This series of articles will break down the Red Raiders roster approaching the 2017 season. Staff members selected their top-15 players currently on the roster and for each one of them, there will be a profile with basic information, videos, and expectations.
Weight: 235 pounds
Hometown: Humble, Texas
Guess who’s back?
You don’t have to be a die-hard fan to know about Dakota Allen and his amazing adventures. In 2015 he emerged as a redshirt freshman with a fantastic season in which he showed blinding talent. He was strong, fast, hard-hitting, with great ball instincts and Red Raiders fans hoped, legitimately, that he would have been the cornerstone of a defense that needed (and needs) this kind of player.
Unfortunately, in June 2016 Allen and two teammates, offensive linemen Robert Castaneda and Trace Ellison, were charged with a second-degree felony count for burglary. The three players were obviously dismissed from the team and Allen went to East Mississippi Community College, known to be the “Last Chance U” of Netflix.
In this context Allen continued to be a productive player and finished 2016 with 117 tackles, two sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery, helping his team to reach an 11-1 record and the Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges (MACJC) Championship. The talent is still there.
After his JuCo season Allen had many offers from FBS schools: among them there are Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Troy, Marshall, and Bowling Green. However, Allen decided to reunite with his former coach Kliff Kingsbury and defensive coordinator David Gibbs and accepted the second chance that Texas Tech gave him.
During spring activities, Allen immediately earned again his former position as a starting linebacker and will line up with another rookie sensation, Jordyn Brooks. Together they are asked to create a unit that can finally be effective and improve the well-known sad numbers of past Red Raiders defenses.
On the field Allen is effective both against the running game and the passing game. He has the innate ability to quickly understand what happens around him and react. He also is very fast to move horizontally along the field and tackle the runner, often for a loss.
Moreover, Allen is athletic and fast enough to follow and cover opposing receivers during their routes, so an offensive coordinator cannot imagine which role he will have in the play, because he can do a lot of things. He also has good hands and ball instincts so he can create turnovers if he is on the ball trajectory.
The hope is that Allen has not lost his skills in 2016, because he is a player we all welcome back with open arms.
Now only one player must be discovered: who will be the first “Viva the Matadors” top player? Your wait will not be long.