MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Sophomore Earl Allen, who just graduated from East Los Angeles College, has accepted a full-ride scholarship to Sam Houston State University to play football and to complete his bachelor’s degree.
“Earl Allen is another that is a phenomenal player,” said Bobby Godinez, ELAC Athletics Director and head football coach. “He started his college career with a few bumps at Citrus College, turned the corner and honed in on his academics. Football is natural to him. He’s another kid who will play Division I football and he will be very successful and continue to play for a long time.”
With multiple offers on the table, including DI schools, Allen said he based his decision on what the program offered him. He said that after talking to coaches and players, “It wasn’t about the bells and whistle or the prettiness, it was about the education along with how I would fit in their program,” he said. “The type of leadership they’re looking for from me and the type of physical player they want me to bring to the field helped with my decision. I felt like I fit in with their program, especially with what they’re looking to accomplish.”
Sam Houston State is a national NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision powerhouse team. The Bearcats finished 12-2 last season and No. 3-ranked in the final FCS Coaches Poll. Today, the Southland Conference voted the Bearcats as its preseason favorite. Sam Houston, according to its football Twitter page, is one of five football NCAA FBS, FCS, DII scholarship football programs in the country that have won 11 or more games in the last four years including Alabama and Ohio State.
Allen will begin playing with the team in several weeks. “The coaches want me to play center and they run a pro-style offense and are all about winning,” said Allen. “Also, they are about translating players to the NFL -- working you out for the NFL draft if you’re good enough to be in the next level.”
While at ELAC, the 6-foot-2-inch, 285-pound outside linebacker was named to the Southern California Football Association American Division Metro League First Team Offense as a unanimous selection. He is also a scholar athlete who earned a 3.1 GPA in the Fall during football season.
According to their football website, Sam Houston draws big crowds with games televised on ESPN-3 and Fox Sports. The large fan base excites Allen. “I’m excited and ready to walk into a stadium in front of big crowds, thousands. I’ve never done that before,” said Allen. “Sam Houston fans and their student section go crazy for their football team. The town shuts down for football because it’s Texas football.”
Allen says his transfer as a freshman to ELAC was the best move for him. “I thank ELAC for everything that they did,” he said. “They have a very good football program going on, very good structure with the coaches and President Martinez, the administrators as well as the counselors who kept me on track to graduate, and continue to make it a great place to get an education.”
“Anybody who’s going through the JC route should check ELAC out. It could be the best fit for them,” said Allen. “Especially because their priority is getting you to the next level to play football.” The Huskies football program has transferred more than 50 players to four-year institutions, including a few NCAA Division I transfers, since Godinez took over the helm two years ago.
Allen says he performs best under the pressure of a challenge. “As a goal, I study hard on-and-off the field,” he said. In a big game against rival Pasadena City College, with both teams in the race for a Metro League title, Allen played the right tackle on the offensive line. “Pasadena had one of the best defensive ends in the league and when he first came on my side, for two back-to-back plays, I pancaked him and put him on his back,” said Allen. “They never put him back on my side. I never saw him the rest of the game.”
“My major is Business Management,” said Allen. “My goals after earning a bachelor’s are to play football at the next level and I’m going to eventually own a business.” Allen uses his favorite quote as motivation “Anything is possible, even the word impossible says I’m possible.”
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