Over the course of Marcus Allen’s career at Penn State, he had to play in some pretty hostile territories. From Michigan’s Stadium to Ohio State, Allen had to compete in environments where it was hard to communicate with teammates and everyone in the stands wanted to see him and his team fail.
It was a different feeling for Allen when the Nittany Lions marched into Capital One Field for their regular season ending matchup against Maryland on Nov. 26.
The senior safety stood fiercely on the field as he got a glimpse of Penn State fans flooding the stands while a group of family and friends were joyously yelling “Aye Marcus, Marcus. Chico!”
“It definitely felt like a home game,” Allen, a player filled with emotions, said after beating the Terps 66-3. “Especially since I’m from here.”
Allen–who recorded four tackles in his final regular season game of his career–grew up in Upper Marlboro, Md, which is forty minutes away from the University of Maryland campus. That’s why the victory over the Terps was special to him.
“I was playing for my family, friends, coaches from high school, and my sister, who hasn’t been to one game,” Allen said. “For me to show out for them made me feel good.”
Allen attended Wise High School, where he became one of the top players in the state. Allen was rated a four-star recruit and helped the Pumas win the Maryland 4A Championship during his junior season, where he recorded 70 tackles, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups.
“I love Wise Pumas and Coach [Dalawn] Parrish knows that,” Allen said, looking back at his high school days. “We took over [Prince George’s County] so there’s nothing else to say. We left that standard and they kept it going.”
Allen picked the Nittany Lions over a handful of schools since he believed Penn State was the best fit for him on and off the field.
“Every school has a different fit for a kid,” Allen said. “As far as Penn State, you can’t beat the education, the stadium and the fans. That’s why I went there.”
Allen has seen the rise of Penn State’s football program after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, which placed sanctions on the school. Now that the Nittany Lions have won 10 games in back-to-back seasons, Allen is confident in the team’s progression moving forward.
“To see this program grow from the sanctions and not being apart of bowl games to where we are now is amazing,” Allen said.
The Nittany Lions will have a week off as they figure out which bowl game they will play in next month. During that time, Allen plans to relax and watch NFL games. Something he rarely could do during the season.
“I’m going to catch up on some NFL. When you are in season, you really don’t watch NFL,” Allen said. “I just want to watch some NFL, relax and get a lot of schoolwork done.”
Allen is excited for Wise’s matchup against Quince Orchard in the Maryland 4A State Championship on Friday and wants to make the trip to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Friday.
“Those guys are something serious,” Allen said. “I want to go to the state championship. I haven’t been there in two years.”