Folks, We Have Ourselves Quite The Player
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Category: Sports > Fall > Football
Not exactly known for hyperbole, Jeff Tedford was true to form on Saturday afternoon.
Cal's head coach made the postgame conference's most obvious statement when lauding Keenan Allen.
"You saw today that he's a very good football player," Tedford said.
Media fodder it wasn't. (Go to Palo Alto or Los Angeles if you want that).
Not that hyperbole was necessary.
After Allen decimated the Aggies for 176 total yards and a pair of scores - all in just over a half of work - there wasn't much else to say.
The true freshman simply belonged on a football field.
Allen looked natural running routes and moving with the ball in his hands. He waited for developing blocks with the patience and vision of a veteran.
Players and coaches witnessed Allen's potential throughout fall training camp, where the Greensboro, N.C. native captured a starting spot in less than a week.
"It was something you could just see," Riley said. "You could just tell he was going to be good."
"He could do just about anything," Tedford said.
Watching him and Andy Ludwig showcase their new receiver on Saturday, the coaches looked more like children playing with a brand new toy.
Allen gave Riley the easiest passing yards of his career, doing all the work on a pair of 45 yard screen passes. But the talented freshman is not restricted to receiving.
He took fly sweeps. He returned a kickoff. He even got the chance to play quarterback, turning a broken receiver pass into an 18-yard, reverse-field touchdown scramble.
More accurately, he could do nothing wrong in his collegiate debut.
The wideout managed to draw cheers on an incompletion - nearly making a remarkable leaping grab on an overthrown deep pass from Riley.
Someday, Allen may lay out for footballs like that as a safety. After all, he was the highest rated player at the position in high school.
For now, it's safe to say that people are happy to see Allen on offense.
"I love, I love it," said wideout Marvin Jones, who now has another 6-foot-3 target to occupy defenders. "Having a guy like that on the other side, it's glorious. I can't even put it into words how happy and appreciative I am."
Indeed, Allen could give the Bears an entirely new all-purpose weapon.
Cal has had tall pass-catchers in the recent past, but often did they make cuts and separate from defenders like Allen did on Saturday?
The Bears saw plenty of speed on the outside when Lavelle Hawkins, Robert Jordan, and DeSean Jackson were around. But did either of them tower over opposing cornerbacks, or take several tacklers to drag down?
Of course, there's the giant caveat: Allen's performance came against a visibly overwhelmed and undersized FCS school.
(When your fullback hurdles defenders, and your second string quarterback equals the opposing team's total, that's usually a telling sign of a mismatch).
People will find about a lot more about Allen once he faces a BCS opponent on Saturday.
And are they ever excited to see what happens.
Love Ed like you love Keenan Allen at email@example.com.
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