Outside the Huddle and Blitz are counting down who they feel are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2021 season.
Our highest preseason honor, the third-annual First Eleven profiles the top players (in the mind of OTH) entering this fall.
No. 4: DE/TE DJ Allen, senior, Leo
The fun thing about numbers is that sometimes, they really do lie. That is the case when it comes to DJ Allen, the Leo Lion senior. His numbers from 2020 are far from gaudy. In fact, he registered 18 tackles, seven assists and three sacks as Leo marched to a Northeast 8 Conference title.
In June, the powerful multi-sport athlete committed to continue his football career at Rutgers after watching his recruiting really soar over the past 12 months. That soar in his recruiting saw him ranked as high as the 15th best player in the state of Indiana according to 247 sports.
Because those numbers, they really do lie for DJ Allen. His aggressive nature has really picked up during his career and he has become one of the most physically imposing players in the area while he has grown into one of the most physically dominant players too. Allen has put on around 30 pounds of mass and muscle since last fall and when you are 6-foot-7 that mass helps a lot. Yet, he is still very explosive off the edge where his presence and athleticism helps push opposing offenses away from him allowing Leo to better control things when they are on defense.
An underrated trait of Allen’s is high level of intelligence whether it is in the classroom or in an athletic competition. He makes tremendous reads and decisions.
COACH’S QUOTE ON DJ ALLEN
“DJ is one of the hardest workers that we have had in our program. The work he has put in as both an athlete and football player over the past four years has been outstanding. He is a physical football player who plays with incredible effort whenever he is on the field. We are excited to see what he can do this year.” – Leo coach Jared Sauder