This season has been a memorable one for Texas Tech fans. We’ve been given the opportunity to watch the craziness that is a college football season and with that some players that will be lifelong Red Raiders. As we’ve counted down the top 15 performers this season, we’ve been reminded of just how special these players have been.
This now leads us to the top ranked player of the 2017 season -to no one’s surprise-Dakota Allen. Allen came a long way to get back here. We all know about know about his story at East Mississippi Community College, but to see him come back and add this amount of impact has been incredible.
Coming into the season we all hoped he’d bring back the fire and tenacity we saw his freshman year, and he did that and much more.
1. Dakota Allen, LB (Preseason Rank: 2)
Allen became the heart and soul for a defense that ranked dead last in the FBS last year. He was an absolute monster racking up 92 tackles, 12 for loss, and six turnovers forced, as well as leading the defense to a 120 yards per game allowed improvement from last season.
Allen was Tech’s most versatile defender. Stopping the run with 31 solo run stops and creating a no fly zone over the middle, allowing one reception every 22 passing plays. This among other reasons is why Allen was named to the PFF All-Big 12 team.
Allen will use this weekend’s bowl game to eclipse the 100 tackle mark which has only been done once in the past three seasons. This could be a big launching point for next season as 10 of the 11 Tech starters on defense will be back.
It’s highly unlikely Allen will enter early into the draft as he’s rated as the 20th best ILB in the 2019 draft, and not rated whatsoever for 2018. Having another season in Lubbock will not only boost his draft status but likely improve his off the field image.
Year three under David Gibbs and another season with the 806D and could have Dakota Allen not only make multiple PFF teams but also give him a chance to get some real hardware.