View Full Version : Cornerback Cortez Allen soldiers on

08-27-2011, 05:46 PM
I'm afraid that Cortez Allen will get claimed if we try to place him on the practice squad ala Thaddeus Gibson...

Cornerback Allen soldiers on

Thursday, August 25, 2011
By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com


Citadel defensive back Cortez Allen impressed the Steelers enough at the NFL combine earlier this year to warrant being drafted in the fourth round.

PITTSBURGH -- As a cadet at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, Cortez Allen did his share of marching.

As one of 2,000 undergraduates, he’d put on his uniform each day and experience college life — military style.

While majoring in Health and Wellness, he learned about character, service, discipline, leadership and all the other qualities required of men and women who attend The Citadel. And during his four years there, he also learned about football.

Allen played cornerback well enough for the Bulldogs that the Steelers picked him in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft.

“We’d go through the military process as far as marching and drills, but during football season, our main focus was football,” Allen said. “I don’t think being at a military school hindered me at all. If anything, it made be a better person.”

According to databasefootball.com, only 15 athletes from The Citadel have ever played in the NFL. The most recognizable of those 15 are Paul Maguire, a linebacker who spent seven of his 11 pro seasons with the Bills (1964-1970), and Stump Mitchell, a former Cardinals running back whose best season was 1985 when he rushed for 1,006 yards.

Never before has a product of The Citadel played for the Steelers.

Allen hopes to be the first, although it probably won’t be this year.

Due to a hamstring injury, Allen missed the first two preseason games. He’s questionable at best for Saturday’s game against Atlanta. So in a crowed secondary that includes 11 corners right now, it’s going to be tough for Allen to earn a spot on the opening-day 53-man roster.

But because the Steelers believe he can one day play for them, Allen will likely wind up on their practice squad.

“It’s tough when you’re injured and you’re not playing,” secondary coach Carnell Lake said. “It’s so competitive out here. But what we saw of him in the snaps when he was practicing during camp, he looked sharp. He’s exactly what we expected. We just need him to get healthy.”

Allen, who hails from Ocala, Fla., only played one year of high school football. But he was talented enough that several NCAA Division I-AA schools like Sam Houston State, Bethune-Cookman, Southern Illinois and Colgate recruited him. But he ultimately chose The Citadel.

“It was a different experience. I can honestly say it’s not for everyone,” said Allen, who would have been a second lieutenant had he decided to accept a military commission instead of opting to play pro football.

“That was one of the schools that took a chance on me as far as giving me a full ride. I saw that as my best opportunity and I felt that going there would best prepare me for life. Going to The Citadel definitely made me a better person. And I felt that if I worked hard enough in football, I would get noticed playing football, and that’s what happened.”

Even though he didn’t play major-college football, Allen was invited to the NFL Combine in February where he had a solid workout.

Before the draft, NFL draft expert Mel Kiper called Allen a “sleeper ... a big corner who runs well, tests well athletically and has good strength.” Other draftniks rated Allen as the 22nd-best corner in the draft. As it turns out, there were 18 corners taken before him.

When the Steelers picked Allen, they knew he was raw. He would be a project who needed a year or so to develop. That’s especially the case now that he’s hobbling with a tender hamstring.

“Obviously, Cortez has a lot of structure in his life being that he came from The Citadel,” Lake said. “That has something to do with his preparation and discipline on and off the field, and it shows. He’s really a sharp kid. He’s a very mature guy for his age.

“It will be interesting to see what he can do when he comes back healthy.”

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steel ... 7fbb8.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/cornerback-allen-soldiers-on/article_099fe68a-e78e-52af-9b19-37a635f7fbb8.html)

08-27-2011, 06:08 PM
Living in Charleston, SC I would definitely like to see the local kid excel for the Steelers.

He has Ike side. Hopefully, he'll turn out to be another Ike (but w/ hands).

08-27-2011, 07:25 PM
hasnt he been hurt.

they should find a way to IR him instaed of cutting him

he'll definitely get picked up

08-27-2011, 08:04 PM
He will either be on the injured list, possibly PUP like Scott last year, or on the active roster. They aren't trying to sneak him on a practice squad

08-28-2011, 08:16 PM
Seems there is an abundance of potential among our young Dbacks, and I wonder if the staff is willing to go the route of letting go of a few vets and potentially build a stronger future in the defensive backfield.

08-29-2011, 11:13 AM
The issue with putting him on IR is he won't get to practice and get better. I'm sure he can go into the team meetings and stuff, but won't be able to practice due to league rules.

08-29-2011, 11:17 AM
Allen will make this team!!!!!

They will not give up on someone with his physical abilities when they really haven't had a chance to see him because of injuries. He will get the equivalent of a "redshirt" year.

He would not last the entire season on our PS. He would get grabbed for sure. CBs are too hard to find.