Ring of Honor Feature: David Allen
Ring of Honor Feature: David Allen
By: Jack Mosimann
Sports Information Student Assistant
“Allen eludes the first Longhorn, gets up field to the 30, Allen to the 40, has some room to midfield, Allen to the 40, Allen down the sideline to the 30, Allen to the 20, 15, 10, 5, touchdown. Oh he did it again!” - Greg Sharpe, former “Voice of the Wildcats” in 1999 against
If you were a star football athlete at
“Outside of football accolades, I really tried to emphasize being a great role model, friend, teammate and helpful individual in the community,” said Allen. “I wanted to be a figure that was easy to talk to and did not shy away from helping others or just signing autographs. To me, I really focused on being a positive person in everyway possible.”
Born on Feb. 5, 1978 in
“I simply felt comfortable - the coaches said all the right things,” said Allen. “Each coach told me I had the opportunity to play immediately. The program was on the rise and I wanted to rise as well; both as a player and a person in front of my family and close to home.”
Allen could not have been more correct when he knew the program was on the rise. During his four years as a player,
“The caliber of our team was by far one of the greatest to ever be displayed,” said Allen. “Climbing to the top of the polls showed we had incredible talent with players like Newman, Gramatica, and Simoneau. The win over
As Allen reflects on the1998 season and looks forward to the 10-year reunion this fall, he realizes how much of an honor it is for he and his teammates to be inducted into the Ring of Honor.
“It is great,” said Allen. “It is unbelievable to know that we will be forever enshrined in K-State history. Every time we walk into the stadium, we will be honored to know our names are hanging throughout the stadium forever. It is truly special.”
Allen also wanted to congratulate each inductee for their great performance and drive to excel on the field and in the classroom. To him, that is what separates the good from the great.
For up and coming stars that want to be like
Allen enters the Ring of Honor as a result of his dodging and escaping tacklers in a fashion that left fans wondering if it was actually Harry Houdini wearing number 32 for the Wildcats.
From 1997-2000, he would shatter special teams records and receive national honors that still hold to this day. In 1997, he was named a second team All-Big 12 punt returner with an average of 13.43 yards per return, the fifth best in school history, including a 70-yard touchdown scamper against
During the 1998 season he was named a consensus All-American by leading the nation in punt returns with a 22.1-yard average. He became the only player in NCAA history to return punts for touchdowns in three consecutive weeks. He concluded the 1998 campaign with four return touchdowns and an astounding school record of 730 yards in punt returns. As a junior in 1999, Allen became an All-American for the second straight year as he returned a Big 12 record and possibly season-saving 94-yard punt for touchdown at
The very next week, he sprinted down the Longhorn’s sideline in
Why was Allen so successful?
John Fabris, special teams coach during Allen’s college career says, “David had a vision for the field and had the wiggle in his running that made people miss so often. He worked so hard and would stay after practice to get better. It was second nature to him. He had that competitive confidence you want in a guy returning kicks as he would tell the blockers to just block and he would run it back.”
Allen gave much of his credit to his other 10 teammates on the field.
“The key to a successful punt return is trust, trust, trust,” said Allen. “The guys up front wanted to block. Everyone on the whole team wanted to be out there blocking because they knew something special was going to happen. The teamwork was phenomenal. It was our bread and butter.”
After his successful career at K-State, Allen had the opportunity to display his immense talent for several teams in the NFL. Currently, he resides in
As for when he thinks the number 32 will be retired at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Allen takes a long laugh and says, “Maybe when I am 70 or 75 years old.”
Check back here at k-statesports.com as the remaining three Ring of Honor inductees will be featured leading up to the 2008 season opener.