Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

February 5, 2014

Allen’s production at Princeton attracts Concord

PRINCETON — Devin Allen’s high school football career was short, but certainly productive.

So much so that Allen will get the opportunity to play at the next level.

“I am very excited,” Allen said. “I think it is just amazing that I get to play college football.”

Allen, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior, signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to attend college and play football at nearby Concord University.

“I am just pretty happy,” Allen said. “I have a kid at home so I am feeling pretty good about it. I get to stay home and raise my kid and go to college, that is good, and play football.”

Allen only played two seasons at Princeton, but made a definite impact for Randy Peek and the Tigers, often alternative plays with speedy Tahj Sho-Johnson, offering a change-of-pace back who could chew up big chunks of yardage at one time.”

“When I got the job he came on board with us,” said Peek, who just finished his second year at Princeton. “He alternated with Tahj a lot so he didn’t get the carries that Tahj did, but he averaged 6 or 7 yards a carry and those were the tough yards.

“Those were the grind-it-out yards. When we needed the yards, we put him in there. He did a great job and didn’t miss a day of weight-lifting, he has worked hard.”

Allen was part of a deep backfield last season, running for more than 500 yards, and also had several receptions out the backfield, two of which resulted in touchdowns.

“I think he was over 500 yards on 30 some carries, he had good stats, yards per carry,” Peek said. “Usually it was when Tahj came out of the game and needed a breather or it was 3rd and 1 or 2 and we needed him to bang it up in there and he did the job for us...

“He did have a lot of catches and when we did throw the ball he had a couple of touchdowns coming out of the backfield too. He did a great job, he played a little bit on defense, but primarily we used him as a running back.”

Peek expects Concord to use Allen as a running back, and thinks he can be effective in whatever ways the Lions want to use him.

“I think he will fit in well there,” Peek said. “They run a lot of spread, and then they will run a two-back set some and I think he will be fine, especially on short yardage.”

Concord head coach Garin Justice is still uncertain where Allen will play. He is still growing, and has the potential to play any number of positions for the Lions.  

“We talked about guys that want to come into a program, and really sit behind some guys and develop,” Justice said. “"Devin’s a guy that, I don’t necessarily put him as a running back, or DB (defensive back) or linebacker. I just put him as a skill guy. We’ll kind of just see where his body takes him.

“A lot of young guys, they get a lot bigger, or they ‘thin-up’ and maybe get a step faster. I want to have him come into our program and develop ... and just see where Mother Nature takes his body, and then we’ll plug him in.”

Concord was pretty much the school that wanted Allen the most, which fit Allen’s plans of staying close to him just fine.

“Concord is where I wanted to be,” Allen said. “I guess they just seen what I had and they wanted me.”

“As long as he has a good attitude, and sticks with it,” added Justice, “he’ll be successful for us.”

Concord, which just completed a stellar campaign with an 8-3 record, is 30-14 over the last four seasons, which is also an definite attraction for an athlete who likes to win.

“To be part of winning,” Allen said. “They are a pretty good football team, I just want to get in there and show them what I got.”

College is more than just about athletics. Academics are even more important, which is fine with Allen, who will major in athletic training.

Peek thinks Allen will make the proper adjustments, and will contribute to the Mountain Lions.

“I think he will fit in well with Concord,” Peek said. “His big adjustment is going to be college classes. The football won’t bother him at all, adjusting to the college life and stuff, but Devin will be fine though.”

As for getting on the field as soon as 2014, don’t count him out.

“I am very competitive,” Allen said. “Whatever they will have me to do that is what I am going to do.”


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