Dakota Allen has an opportunity for redemption, success at Texas Tech

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 03: Seth Russell
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 03: Seth Russell /

Linebacker Dakota Allen has had an interesting college football career, but he returns in 2017 with an opportunity to be a critical component of the defense.

When Dakota Allen was released from the Texas Tech Football team last summer in response to burglary and theft charges, few had expectations of him returning to college football, let alone, to Texas Tech. Now that the star of ‘Last Chance U’ is back in Lubbock, this season of redemption will be the biggest one of his entire life.

Last June, Allen was indicted on second degree burglary after he, and two other former Tech players, robbed a home in Lubbock, where digital cameras, a television set, and a safe with weapons were taken. All the weapons were eventually returned to the owners. In July, Allen entered into an agreement with the District Attorney for pre-trial diversion that included community service.

When it was discovered that Allen was transferring to JuCo powerhouse, East Mississippi Community College last season, it was received to mixed reviews. On one hand, people felt that Allen shouldn’t be allowed another opportunity after the incident, and on the other hand, people felt that if there was one program that could get Allen refocused, it was East Mississippi.

Through two seasons on Netflix, we’ve seen the dynamic of the East Mississippi environment on ‘Last Chance U’. From academic pressure, to the demand for athletic perfection, that route certainly isn’t for everyone, and those whose careers survive the demands, usually find success at their next school.

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Dakota Allen started his career at Texas Tech in 2014 as a redshirt freshmen, and became the second leading tackler on the team. All things considered, he was poised to become a one-man wrecking crew for the Tech defense, which is why the incident was so disappointing for Tech.

According to a recent juxtaposition by Pro Football Focus of 2015 Big 12, 3-4 outside linebackers, Allen was ranked third in run stop percentage. A run stop is the percentage of snaps a defensive player records a stop. In 2015, the Big 12 was led by WVU’s Shaq Petteway (10.2), Oklahoma’s Devante Bond (8.5), Texas Tech’s Dakota Allen (8.1), and Oklahoma’s Eric Striker (6.9).

Texas Tech will face several teams this season that rely heavily on the run game, and if Allen is able to record stops in 2017 that even come close to his percentage in 2015, the defense should be in business.

East Mississippi finished its 2016 season at 11-1, where Allen had 117 tackles, an interception, fumble recovery, five broken up passes, and two sacks.

Allen has an opportunity to bring his experiences to the table, help the younger guys learn from his mistakes, and help coach players with the training he received at East Mississippi. If he takes that leadership role seriously, continues to allow himself to be coached, and keeps trying to become a better man, his season of redemption will be a very successful one.