Hinsdale Central grad enjoying another stellar year as Michigan State lineman
Brian Allen said he is having his best year as an offensive lineman at Michigan State.
That is saying something, given the Hinsdale Central graduate's body of work for the Spartans.
“I'm really taking strides each and every year, been getting a lot better and better,” Allen, a junior at MSU, told the DuPage Policy Journal. “Just have to keep working and keep improving.”
Last season, according to msuspartans.com, Allen was an All-Big Ten Conference Second Team selection by three different organizations and Third Team by another. Allen also was a preseason All-American Third Team selection by Athlon Sports and was put on the watch lists for the Outland Trophy for the nation's top interior lineman and the Rimington Trophy for top center. He started 10 games at left guard and two games at center.
Allen said he has made strides by getting more comfortable with MSU's offense.
“I know where I need to be, and I can get there a lot quicker than I used to,” he said.
Allen said he has been playing almost entirely on the offensive line since he first started playing organized football in the second grade. Watching the game with his brother helped pique his interest in football, he said.
“Kind of thing kids in my grade started doing, so I wanted to be a part of that and get into it,” Allen said.
The physicality of his position is one of the things he likes best about football, he said.
“There are not a lot of sports that allow you to do what that sport allows you to do,” Allen said.
He also likes the team aspect of the game, in which all 11 players have to be doing their jobs in sync to make it happen, making everyone accountable.
“When it's done correctly, it's a good feeling,” Allen said.
After being a three-year starter at Hinsdale – earning Class 8A All-State honors and high rankings from recruiting services along the way – Allen went to MSU and faced the challenge of dealing with the heightened schematics of college football. He described it as a science.
The adjustment process included studying the playbook and learning from the older players, then trying to emulate them.
“As they moved on, try to step into their spot and do it just as good as them, if not better,” Allen said.
As far as where he wants to improve, Allen said he has been working on technique, specifically with giving the defensive lineman he is facing different moves involving his hands. He is working on a move in which he uses a strong inside hand in addition to using both hands on a typical block.
“As I get good at one thing, I try to add something else,” Allen said.
Organizations in this Story
5500 S Grant St
Hinsdale, IL - 60521