Jason Allen was tempted to jump to the NFL following his junior season of Tennessee but didn’t. It appeared that decision might prove costly when he suffered a dislocated hip midway through his senior season with the Vols. Some NFL teams viewed him as a health risk but he worked hit butt off, ran a 4.39 forty at the Combine and wound up being selected by the Miami Dolphins in Round 1 of last month’s draft.
Allen always exhibited a rare combination of athleticism, toughness and football skills. Often overlooked were his maturity and leadership skills. Those showed through in a recent interview with DolphinDigest.com, as Allen talked about helping teach UT’s younger defensive backs while rehabilitating his injured hip. He also discussed former Vol teammate Gerald Riggs, who is trying to make Miami's roster as a free agent.
Here’s what Allen had to say on those two topics:
Q. Did you gain a new perspective while you were sidelined with a hip injury at the end of your senior season at Tennessee?
A. “I think I did. I learned. That's one reason I wanted to come back for my senior year, for the experience. I had to be a teacher in a way and at the same time learn a lot of things being on the sideline.”
Q. You're somewhat of a draftnik, so can you give us the scouting report on former Tennessee teammate and Dolphins rookie free agent signee Gerald Riggs Jr.?
A. “Gerald he's a big back, he's not a scatback so to speak. He's a guy who runs north and south; he can run you over. Every now and then he can give you moves. Me playing against him (in practice), I really got a good scouting report on him. He's a good running back, he's just got to continue doing a good job."