For the Pittsburgh Steelers, drafting a cornerback in the 5th round of the NFL Draft seems almost as common as them taking a linebacker in the first two rounds of the draft.
The unfortunate situation is how the team hasn’t had a great deal of success with cornerbacks in general in recent years.
CBs drafted-— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) April 29, 2017
The latest addition to the cornerback stable, Brian Allen from Utah, will hope to break the trend of failed defensive back experiments by making the team and contributing in some way. It will be a change, and it will be difficult, but change is something Allen is quite used to since he left Texas to attend the University of Utah.
When he went to college, he was a wide receiver, but after the 2014 season, Allen was asked to move to the defensive side of the football, and it was no easy task.
“I hated it. I mean coming from high school I hadn’t played any defense at all,” Allen told Scout.com. “I didn’t know how to tackle, I didn’t know how to do anything on the defensive side but now in two and half seasons working with Coach Shah and Coach Scalley after practice everyday, I feel like it’s coming naturally to me now and I love playing defense. I feel like I’ve been playing it forever.”
However, the transition from wide receiver to cornerback wasn’t the only change Allen went through during his time at Utah. He also got married and welcomed his daughter into the world. Quite a change for a college student just trying to graduate with an Economics degree.
“It’s me taking on a lot more responsibility,” Allen said of his family. “As me being a senior, being a father has made me a humbler person. With my wife, she supports me with whatever I do. My baby girl keeps me up at night, but those guys are who really motivate me to come out here and do what I do everyday.”
Nonetheless, Allen ultimately feels the trials he has been through have made him not only better, but stronger.
“My favorite memory would probably be all of the things I had to go through- transitioning from receiver, and making it to corner,” he said. “Coming out here working and getting my teammates to just be with me through the whole thing because a lot of them knew it was rough for me. Just being in Utah and getting to experience a new way of life because before I came I had never really been outside of Texas. Just being here was an experience in and of itself.”
Allen is now facing a new challenge, and that will be the transition to professional football. It won’t be easy, but he is a player who has the size and speed who could transform the Steelers secondary. As stated earlier, the history of drafted cornerbacks isn’t the best, but Allen, and Cameron Sutton, could change that history this year and years to come.