Penn State Football: Marcus Allen brings to mind another Big Ten thumper

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 01: Rodney Smith /

Penn State football’s hard-hitting safety Marcus Allen seems close to another Big Ten great. Iowa’s Bob Sanders played with a similar reckless abandon.

The safety position features big hits and speedy guys on the backend. But, there’s few players that go all out like Penn State football’s Marcus Allen. He attacks the line of scrimmage with more force than the majority of linebackers. He puts his body into harms way to make plays, and it’s easy to see why he’s so respected in the Big Ten.

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In addition to being a highly regarded player in his conference, Allen brings to mind someone from a rival school in Iowa’s Bob Sanders. The Hawkeyes’ hardcore head hunter made plays all across the secondary. The diminutive (5-foot-8, 205-pound) safety would get under opposing players pads and pulverize them.

Sanders enjoyed contact during his career and Allen seems built in the same mold. Although he doesn’t match Sanders’ smaller size, Allen can still get under receivers and running backs and rock them.

In his three years, Allen leads the team in tackles recording 259 total and 110 in 2016. His physicality and approach the game rivals many linebackers compiling 13 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles.

He’s yet to record an interception, but he’s broken up eight passes and seems to carry decent coverage range. Defenders like Sanders were able to attack with the crown of the helmet, so his highlights are more violent. In the current era, players can’t lead with the head like they used to, but Allen still brings that same fear to offensive players (Video Courtesy of Nittany Nation).

This comparison might seem a little premature considering Sanders put together a nice pro career as well. Just based on his collegiate play, it’s easy to see his style, but Allen also carries a certain level of swagger. His hype-machine styled personality makes him a different breed for sure.

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His career’s gone flown somewhat under the radar so far. In his first two years the team went just 14-12 before the 11-win 2016, so he didn’t have the national exposure. This year he’ll get a chance to solidify his legacy.