From the scout team to standout, Harlan’s David Allen is a good example of just how far you can go with hard work and dedication.
“David is just a good kid. He has put in a lot of work. He used to run scout team for us and worked his way up through the ranks,” said Harlan coach J.B. Donahue.
The senior receiver receiver is now one of the top playmakers for the Green Dragons, and will end his career as one of the school’s top pass-catchers. In the last four seasons Allen has compiled some of the best receiving numbers in Harlan history, with over 100 receptions for more than 1,100 yards and 17 touchdowns.
“David is real steady. He may not have the flash that some kids do, but he is steady. He always runs good routs and gets open,” Donahue said.
With the graduation of Vince Bianchi, Allen has been the focal point of opposing secondaries throughout the season.
“Everybody was focused on Vince (Bianchi) last year and that helped to open me up. This year, if teams worry about me more then Eric (Young) is going to do his job, and if they worry about Eric then I will do what I did last year,” Allen said.
However, with more than 500 yards and six touchdowns through the air, Allen has continued his success despite the extra attention.
“He has handled being the no. 1 threat really well. He is always open and does the right thing. I think Ty (Saragas) just has a comfort with him,” Donahue said.
If Allen’s work ethic isn’t his biggest strength, it is likely his size. At 6-3, the wide receiver has a unique combination of size, speed and athleticism that make him a matchup problem for opposing defenses.
“Because of his size, you can throw some up to him and he goes and gets them. He is a rare athlete,” Donahue said.
“I used to be the shortest kid. I hit a growth spurt and got used to it and got in a groove. It has helped a lot,” Allen added.
On the defensive side of the ball, Allen has been a standout in the Dragon’s secondary in recent years, but has helped to fill a void at outside linebacker this season.
“David has done anything that we have asked of him. He has moved around defensively from playing in the secondary to playing some linebacker this year. He has been a big threat rushing the other team’s passer off of the edge,” Donahue said.
Allen and the Green Dragons will open the state playoffs Friday at home against Lynn Camp.