Tim Benz: Penn State transfer Mark Allen shines at Duquesne
An under-the-radar good football story is taking place at Duquesne University.
Penn State transfer Mark Allen was just named NEC Offensive Player of the Week. The running back rambled for 168 yards and two touchdowns during a 35-31 win over Dayton last week.
Brought in as a graduate transfer, Allen was expected to complement All-NEC star A.J. Hines. At 5-foot-7 and 185 pounds, Allen was positioned to provide a change of pace and some relief for the bruising 225-pound Hines.
But Allen has been called upon to carry the burden of the ground attack since Hines was injured in the Dukes’ Week 2 loss at Youngstown State.
Allen has responded with 329 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in his first three games for head coach Jerry Schmitt.
The Maryland native has quite a backstory. He spent much of his time at Penn State on the depth chart behind future NFL star Saquon Barkley. However, Allen totaled 349 yards and four touchdowns on 88 career carries and developed a good reputation as a pass blocker despite his diminutive frame.
LISTEN: Tim Benz talks with Duquesne running back Mark Allen about transferring from Penn State and his strong start with the Dukes
Allen almost gave up the game following the 2018 season thanks to an ACL injury he suffered with the Nittany Lions in September. He tore the other ACL (right knee) in high school.
But after consulting with his family, Allen decided to continue his career on the Bluff.
In Wednesday’s podcast, Allen goes into detail about the decision to continue his career, the depth of his friendship with Barkley and how it has continued beyond State College, and how another former PSU player opened his eyes to the prospect of continuing to play college ball in Pittsburgh.