Allen leads Macomb Dakota to 4-0 start

Andrew Allen is just one of 39 seniors on the Macomb Dakota roster. But he's an extremely valuable senior linebacker-running back who has played no small role in his team's 4-0 start and lofty state rankings.

Allen at 6-1, 215 pounds, is one of the most highly touted Division I prospects on the team. While he's deciding between some Ivy League and Mid-American Conference schools, Allen is also hoping to lead Dakota to state title contention.

After four games, Allen has 40 tackles and one interception from his linebacker's spot and 300 yards rushing as running back.

"We're playing very well," Allen said. "We'll keep improving. We have to play some of the better teams on our schedule in upcoming weeks."

But the Cougars, led by talented players like Allen, are ready to give it a shot.

"Our offensive line is the best that I've been on," said Allen, in his third full varsity season. "Our offense has a lot of potential. We have a lot of size and a lot of speed. Everyone does the job."

His coach, Mike Giannone, was quick to agree.

"We've only given up 15 points so far in four games," Giannone said. "We're meeting expectations right now."

And that factor is thanks partially to Allen, who is having his best season, a factor making him attractive to a lot of college recruiters.

"I went to a couple of camps during the summer and learned a lot," he said. "I started using my hands to get off my blocks. I've learned better techniques. The key is to get bigger and faster at linebacker. My speed and ability to read the offense is the key for me, plus anticipating the play."

Linebacker is probably the position Allen will play at the college level. But Dakota also is taking advantage of his ball carrying skills this season.

"I can break a lot of tackles," he said.

Princeton and Yale from the Ivy League have expressed interest in Allen as has Ball State, Western Michigan and Buffalo.

"I'll probably decide after the season," Allen said. "My options are still wide open.

"I'll have to take into account how comfortable I feel with the coaching staff. Academics will be important too."

While he hopes to lead Dakota to title contention this season, Allen also hopes to set the stage for his college career.

"I need to continue hitting the weights hard," he said.

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