"It gives you that confidence that you can go into any stadium and go out there and compete and that… the crowd is not going to have anything to do with it. And that you can just go in there and play your game… x out any other factors, whether it be the weather, like it was in North Carolina or a year ago in Arizona and we stepped it up. Just have to go out there on the road and bond together as a team, step up and play together."
"Yeah, me and Jack always have a lot of wagers… All the way back into spring ball we was going, who can get the most picks and all the other stuff. Who is going to run the fastest. Me and Jack are just competitive people. We just want to be like that because going into the year you never know what's happening. Me and him might be on the field at the same time, you never know. And even if we are not, next year it's bound to be me and Jack. We want to get that attitude and competitiveness right now."
On being on the field with Ikegwuonu a lot last week:
"Yeah, we was on the field quite a bit, and I told Jack that he was doing a great job out there. I thought he had a great game. We are just going to continue to get better."
Are you surprised at all that you are already a starter and Jack is in nickel?
"Not really, not really. I'm not surprised. I really haven't really thought about it like that. I just go out there and just play and compete and just practice hard. I'm not really concerned about what happens if one day something happens where Jack ends up being the starter and I end up being the nickel back, I'll be okay. I just want to practice hard and play and go out there and compete."
What impact does Ron Lee have in just helping you grow up a little bit?
"He has a lot of, you know, he teaches me certain things that I need to know. He lets all the DBs know that you may have done a good job but you could still get a lot better. And it's the little things that's killing us right now. We can still get a lot better and he inspires that in us and makes sure that we realize that we do do some good things but a lot of times we do some good things, we give up bad things, when people look at the bad things rather than the good things that you have done. So we are just trying to eliminate those bad things."
What kind of approach does he take?
"I'd say he's more of just teaching us rather than maybe your arm around you. I don't know if I necessarily seen him do nothing like that. He's more of the coach who wants to make sure that you understand it. He wants to make sure that you understands what's going on out there. So he may yell at you if he thinks that's the only way that you may understand it. Or he may just come talk to you on the side and pull you out after a play and let you know did you get this or did you get that."
Is it sinking in do you think?
"I think it's sinking in for most of the DBs. I think we're going out there… It's just a matter of fact of us executing. A lot of times we understand it but then when you understand it and you don't go out there and execute it it makes you feel like you don't understand it. I think that's just the main part of it. We understand it and he's giving it to us, we just have to go out there and execute it and know what to do, what we're supposed to do."
They've accelerated your learning curve haven't they?
"Most definitely. I expected that though. Being a redshirt freshman I expected everything to go a lot faster. I'm OK with it."
What's the first thing you think of with Northwestern offensively?
"Northwestern offense, the first thing I think of is they can spread you out and run the ball. And they run option. I think that's the key is when you spread it out and you've got all the DBs out there and you think it's going to be a pass and they turn around and run the option on you, run the ball on you. You never really know what they are going to do."
What kind of stress does that put on a corner?
"Actually it puts a lot of stress on you. It makes you be a lot disciplined because I know a lot of times there can be a lot of play actions and try to throw the DBs off guard by faking the run and doing something like that like Indiana did when it was on the fake bubble screen. We have to be a lot disciplined because they are going to take some shots. It's just a matter of time of how they are going to do it, when they are going to do it."
Allen, they always say one of the best traits for a corner is to have a short memory. How hard is that to actually do?
"It's kind of hard because when you put that in your head, you have a short memory, and then you let something happen and you put it out of your and then you come right back to the sidelines and you got to put on the headphones, you got to listen to him talk about the play. So it's kind of difficult but what I try to do is I just when I get on the phone I just say, ‘OK, OK, I understand.' And then I take the headphones off and I'm just done. I don't know what he said… That doesn't really matter to me anymore. I'm just focused on going out there and competing on the next play. But it does make it a little bit harder when you've got to put on the headphones afterward."
Is there a certain defensive back or a cornerback… somebody you grew up watching and you said, ‘OK, I want to be like this guy'… ?
"Growing up as a corner, I'm from Michigan. I always wanted to be like Charles Woodson. I wanted to make plays like Charles Woodson. He didn't give up too many big plays. And when he did give up big plays, he Xed it out of him and he went out and (he would) go get a pick or something like that. He was just always a playmaker."
On friendship with Ikegwuonu:
"Me and Jack coming into school we didn't really know each other like that. Towards our first fall camp we started realizing that we might be able to play or we might do this based on the position that we're in. So that's when our bond got a lot closer than what it was. Then the offseason kept on getting closer. Then spring ball we got closer and then our relationship just building right now."
Last week playing Indiana, did you think back at all to recruiting because obviously you committed to them originally?
"Not really because that coaching staff that was recruiting me wasn't there. So I didn't really think of that. But at the same time I did probably think that on Indiana's side they probably was in their locker room saying this guy committed, then de-committed so we want to go at him. I was ready for that. I wanted them to come at me a lot. I hope they had some type of anger towards me for de-committing from their school. But I was really worried about it because the coaching staff had changed."
Did any of their redshirt freshman receivers say anything to you, because that would have been your class?
"Well, James Hardy before the game was talking to me and saying he was going to come at me and stuff like that.
"James Bailey… we played against each other in high school a lot. And we actually wanted to — I told him to go to Wisconsin with me but he told me to go to Indiana with him. And at the last minute I told him I'm going to Wisconsin and he needs to come to Wisconsin. And the coaches over at Indiana was real mad and James Bailey was calling me every day trying to get me to come back to Indiana. So me and him, we have a real tight relationship. But other than that none of them really said anything to me."
Did you go to high school with Bailey?
"No.. He went to a same high school in my division and we played each other in high school like a couple times."
Have you progressed about as quickly as you'd like?
"Not really. Because I want to develop into a shutdown corner where they don't want to throw the ball my way and if they do throw the ball my way, it's my ball."