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QB Jared Allen article

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QB Jared Allen article

Allen, like program, is stronger
By Dave George

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, August 26, 2004

BOCA RATON ? Howard Schnellenberger loves to speak of his foundational players at Florida Atlantic, the 15 remaining pioneers who signed on in 2000 before there actually was a football team, or a field house, or even the promise of games to be played in their first year on campus.

"These guys will be immortalized in word and song and videotape," Schnellenberger said recently, having just shut off an FAU promotional tape that was blaring away on his office television. "I'm going to see to that."

It's a nice thought, really, the best a grateful coach can do for a group of fifth-year seniors who are precluded from post-season play and conference title consideration. All that comes later in the Owls' wild-eyed race from zero to Division I-A status. All that comes after the program's cornerstone player, quarterback Jared Allen, has played his last and headed home to Oklahoma, a place where FAU football doesn't even rate a small-type scoreline on the day of a Sooners game.

"I was excited for them when Oklahoma won the national championship in 2000," said Allen, who spent that season trying to fire himself up for 10 Saturday afternoon scrimmage games in the company of walk-ons because the start-up FAU program still was a year away from actual competition. "I thought it was cool. I knew a couple of guys on that team."

There were, however, a few things he didn't know. Was he, an all-state passer from the suburbs of Oklahoma City, fooling himself in believing he had a shot at the one quarterback scholarship coach Bob Stoops gave out that year? Was Hunter Wall, the lanky Texan who got it, really that much better? Finally, was this late and somewhat desperate decision to latch on with the Owls, college football's ultimate kiddie corps, a waste of time and maybe even a promising career?

All these doubts were doubled when Allen, already one full year into the FAU experiment, had to call the coin flip that Schnellenberger chose to decide which Owls quarterback would start the program's inaugural game against Slippery Rock. That he lost the flip does nothing to sour the story, for Jared Allen has started 33 of FAU's 34 games since, and either won or shared the team's MVP award as a freshman, a sophomore and a junior.

"What we've done here, it wouldn't have happened without Jared," said Schnellenberger, who in three seasons had the Owls in the Division I-AA national semifinals. "He saw an image of a dream an old man laid out in front of him, and he wasn't too sure that dream would come true. His leadership has been squeaky clean, and that's a real compliment in this day and time."

Remember Hunter Wall, the kid who Stoops chose over Allen, the blue-chipper who canceled a campus visit to Miami when he decided on the Sooners? He flamed out at Oklahoma, eventually moving from quarterback to tight end and ultimately getting kicked off the team altogether after being charged with second-degree burglary and marijuana possession. Not enough to build a team around there.

Allen, who celebrates his 23rd birthday today as a fifth-year senior, only seems to grow taller, sturdier, greater. Schnellenberger expects him to be drafted in the second or third round by some savvy NFL team. Of course, that's just Howard shooting the moon, as he always does. Still, there is such a vital and symbiotic relationship between the white-haired coach and the sure handed quarterback that the least we can do is say wait and see.

Wait and see what Allen does Sept. 4 at Hawaii, where an extreme long shot Heisman Trophy candidate named Timmy Chang is the opposing quarterback. Wait and see if Allen has some of that long ago thunder that beat Bethune-Cookman in FAU's second game ever, or even a flash of the last-year lightning that produced a 62-yard touchdown pass to beat Middle Tennessee State as time expired.

Chances are it will be much tougher than that as FAU steps up to a schedule including six Division I-A opponents and seven games on the road. After enjoying 37 career touchdown passes, however, and enduring 41 sacks last season alone, Allen no longer frets over the chain of events that brought him to Boca Raton, or the down-to-the-soul soreness that marked the 2000 season, the one without games, the one seemingly without gains.

"I wouldn't have played at Oklahoma back then, not when I was young," Allen said. "I feel like I've progressed, though. I don't think that's too big a brand of football for me to play."

Spoken like an immortal, Schnellenberger might say, and with echoes the coach will summon for years to come.


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QB Jared Allen article

Solid article by a solid columnist.

I remember that first season when Jared looked lost…he would just toss up passes for db's to feed on. Those were painful days I tell you, and we all knew that Jahn wasn't the answer.

Jared has proved that he deserved the starting job all along and that play against MTSU last year will always live in my memory.

Now if only Schnelly would stop dreaming about Jared getting drafted……
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QB Jared Allen article

I noticed that line about Jared getteing drafted too. I say he really need to have a GREAT year his senior year. Then he may get a free agent look because Schnelly does have a history with successful Pro QB's.
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QB Jared Allen article

I'd just be stoked if he lit up timmy chang sept 4th……..sunday sportcenter would be all over that.
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QB Jared Allen article


I'd just be stoked if he lit up timmy chang sept 4th……..sunday sportcenter would be all over that.

I'd be so pumped up! I'd probably swim all the way back to Floriida.
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QB Jared Allen article

you got to love it when FAU gets more coverage then the other three in the college football section of the post :).

as for pumping jared up that he might go pro, i don't have a problem with that. part of the job.
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