Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Introducing the class: Jonathan Allen
By Greg Ostendorf
Editor's note: This is a series introducing Alabama's 2013 recruiting class that will run through signing day.
With DeMarcus Walker’s recent switch to Florida State, the commitment of defensive end Jonathan Allen becomes that much more important for Alabama. Allen, ranked No. 40 in the ESPN 150, can play both with his hand down or in space, making him a prime candidate for the Tide’s Jack linebacker position. Last weekend, he participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in Texas.
Q: What made you commit to Alabama?
Allen: I’ve grown up an Alabama fan, so I’ve always wanted to go there. But looking at what Alabama has done, how much they have progressed and matured, it was kind of a clear-cut decision -- Alabama was right for me. Just the mental maturity that all of their players seem to have both on and off the field, it’s something I want to be a part of.
A: It’s been more pressure-free. I don’t have all the coaches trying to talk to me 24/7, so that’s nice. I can just focus on enjoying my senior year. There’s been a lot less pressure on me. I have a lot of new followers on Twitter. I’m just excited to be a part of the Alabama family. It’s truly an honor, and I’m blessed.
Q: When did you first meet Coach Saban? What was that like?
A: When I went down there probably in May, late May or early June, I met him in his office. It’s amazing. I can’t explain it. You’re just sitting there, listening to him talk, and you look at the clock and it’s been an hour. You don’t even realize it because he just has so much to say when he talks. I was just mesmerized by it. I found it so interesting, and I was just so into the conversation. It was pretty incredible.
Q: What’s your favorite Alabama memory to this point?
A: It definitely has to be last year, especially after we beat LSU in the national championship. Just getting revenge because they beat us at our place. That was a tough loss to take. The goal was to go back and beat them in the national championship, and the way we did, that was a pretty special memory.
Q: What’s your goal when you get to Alabama?
A: My goal is just to go out there, compete hard, earn the respect of the players, show them that I’m deserving of being on the field, and I’m going to go from there. I’m going to go out there, try to make a name for myself and we’ll see what happens.
Q: Do you have a favorite play or memory from high school?
A: Definitely the game against Broad Run. Our schools are within a mile of each other, so we’re big rivals. They had us down 24-0 at halftime, and we came back to win 31-30 in overtime. It was just a very special game, and that’s something that I’ll always cherish. I did really well. We had a big goal-line stop where I made three out of four tackles that helped spark the turnaround.
Favorite food: Chicken
Dream car: Dodge Charger
Number at Alabama: 93
Favorite NFL player: LaVar Arrington
Dream vacation: "If I had the choice to go anywhere, I would have loved to have went to the Alabama national championship game last year. I wanted to go to that so bad, more than anything. That would’ve been the highlight of my life."
Hobby: I actually play three instruments. I play the trombone, tuba and piano.
Music before a game: I listen to R&B, something just smooth and calm.