EAST LANSING, Mich. – Linemen may not have their names called as often as quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, but astute and eagle-eyed fans saw plenty of Jack Allen last season.
The Hinsdale Central graduate and current Michigan State football player started 12 games on the offensive line and participated in all 13 of the Spartans' games as a redshirt freshman last season. He won Michigan State's Outstanding Underclass Lineman Award in his first season seeing game time and aims to do even better this season.
You played both left guard and center last season. Which do you prefer?
Center is more natural to me because I'm not 6-5. It wasn't bad doing both. It was fun learning a new position and it helped me understand the offense more because I knew what the guards and the center were supposed to do.
What goals do you have for the team and yourself this season?
For the team, make it to the Big Ten Championship game and win it. We got there two years ago and it didn't pan out, so we want to get there and win it. For me personally, I want to be all-conference and try to make a mark.
What was it like transitioning from high school football to college ball?
It wasn't as tough as I thought it would be. The biggest difference is everybody here is just as good as you. All 100 guys were the best guy on their team in high school just like you. All the guys are the same kid as you are.
Your younger brother Brian has committed to Michigan State. How much input did you have in that decision?
I kind of told him it was up to him. Whatever he decided I was going to be happy with. It's going to be pretty cool to be on the same line with him. We've been on the same wrestling team before, but we've never been on the same football team, so that will be cool.
What makes you a good football player?
I'd say one of my biggest assets is my toughness. I've got to work on my pass coverage a little bit. I've been working on that all summer so I hope to be a lot better at it this season.
What do you do off the field to improve and get ready for games?
We watch film for an hour before every practice and I watch film for an hour and a half after practice. I look at what I'm doing and what I need to work on to improve, and I look at what our opponents are doing and how we go against it.
Which Big Ten team and stadium do you like visiting the least?
To be honest, I don't like any of them. I'm not a fan of any other team.
How would you sum up your time at Michigan State?
It's been a blast. One of the best decisions I ever made was to come here.