HINSDALE – What do Brian Allen, Jack Allen, Ian Bunting and Scott McDowell all have in common?
The four football players currently are spread out at three major universities in two states, but they all started out at the same place – Hinsdale Central High School.
Both Allen brothers have moved on to Michigan State, Bunting is continuing his career at Michigan and McDowell is playing at Illinois.
McDowell is one of 18 offensive lineman listed on the Illini roster, though four of those players are true freshman and three others are redshirt freshman. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound McDowell saw action in one game each of the last two seasons and is currently preparing for his junior year.
Of the four Central graduates playing in the Big Ten, Jack Allen has seen the most action. The junior is the No. 1 center on the Spartans' preseason depth chart, and rightly so.
He has started 24 games the past two seasons and has seen action in 25 games total during that time. Last year, he was part of Michigan State's Big Ten Championship Game victory against Ohio State and the Rose Bowl-winning squad, and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention pick by the coaches after the season. He was also an academic All-Big Ten pick for the second straight year.
Brian Allen, listed at 6-foot-2 and 294 pounds, is a true freshman center for the Spartans and is not listed on the depth chart, though two of the players currently on the four-deep are seniors so he has an excellent chance to break through in the near future. He starts his college career after a stellar senior year at Central that was capped with a spot in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.
Bunting will be on the opposite sideline from the Allen brothers when Michigan travels to Michigan State for a game on Oct. 25. The 6-foot-7, 227-pound Bunting is one of six tight ends listed on the Wolverines' roster. Jake Butt, one of the other tight ends on the squad, saw action in all 13 games last season and finished third on the team with 20 catches, 235 yards and two touchdowns and is likely to see the majority of action this fall.