The Washington State defense has a few linebackers that are good enough to make an impact of All-Pac-12-Team proportion this season, I think it’s part of what is right now the most underrated front-7 in the conference.
Darryl Monroe, Cyrus Coen, Tana Pritchard and/or Chester Su’a make up what should be an incredibly athletic and active crew, but there are others that could lead the way too, starting with junior Los Angeles product Jeremiah Allison.
Most people know his story, playing for his mother, Allison made the commitment to play at Washington State after she fell into a coma following a heart-attack. After he committed, she passed away in the hospital. Even with the impact of home sickness and all the grief that comes along with that sort of loss, Jeremiah stuck to his WSU commitment with integrity and steadfastness, saying it was the right thing to do and that his mom would have wanted it that way.
The young backer has been a steady presence on special teams since the beginning of his Cougar-career and played in all 13 games as a sophomore last season. He will most certainly be a factor there again in 2014, but I think he’ll really make his impact this year as a backup linebacker, finally seeing the field for 15-20 snaps a game on the defensive side of the ball, or more.
Watching the Spring game again, I noticed something about Allison that stood out, he’s bulked way up this offseason and finally has the size to be a forceful tackler at the major FBS level. In fact he made some hits in the Spring game while playing on the crimson team that were very, very impressive. They weren’t bone-crushing slobber-knockers or anything, but the quickness to arrive at the ball, his tackling form and drive in the legs (most call it explosion factor) was there in droves and he’s one of the hardest working kids on the team.
I really think this will be Allison’s breakout season for the Cougs so keep an eye on this kid. He wears #8 so if you didn’t know, now you know!