Hard Work Has Paid Off for Dwayne Allen

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For 6-4, 230-pound tight end Dwayne Allen , the climb to becoming a top football player really started in the offseason before his sophomore season. The Terry Sanford (Fayetteville, N.C.) star, knowing he would be a starter his sophomore year, put in the time to be as prepared as possible for his new role. Now, as a senior, he has turned himself into one of the top tight end recruits in the country.

After averaging 22 yards per catch last season as a junior, Allen put in the time this offseason to improve his strength and speed.

“I worked hard in the weight room pretty much everyday during the offseason,” said Allen. “The thing I had to work on the most was my running style. There was a lot of wasted motion. I did some yoga to improve my flexibility. I went to a running camp. I learned a lot of neat things, increased my lateral speed and my burst.”

The hard work has paid off.

“I’m having the season I prepared for,” said Allen, who has tallied 31 receptions for 358 yards and three touchdowns this year. He has also has a 76-yard kick-off return for a touchdown. “I worked hard during the offseason. I made the Shrine Bowl and the ESPN All-American game. I’m just blown away by the opportunity to play in either. Being able to be recognized as one of the top players in the country is an honor. I’m grateful for everything.”

Whenever this season comes to an end – Sanford is 6-5 heading into the first round of the playoffs this Friday – Allen will begin to prepare thoroughly for his freshman season in college.

“I want to be the best,” Allen said. “I will definitely turn up the intensity in my workouts. The hardest workouts I ever had in my career happened the summer after my freshman year, going into my sophomore year knowing I would be starting. I want to surpass those workouts and try to get myself ready and in position to where if I have the option to play early, I can do it.”

Exactly where Allen will play next year is a question. He originally committed to Georgia last December, but he is now open to other schools. Virginia Tech is one of those programs. Allen visited Blacksburg for Tech’s last home game against Boston College and he plans to return next weekend.

“I’m taking an official visit to Virginia