Brian Allen Selected by Los Angeles Rams in Fourth Round
Spartans are one of only three programs in the FBS to have a player selected in the NFL Draft every year since 1941.
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State center Brian Allen was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth round (No. 111 overall) of the 2018 National Football League Draft on Saturday, April 28.
Michigan State is one of just five schools to have had at least one player chosen every year since the inception of the common NFL Draft in 1967. In addition, at least one Spartan has been selected in the NFL Draft since 1941, the third-longest streak in the FBS (78 straight).
Allen is the third offensive lineman to be drafted under head coach Mark Dantonio (offensive tackle Jack Conklin, first round in 2016 by Tennessee; offensive guard Donavon Clark, seventh round in 2016 by San Diego).
"We're very excited for Brian Allen and his family," said Dantonio. "He enjoyed incredible success here at Michigan State, both individually and as a leader on our football team that won a lot of games during his career. The characteristics that define Brian are perseverance, grit and intelligence. He is a very powerful, tough minded and confident player with the right mentality to succeed as an offensive lineman in the NFL. He was well-coached and developed at several positions by (offensive line coach) Mark Staten, and was one of the finest centers in all of college football. Brian was really the Rams' second pick in the draft, so that shows you how highly they value him as an organization.
"Michigan State will forever be represented in the NFL, and we're excited that Brian is the latest to join a long line of Spartans to play at the highest level of football."
"This was one of my top-30 visits and I came away from there with a pretty good feeling and I felt the feelings were mutual between me and the coaching staff," said Allen. "I'm just really excited to have the opportunity to get out there...(I'm) kind of overjoyed right now with all the emotions."
In his first year as the full-time starting center in 2017, Allen anchored a young Spartan offensive line and helped lead MSU to a 10-3 overall record and No. 15 final ranking in The Associated Press Poll. He was the highest graded Spartan offensive lineman and led the team in snaps (977), knockdowns (98) and dominators (23). Allen finished the regular season ranked the No. 6 center in the FBS by Pro Football Focus. A four-time Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week honoree, Allen was also named Spartan Offensive Lineman of the Week on four occasions.
The Hinsdale, Illinois, native started 38 games during his four seasons in East Lansing, including a team-best 28 consecutive to close out his career, as part of a total of 51 games played. A three-time All-Big Ten honoree, he earned second-team honors from the coaches and media at center in 2017, and was also a second-team All-Big Ten selection at guard as a junior (media) in 2016 and as a sophomore in 2015 (coaches and media).
In addition to his impressive on-field resume, Allen was just as successful in the classroom. He was named a semifinalist in 2017 for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is widely known as the "Academic Heisman," and also the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Class. Allen, an economics major, was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and was named to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2018.
Voted a team captain in 2017, Allen helped lead the Spartan senior class to a 36-16 record from 2014-17, including two bowl wins (2014 Cotton, 2017 Holiday), one Big Ten Championship (2015) and one College Football Playoff appearance (2015). The 36 wins are sixth most by a class in school history. Following his highly successful collegiate career, Allen started in the East-West Shrine Game in January and participated in the NFL Combine in March.
The following transcript is from a media teleconference with Brian Allen
On if he had any sense that the Rams would be interested in him...
"Yeah, absolutely. This was one of my top-30 visits and I came away from there with a pretty good feeling and I felt the feelings were mutual between me and the coaching staff. I'm just really excited to have the opportunity to get out there."
On what he thinks he can bring to the Rams...
"Just a tough, hard-nose working guy, who's going to do his job and do what's expected of him. Just looking forward to getting out there again. Kind of overjoyed right now with all the emotions."
On the Rams having veteran C John Sullivan and if he thinks he will be mentored or if expects to play right away...
"I'm open to whatever they expect in me. But, at the same time, being a guy from the Midwest, seeing John Sullivan play for the (Minnesota) Vikings all these years, he's someone who I've always looked up to. So, to be able to be in a room with him and be able to learn from a guy who's shown that he can play at the level he has, for as long as he has is something pretty incredible for me. Just to have that opportunity to be in there and be able to learn from him. I definitely will be picking his brain, as long as I don't annoy him too much. So, I'm excited to be under study of him."
On if his brother, Jack Allen assisted him with the entire process prior to the draft...
"Yeah, I was there in 2015 when it was his day and the call never came, so I kind of had that situation and scenario going in my mind if that was going to happen or not. But, honestly, I was telling my agent that I think the Rams are going to take me. I think this is where it's going to be. He's actually giving me a hug right now. This was kind of my gut feeling, but I didn't want to have my expectations too high. Once I was getting a call from Thousand Oaks, I didn't know if they were just calling me to mess around or what, but I was pretty excited."
On where he's spending his time at for the draft...
"I'm from Hinsdale, Illinois, it's a suburb right out of Chicago. So, I'm here with my family right now. Just us and my agent."
On what his family's reaction was when he got the call from the Rams...
"I was on the phone and I was giving my older brother a fist bump. We were outside and he immediately went into my parents and they didn't really know what was going on, so he started pointing at the T.V. I don't think they still understand what's going on. Everyone is excited. I'm not lying when I was saying that we thought this was going to be the spot since the beginning, so I'm glad it came to fruition."
On if he had spent much time in California, or Los Angeles besides his visit to meet the team...
"My first time in California was actually the bowl game, we played in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego this year, so that was my first trip out there. My second was when I visited the Rams. Haven't been out in the sunshine out there too much, but the weather is definitely a little better than Chicago this time of year."
On how he would describe his comfort level with guard compared to center...
"Yeah, in college that's really all I played until this last season, so I feel just as good at left guard, as I do right guard and just as good at those positions as I do center. I've taken a lot of reps there and feel that I can play that position too if need be."
-- Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) April 28, 2018
-- Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) April 28, 2018