Jonathan Allen sacking Michigan State QB, Connor Cook, in the SEC championship game. (Photo Courtesy/University of Alabama Athletic Communications)
Ashburn, VA (January 5, 2016) – This is the first of a series of articles in Viva Loudoun’s College Corner written by its newest team member, Josh Apple. The College Corner will highlight stories of local Loudoun student-athletes competing at the collegiate level.
This first article is a blockbuster starting off with an outstanding athlete and fine young man, Jonathan Allen.
Every young athlete aspires to play at the collegiate level and to contend for national championships. That dream has been realized by Stone Bridge alum and current Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen.
Allen, a 6-foot-3, 272-pound dominant presence for Nick Saban and the Tide, is having a breakout junior season as a pass-rusher. He is pacing perhaps the most dominant defense in the county with 14.5 tackles for loss, including 12 sacks.
He picked up two sacks in the National Semifinal shutout win over Michigan State, his fourth game this season with at least two sacks. His season-high came against Dak Prescott and Mississippi State when he tallied three sacks.
In total, he has 36 tackles and two forced fumbles this season, helping to lead a defense that has only allowed 10.6 points per game since the squad’s early loss to Ole Miss.
Now Allen is just one win away from achieving the highest accomplishment in college sports, the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. The Crimson Tide will face an undefeated Clemson team Monday night at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
His former high school coach, Mickey Thompson, says he eagerly tunes in for the Crimson Tide games and, instead of watching the primary action on the field, he just watches Allen.
“It’s awesome, to see Jon getting interviewed on ESPN, to see him in that kind of light and that kind of exposure, it’s pretty gratifying,” Thompson said.
The 2013 graduate of the Stone Bridge Bulldogs football program had an unusual prep journey.
As a freshman in Ashburn, a slimmer Allen competed as a wide receiver and a defensive back. According to Thompson, he was a good receiver and safety, but was not likely to get much playing time at those positions going into his sophomore year. Allen then bulked up and made the transition to the defensive line, and he never looked back.
“He played with such an intensity that we had to find a place for him,” Thompson said.
Allen went on to set defensive records as a sophomore, earned all-met honors each of his last three seasons, and was named the All-Met Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2012. He then capped off his high school journey by signing with the most storied program in college football, the Crimson Tide.
“We’ve had a lot of good players so I’m never going to put one guy above another, but he’s definitely the top echelon of players we’ve had here,” Thompson said. “The one thing I’ll always remember about him is, we’ve really never had a guy who could take over a game on the defensive side like he could, he could change the whole game, and that’s rare on the defensive side.”
Due to his high level of success, it is likely Allen will declare for the NFL Draft following the national title game on Monday.
If Allen ultimately wins a ring and then lands on an NFL roster, not only would it cement his own legacy, but it would also further glorify the Stone Bridge football program that has done nothing but win and produce high caliber athletes under the reign of Coach Thompson.
“To see him now and to think as a sophomore he didn’t even know how to get in a three-point stance, and now he’s playing for a national championship,” Thompson said. “To think back on those early years, it’s crazy to think about where he is now.”
VivaLoudoun: We Live For Loudoun™
Written by Josh Apple
Special to Viva Loudoun