Allen grows as defensive lineman, remains humble (and more)

Allen grows as defensive lineman, remains humble (and more)

Despite his superman move during Alabama’s Week 9 beating of Texas A&M, defensive lineman Jonathan Allen doesn’t have a cape.

The 6-foot-3, 291-pound beast flew – so much so that he was literally parallel to the ground – over an offensive lineman to sack Aggies quarterback Trevor Knight.

“I didn’t see the play until after the game,” linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said. “When I watched it, I was like, man, he looks like a freak of nature, which he is.”

It was no big deal to Allen, though. He just shrugged it off and moved on.

In retrospect, it wasn’t Allen’s first sack. He has actually recorded 6.5 sacks for a loss of 53 yard. He has an additional team-high 10 quarterback hurries, too.

“Honestly, anything that happens on the field is all a reaction,” Allen said. “You don’t have time to really think about it too much because of the speed of the game.”

Allen’s reactions must be spot on then because others are noticing his talents. Important people, too.

On Monday, the senior was named one of the 18 semifinalists for the Maxwell Trophy, an award given to the nation’s best player. His name has also been tossed around in recent Heisman Trophy talk.

“JA, he’s a very good defensive lineman,” Hamilton said. “He can do so much. Great pass rusher, great against the run. I would say he has my vote.”

Much like with the superman comments, Allen ignores all of the award possibilities. He even said the Heisman talk is irrelevant to him; he just wants to win a national championship.

“He doesn’t want to talk about,” tight end O.J. Howard said. “He’s a humble guy, and you can see why. He knows he’s doing a great job, and we tell him, but he’s a humble guy and that’s good for him.”

Through eight games, Allen is already just one notch short of the 36 total tackles he had last season.

During the offseason, he worked on his consistency and leadership abilities. He feels like a more complete player this time around, but there’s still room for improvement.

“This year, he’s having to play in all phases of the game and has done really well, whether we’re playing against a running team or whether he’s been called upon to pass run or whatever it’s been,” coach Nick Saban said.

That includes scoring two defensive touchdowns. He recovered a fumble to score against Ole Miss and Texas A&M.

Wherever Allen is, big plays tend to follow.

“Honestly, there is no way to explain it,” Allen said. “I am just out there doing my job would be the best way I can describe it.”

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SABAN’S MONDAY PRESS CONFERENCE:

  • The Crimson Tide had the weekend off after its first bye week of the season. It was also UA’s fall break.
  • Saban looks at LSU as undefeated, which it is with coach Ed Orgeron who took over after former coach Les Miles was fired four games into the season. The Tigers’ overall record is 5-2.
  • As for LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Saban called him “one of the most dynamic running backs that has played in college football for awhile.”
  • Alabama offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor (concussion) practiced some on Monday. Saban said, “We’re kind of allowing him to do what he can, and we’ll take it day to day.”
  • Since Eddie Jackson is out with a season-ending injury (broken leg), Saban said Minkah Fitzpatrick has been working at safety to fill the void. Except, “We haven’t made any decisions for sure on how we’ll go there” on replacing Jackson.

A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA:

  • Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher said he dressed up as former teammate Ryan Kelly for Halloween. He wore Kelly’s jersey and everything. Then, there’s Hamilton who said he went as himself for the holiday.
  • There’s also this:

“I don’t know if somebody is trying to tell me something or what,” Saban said.

OTHER PLAYER INTERVIEWS:

Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson on Tuesday:

Offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher on Monday:

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