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  • Writer's pictureWeber State Weekly

Four-Star Athlete Transfers From Tennessee To Weber State

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

(Photo credit: Anne Newman/Rocky Top Insider)

Coming out of high school in Fairfield, California, a city located smack-dab in the middle of San Francisco and Sacramento, Jordan Allen, a 6’4”, 240-pound tight end/wide receiver, surprisingly only had one scholarship offer. About 30 minutes up I-80 in Davis, California, Ron Gould, who was head coach of the UC Davis Aggies at the time, was the only college coach that showed any belief in Allen.

The catch: Gould wanted Allen as an edge rusher.

Allen hadn’t ever played defense but was resolved to show that he could compete as a Division One football player; he was thrilled to accept the opportunity and play on the other side of the ball for the first time. The twists and turns in Allen’s collegiate career were just getting started.

After his first year at Davis, Allen could see that his football trajectory was ready to take off - he just needed a bit more film to help make his dreams come true.

Then a bomb hit.

Gould, to whom Allen felt and immense sense of loyalty, was fired.

“My coach got fired after the season and I was progressing,” Allen told Weber State Weekly, “so I wanted to go to Junior College and see if I could make it to a bigger school. I was loyal to my coach, but he got fired.”

That’s when Allen decided to take his talents back to The Bay and enroll at City College of San Francisco, a very successful JUCO program, in search of developing his skills and hopefully being picked up by a larger school.

The plan worked.

After his season as a Ram, Allen, who was dominant at the JUCO level, was receiving offers from virtually every school who caught his film. “I played outside linebacker for a semester at San Francisco,” he said. “After my third game, that’s when I started getting bigger offers.” He was a four-star recruit, ranked as the second best JUCO player in California and the fourteenth best JUCO player in the United States.

Arizona State, Arkansas, Coastal Carolina, Colorado, Michigan State, [*takes a deep breath*] Nebraska, Ole Miss, TCU and Utah – among others – all came calling and offered scholarships. Fairly early in the recruiting process, he initially committed to play at TCU. It was Knoxville, Tennessee, however, that would steal the heart of the coveted recruit.

“I went on a visit and I wanted to play in the SEC,” Allen said. “It’s as close as you can get to the NFL as far as talent. … I wanted to test myself and see if I could play at that level.”

Allen would come to find out that he still had a lot to learn, both on the field and in life, prior to hitting the field at Neyland Stadium.

“It was my first time being on my own,” he recalled, during our phone conversation earlier this week. “San Francisco is close to home, and Davis is really close to where I’m from. I learned how to persevere. When I first got [to Knoxville], I was small. I had to gain weight. The playbook was complex. I didn’t have the knowledge and I wasn’t taught as much in JUCO as you’d need to know in the SEC. … It taught me that I could play at a high level. In practice, I felt like I did pretty good.”

In his first year at Tennessee, Allen played in 9 games for the Vols, mostly on special teams, but he’d impressed the coaches enough that he was about to get some more playing time.

Unfortunately, injuries wouldn’t allow it.

Allen tore his hip flexor prior to his second season in the SEC, preventing him from having a larger impact on the field. “I was the biggest I’d ever been – 250, feeling really good,” he said. “I tore my hip flexor that year before camp. [The coaches] wanted me to rehab, but I had to have surgery a week before camp, so I was out that season with a medical redshirt.”

It was then that Tennessee got some new coaches who would inspire Allen to make his move back to offense, Allen’s true football passion.

“When Tee Martin first got there and when he saw me running and working out, he said, ‘I think you should be a tight end.’ Offense is what I really love to do. I went to Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt and said I wanted to be a tight end.”

This offseason, for reasons that are unclear to Weber State Weekly, Tennessee has had a mass exodus from their tight end group. Three of their tight ends, including Allen, decided to try their luck in the transfer portal. Allen, whose tape is mostly of him as an edge rusher and a special teams player, made it very apparent both in conversations with coaches and on social media that he intends to be a tight end at his new school.

After entering the portal and clarifying his intentions with potential suitors, Allen had narrowed his choices down to either Coastal Carolina or Weber State. He would ultimately go on to choose the Wildcats.

”It’s a winning program,” Allen said. “I want to win games and win championships. It’s a great program. That’s what drew me to it, the opportunity to win games.”

He was also very complimentary of head coach Jay Hill.

“I’ve heard a lot about Coach Hill, he’s a great person and a great coach,” he said.

Allen, who is currently on Weber State’s campus, told us about his first impressions of Weber State, as well. “I love the scenery. The mountains are right by the campus and it’s pretty dope.”

As far as his fit and what he thinks he can bring to the team, Allen mentioned, “I feel like I can get open, I can catch the ball. I’m here to do what the coaches ask and work. I try not to have an ego. Be humble and do what the coaches ask, whatever that is.”

His main recruiter at Weber State was running backs coach, Quinton Ganther, whose area of responsibility for recruiting is California and the Bay area.

After playing a “couple of snaps,” at Tennessee this season, Allen told Weber State weekly that he will not be eligible to play football in the spring, but he does plan on making an impact at Stewart Stadium this fall.

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