the second straight year.

Allan was honored again after the season, being asked to attend All-Star games across the country. He was the only Division III player invited the East-West Shrine game where former NFL coach Dan Reeves saw his improvement throughout the week.

Now his attention turns to the NFL, and specifically preparing for NFL's meat-market also known as the NFL Draft. Allan has spent the past three weeks training for what could be the biggest week of his life. Held in Indianapolis, the NFL Combine can either make or break you. Scouts and NFL front office personnel in Indy will give him an examination that seems to rival prospective NASA candidates, pushing him through a gauntlet of drills, a psychological test, full medical evaluations and a thorough interview process with NFL coaches. It's probably the most intimidating job interview one can possibly imagine.

One thing's for sure - Allan seems prepared.

I spoke to him before he left for Indianapolis and he's very excited to show what he can do. He's expecting to run in the 4.6 range in the 40-yard dash, be in the neighborhood of twenty repetitions on the bench press, broad jump around ten feet and be near seven seconds in the 3-cone drill. At 6'6" 256, those numbers paired with solid interviews may catapult him into the 4th or 5th Round.

Allan has agreed to let Seahawks.Net be a part of his NFL Draft. We'll be getting updates from him as it draws near, getting a first-hand look of what it's like to be a Division III star entering the NFL. Making the jump from Whitworth College to the NFL won't be easy, but one thing's for sure- he's not going to go unnoticed like he did making the transition from high school to college.

Michael Allan, TE Whitworth College (Spokane, WA) 6'6" 256 (4.65)

Awards: • First Team All-NWC 2004, 2005 and 2006 • 2006 Lindy's Preseason All-American • 2006 D3football.com Preseason All-American • 2006 AP Little All-America Team • AFCA Division III All-American 2005 and 2006 • Whitworth's All-Time leader in touchdown receptions (29) • Whitworth's All-Time leader in reception average (18.7) • Earning 4th/5th Round grades on .NET's Draft board • Currently 12th on ESPN's Tight End board

Note: Several of Allan's records were formerly held by Whitworth TE Doug Long, who played in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks from 1976-1978.

Check back with Seahawks.NET later this week to hear how Allan's trip went.

As usual, any questions or comments can be sent to rlrigmaiden@hotmail.com. Thanks for taking the time to write in.

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