Jeff Allen: Powerful Protector in the Trenches

Audio/Story posted April 12, 2012 in


As a Chicago native, the opportunity to grow up to play football for the Illinois Fighting Illini was very important for Jeff Allen. The four-year starter on the offensive line even graduated from high school early in order to enroll at Illinois a semester early.

“Family is a big part of my life,” said Allen. “My mother and sisters being able to make a two-hour drive and come see my home games means a lot.”

Allen also pointed out that being able to go home and help out was an especially nice amenity while enrolled in school. Despite having an uncle who played football for the Miami Hurricanes, Allen loved the idea of supporting his home state.

“[University of Illinois] being my in-state school and having some type of pride for my state and the school in it, it meant a lot for me to come play for this university.”

Allen was named a team captain in 2010 for his leadership as well as being named to the All-Big Ten Academic Team in 2010. The offensive lineman has a tremendous work ethic on and off the field to achieve football and academic honors. Being more than just a football player speaks volumes to the character of Allen, something that NFL scouts are sure to take notice of.

Not only is it impressive that Allen started all 47 games he played in over four years, but he has not suffered any major injuries and is healthy heading into the NFL. After the games ended Allen shifted his focus towards the NFL Combine in neighboring Indiana.

“It was a great experience,” said Allen. “Seeing all the other great players there, it was great to do it.”

Growing up a Chicago Bears fan, Allen would welcome the opportunity of playing for a team that would travel to Chicago so his family could come see him play. However, Allen is not focused on where he will end up. All he can control is his abilities and skill set, which he believes are already among the best in the nation.

“I see myself as one of the best, if not the best [offensive linemen],” said Allen. “That’s just the competitive nature in me.”

Allen hopes to hear his name called early in the 2012 NFL Draft so he can start focusing again on what he is most passionate about: football.

Jared Abbott is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology and is a ComRadio News Director. To contact him, email: