In three years of crushing heads, Dunedin’s Brenton Allen has followed a remarkably ascendent career path. • Since becoming a starting middle linebacker, he has developed into the Falcons’ most important defensive presence, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound bruiser with the tiptoe finesse of a ballerina.
Allen can stop the run with his size and cover the pass with speed and grace. He is a football aberration, too big to do the many things he somehow does.
Now, Allen will be asked to do even more.
The Falcons are having their most formidable player line up at tight end and may have him play some at fullback.
“I was able to get bigger, stronger and faster,” Allen said. “I gained about 20 pounds this offseason. Mostly, I just ate. But I lifted a lot, too.”
Allen, who led Dunedin in tackles last season, has generated some interest from colleges and could get his first offer this week when the Falcons host their spring game Thursday against Seminole.
“I’ve been getting some interest from schools like Bowling Green, Western Kentucky, Wake Forest and Iowa State,” Allen said. “I know I’m close to getting an offer. I just have to be patient and wait. I’m just looking to dominate and help our team win.”
Canterbury coach Bill Jones was quietly optimistic heading into Saturday’s spring game against Orlando Life Christian Academy. Since then he is even more optimistic. Canterbury romped 54-0 and led 46-0 at halftime. Running behind an offensive line that returned every player, Sammy Faucette gained 119 yards on seven carries and scored three touchdowns, all in the first half.
Quarterback Alex Nestor made his first start and completed both of his passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Running backs Hunter Coia and Jeremy Rivera each gained 89 yards on six carries and scored.
“Our offensive line was awesome,” Jones said. “I was very pleased with our effort for being such a young team.”
Canterbury was 4-6 last season.
All roads lead to Lakewood
Since spring practice began more than two weeks ago, Lakewood’s Cory Moore has been part head coach, part host. Moore said including Tuesday’s practice, 79 college coaches have found their way on campus.
“They aren’t all Division I, there are also Division II and III schools, but they’re still schools,” Moore said.
Most have come to see Isaiah Wynn, a 6-foot-3, 285 pound lineman who has over 30 offers, the latest being Miami and Mississippi State.
But Lakewood has talent all over this spring. Moore said Andrew and Adrian Davis, rising senior receivers who are 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, are getting a lot of interest. They are the leading candidates to replace Rodney Adams and Marquez Valdes.
Defensive back Brujoun Bonner (6-3, 190), safety Albert Laskett (6-0, 185 and a Gibbs transfer), athlete Tyrae Boykins (5-9, 165), athlete Jocqui Ellison (6-0, 170), tight end/linebacker Darquez Watson (6-4, 225), linebacker Oshario Mitchell (6-1, 180), safety Patric Jones (5-10, 190 and a Gibbs transfer) and defensive back Benjamin Bryant (6-2, 185) are other players Moore said have attracted college scouts in droves.
There are several other underclassmen who could make Lakewood the best team in the area. Quarterback Tyrell Hubbard-Smith is a Northeast transfer who is practicing with the first team. He will likely replace Tracy Johnson, although Ellison could get some snaps as well. Then there is massive rising junior offensive lineman Nyquel Alexander (6-7, 412), who will play on the right side opposite Wynn.
“We’ve got about 700 pounds just on the right side,” Moore said. “Offensive line is going to be our strength.”
The Spartans don’t play a spring game until May 31 at Miami Washington. Until then, more coaches are sure to make their way to south St. Petersburg.
Photo: Dunedin's Brenton Allen
Compiled by staff writers Bob Putnam and Rodney Page.