Today is the first day that Freshmen can move into their dorms before Purdue's Boiler Gold Rush orientation program. The start of school is right around the corner, and it's weird for me to say this, but I'm actually pretty ready for it. After waking up this morning to it being about 68 degrees back here at home, it also got me ready for some football at Ross Ade stadium. If all Saturdays are as nice as today I think we'll have some pretty stellar attendance.
Our featured player today is, well, a badass. He's a starting corner and has a chance to have a career in the NFL if he keeps playing like he has during his tenor at Purdue. After tying the record for most interceptions returned for touchdowns, I think it's safe to say that we can expect Allen to have another big season.
Ricardo Allen - Jr.
Hometown: Dayton, FL (Mainland HS)
5'9" 186 pounds
2012 projection: starter at cornerback
Ricardo Allen's time at Purdue has been nothing short of impressive. Ever since he set foot onto the campus, he made an impact on this team. His freshmen year he recorded 83 tackles, a sack, 3 picks, where two were returned for touchdowns, and led the Big Ten in total interception return yards with 129. This guys is an animal. I went nuts when he took an interception 94 yards against Michigan that year.
Last year was just as impressive as a season. Allen had 81 tackles, 3 picks and took one back to the house. He's also started every single game since he joined the Boilermakers. If you aren't impressed by Allen's stat line, be impressed with how hard this guy works. He's hands down one of the hardest workers in the Big Ten, with hopes of winning a Heismen before he leaves, which he stated in a tweet last year when he said that he wanted to be like Charles Woodson.
Allen's work ethic is out of this world, which is why he also believes he is the best cornerback in the Big Ten. In an interview with bleacherreport.com, Allen not only says he's the best in the league, but Purdue will also win our division. You have to love Allen's confidence. He has a winner's attitude and is determined to be the best, and make his team better.
This summer, Allen was selected to the Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List. This award goes out to the best defesnive back in the nation, presented by the Jim Thorpe Association. It's not The Heismen, but hey, it's national recognition, and Allen should definitely be proud of that.
Ricardo Allen, along with Kawann Short, will be the anchors to this Purdue defense. I love how Allen has a nose for the ball, but I think I appreciate more that he is a solid tackler. You don't always see corners racking up 80 tackles in a season, yet he's done it every year. I expect Allen to have another solid season where he registers somewhere in the 70-mid 80s I'm tackles. Throw in a couple picks, and big plays like a sack or an INT returned for touchdown, and I think Allen will be an extremely strong candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award.
If you're active on Twitter, make sure to give Allen a follow at @Ricardo21Allen. I think Ricardo is the best in the Big Ten. But hey, I'm biased. Who do you think is the best in the league?