Texas Tech football: Dakota Allen invited to NFL scouting combine

LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 31: Dakota Allen
LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 31: Dakota Allen /

Wednesday, former Texas Tech linebacker Dakota Allen was invited to attend the 2019 NFL combine where he will have an opportunity to impress scouts from every NFL team.

One of the most popular players in the history of Texas Tech football, Dakota Allen, has received an invitation to participate in the 2019 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.  This is just the latest step in what has been a truly inspirational journey.

By now, most are aware of Dakota Allen’s winding road.  As a freshman in 2015, he registered 84 tackles and two interceptions ending the year as the Red Raiders’ second-leading tackler and a foundational piece of the rebuilding defense.

But an offseason arrest resulted in his expulsion from the university.  He would land at East Mississippi Junior College where he would be featured on the Netflix documentary series Last Chance U.  

During his time in rural Mississippi, Allen seemed to grow up quite a bit.  He came across as mature and repentant on the series making it easy to root for him to get an opportunity at redemption.

However, few thought that chance would come in Lubbock.  But when his charges were dropped he was welcomed back to the Red Raiders by the university and the athletic department and he made the most of his opportunity.

In 2017, he led Texas Tech with 101 tackles to go along with two interceptions and two sacks.  He had three games of at least 10 tackles including a season-high 13 against Texas and 12 in a sweltering September game against Houston after which he experienced full-body cramping in the locker room.  Following the season, he was named a second-team All-Big 12 honoree.

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In 2018, he was slowed by inures in the final moth of the season.  Despite playing the final three games with a broken hand and a sprained knee, he recorded 61 tackles to bring his career total at Texas Tech to 249.  He once again was named an All-Big 12 linebacker and left Lubbock after one of the most truly uplifting journeys we have seen from a Red Raider football player.

Now, he will have an opportunity to make football his career.  He is projected as a potential mid-round pick but a good performance at the combine could elevate that.

What is not under question is his character and his knowledge of the game.  Allen was one of the smartest players to ever suit up for the Red Raiders and always seemed to be in the right position on the field.

But he must prove to NFL scouts that he is athletic enough to play on Sundays.  His explosiveness, which may be hurt by his knee sprain, will be under scrutiny.   As the NFL continues to morph into a predominantly passing league with teams incorporating more concepts from collegiate spread offenses, Allen must show that he has enough lateral quickness to cover receivers and be a three-down linebacker.

Fortunately, no player in college sports has spent more time practicing and playing against spread offenses.  Perhaps his experience in the top passing league in the nation will help him earn his shot with an NFL team.

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The NFL combine will be held from February 26 – March 4th and will be televised by the NFL Network.  Here’s hoping that Dakota Allen is able to impress NFL teams the way he impressed Texas Tech fans during his career as a Red Raider.