Jack Allen already has put together a noteworthy college football career, and it could get even better this fall.
The Michigan State senior was named First-Team All-American by USA Today as well as First-Team All-Big Ten, and he was one of six finalists from across the country nominated for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s best center. All that came in the 2014 season.
Heading into the 2015 season, Allen already has piled up some recognition, being named First-Team All-Big Ten and a nominee for the Rimington Trophy as well as for the Outland Trophy (most outstanding interior lineman) and Lombardi Award (most outstanding college lineman).
Before the Spartans started preseason practices in preparation for their first game on Sept. 4, Allen spoke with Sports Editor Jason Rossi about his offseason, his role as a leader and what it’s like to play alongside younger brother Brian Allen on the offensive line.
Rossi: How are the preparations for the season going so far?
Allen: I’d definitely say we’ve been working hard. We’ve been running and lifting more than ever.
Rossi: Did you know there would be that much work in this offseason?
Allen: I knew it was going to be hard. My freshman year it was hard, and every year it’s been getting harder, but you have to get ready. You have to run a little longer and lift a little longer. As a team, we’re ready for something big this season.
Rossi: What’s the team looking like after spring ball?
Allen: After spring ball I’d say we’re in good shape and ready for the season. We’re going to have to work to get to where we need to be because we have some young guys on the field and it’s hard to make that jump, but we have some good freshmen.
Rossi: As an experienced player, what are you doing to help bring the freshmen along?
Allen: I try to help them know their roles and know what they have to do. If you work hard, the rest will take care of itself.
Rossi: Do you have any personal goals this season?
Allen: I’d like to be First Team All-Big Ten and I’d like to win the Rimington. It’s a big honor. You’re being recognized as one of the top guys at your position in the country. At the same time there’s a lot of work to do, but being recognized is an honor.
Rossi: What’s it like playing alongside your younger brother Brian?
Allen: During the games, I don’t really notice it at all, but at the end of the year it’s something to look back on for the both of us.
Rossi: What are your plans after this season?
Allen: After MSU, I’ll see if I can make the jump to the next level and see where that takes me.
About Jack Allen
College: Michigan State
Height, weight: 6-foot-2, 296 pounds
Jersey: No. 66
High school: Hinsdale Central