East Mississippi Community College linebacker Dakota Allen returns home. That’s the headline, I think, and it’s a story that has a redemption ring to it depending on how things work out for the next two years.
School: East Mississippi C.C. (Scooba, MS)
Offers: Bowling Green, Troy, Texas Tech
Recruiting Services: Rivals | 24/7 Sports | Scout | ESPN
Cumulative Ranking: 0.8517
Yesterday, Allen tweeted out (his account is private, so I didn’t have access to it as I don’t follow him): “I have decided to finish what I started at Texas Tech. Blessed for a second opportunity to play football again. #GunsUp”
— Chris Level (@ChrisLevel) December 17, 2016
If you want a good recap of the events surrounding Dakota Allen, LAJ’s Don Williams has you covered, but essentially, Allen, Trace Ellison and Robert Castaneda broke into a house, stole a gun safe and then sold the guns (all guns were eventually recovered). All three individuals entered into a plea agreement with the D.A.’s office for community supervision in exchange for dismissal of any charges. Allen transferred to East Mississippi C.C.
When Allen went to EMCC I pretty much wrote him off. Not as a person, but at the prospect of him or any of the other players returning to Texas Tech. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has had no problems suspending or kicking players off of the team for violation of team rules and stealing guns seemed like something that Kingsbury wouldn’t budge from that dismissal. But here we are, Allen gets his second chance and we find out that Kingsbury does exhibit some sort of emotion. I’ve written this before, but I’ll write it again, after Allen was arrested, I had two people email me out of the blue to let me know the type of person that Allen is, that he’s a good person and this was completely out of character from the Allen that they knew. That’s pretty rare to get that sort of out of the blue email for me, in fact, it’s never happened other than with Allen. I’ve received plenty of emails about the bad things that players do, but not this way.
At EMCC, recorded 117 tackles, about 9.8 tackles per game, 2 sacks, 1 interception and 3 tackles for a loss this past year. EMCC went 11-1 on the year and Allen had double-digit tackles in 5 of those games and 9 or more tackles in 8 of them.
Just watching the video, you can see that Allen is exactly what he’s supposed to be, a middle linebacker and he plays it very well. He looks a bit lighter, but he’s making plays all over the field, time and time again. That’s 15 minutes of tackles and making plays.
The linebacking corps looks as solid as ever, with Jordyn Brooks, Allen, D’Vonta Hinton (still on the team, but didn’t play at the end of the year), Tony Jones, Johnathan Picone and Brayden Stringer with Riko Jeffers on the way.
One other interesting note. Notice the other two offers that Allen had. Bowling Green and Troy. Mike Jinks and Neal Brown. Two coaches that know Allen. I hope it works out for him because if it does, then the linebacking unit is one of the best that’s we’ve seen in quite some time.