Sunday Sports Night feature: Braelon Allen
The Fond Du Lac HS star and future Badger is a man child whose play speaks volumes
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - It won’t be long until Fond du Lac senior safety/running back Braelon Allen will be wearing the red and white of the Wisconsin Badgers. Allen who just turned 17 in January, re-classified as a senior so he would join the Badgers football team sooner.
“Honestly, I thought I was ready physically. I was willing to put in the work in the classroom to be able to have the credits to graduate this year. I just thought it was best for me and my future to get there as early as possible and hopefully make an early impact,” Allen said.
The highly touted recruit is ranked as the third best recruit in the state according to 247 Sports and 216th in the nation. At 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds nicknames “workout machine” and “man child” are being thrown around online.
Videos of Allen in the weight room have gone viral. Last November when he was just 16 years old, his video power cleaning 405 pounds has more than 6-thousand likes. But it’s also his play on the field that grabbed the attention of schools throughout the nation.
“I just think it’s funny that everyone finds it so crazy,” Allen said. “To us and our weight room -- we have a lot of strong guys so that’s pretty normal but it’s pretty cool to get that attention.”
Allen started lifting after his freshman year, crediting good genetics, taking his nutrition seriously and hark work.
“I’ve lived in the weight room since I started coming to school here. I talk to a lot of freshmen -- they ask me what’s the secret? There’s no secret. It’s just be dedicated . Put in the work,” Allen said. He’s had offers from Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame according to 247 Sports.
Instead deciding to commit to Wisconsin last July.
“When I took my visit [to Wisconsin] it felt like home. I didn’t see the point in waiting to make a decision,” Allen said.
The senior will start at safety on defense and play running back on offense though that role will depend on the coaches’ gameplan. Wisconsin hasn’t nailed down what position Allen will play next year with the Badgers.
“I’m good with doing anything or everything. If they want me playing safety, I can do that. Linebacker. I can do that. Right now, we don’t really know how big I’m going to be. It’s kind of a waiting, guessing game right now,” Allen said.
Following the spring season, Wisconsin’s coaches will determine where he’ll play after watching his film.
“It’s nice to have. Even for seven games it’s going to be nice to have. He’s a great player. We are going to use him on both sides of the ball,” Fond du Lac Head Coach Steven Jorgensen said. “We got guys playing both ways -- that’s how we do things here. He’s going to play safety and he’s going to be all over the field on offense but it’s about the team. Obviously we highlight our best players and find ways to get them the ball. We would be stupid not to.”
Fond du Lac was one of the 127 schools in Wisconsin opting to play in the spring season.
“It means a lot of be back out here with my brothers,” Allen said. “We weren’t sure if we were going to play. So just being able to have that opportunity to get a season in.”
The Cardinals have high expectations this season.
“Our expectation this year was to win the State Championship. We didn’t have that opportunity so the goal stays the same. Win every game. Dominate every game. Don’t take our foot off the gas. Prove that we would have been the best this fall,” Allen said.
“We expect to win. We talk about winning in this program,” Jorgensen said. “We don’t shy away from that and we got a strong senior class coming back. We are not here just to play exhibition games. We are here to send a message that we believe we are the best team and if I said anything different these guys would be mad at me. They are here to win. They are here to compete and that’s what we are all about.”
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