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Cape grad set to bring golden touch to NFL


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Cape grad set to bring golden touch to NFL

Character big selling point for USF's Allen

By DAVID DORSEY • ddorsey@news-press.com • April 21, 2010

Nate Allen entered the University of South Florida football program with a nickname - "The Golden Child."

Allen left the program four years later with the nickname intact.

Most likely sometime Thursday or Friday evening, Allen - a 22-year-old Cape Coral High School graduate - will learn of the next team that can continue calling him "The Golden Child."

Allen projects to be one of the first four safeties selected in the NFL Draft. Most mock drafts have him going in the second round Friday, but some prognosticators have him being selected in the first round Thursday night.

"The 'Golden Child,'" recalled former Cape Coral football coach Troy Davis, now the coach at Hargrave Military Academy, a private high school in Chatham, Va. "It was just the name that everybody threw around. He's just a good kid. He's the Golden Child."

Davis fielded calls from four NFL teams in recent weeks, with scouts asking about Allen's character.

"What's the worst thing I can say about Nate Allen?" Davis said. "Really, there's nothing bad I can say about him. I can't think of anything. He's a coach's dream. He's a coach's player."

Even people who don't know Allen very well come away impressed with him.

"He's a really neat kid," said Bishop Verot coach Phil Dorn. "He always has been. He's got a lot of great qualities."

Dorn never coached him, but let Allen work out at Bishop Verot's field under the guidance of Cleveland Browns defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson two weeks ago.

The Bears, Browns, Bucs, Chiefs, Cowboys, Jets, Rams and Redskins requested private visits with Allen, who learned early in the process the uncertainty of it all.

On the way to Southwest Florida International Airport for a flight to Dallas, where he had dinner with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Allen learned he would leave the following day for Washington, D.C.

Allen had to wear the same clothes on consecutive days.

"It's kind of like recruiting," Allen said. "You get tired going from airport to airport."

Allen never flew on an airplane until he got to college.

"Any little bump and I'm scared," he said. "If I end up with a window seat, I like to shut it."

Otherwise, Allen has no complaints about the past three months. It has been, he said, an incredible ride.

Wearing Nike flip-flops, a "Protect This House," Under Armor T-shirt, Nike shorts and a Nike watch, Allen said he received all of those clothes - except for the watch - for free.

"You get so much free gear, it's insane," Allen said of his experiences over the past three months, in which he played in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., attended the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, worked out for more than 32 NFL scouts at USF's Pro Day and had private interviews with two handfuls of teams.

"When all of this began, I think I had like five pairs of shoes in my closet," Allen said. "I came home from the Senior Bowl with 14 pairs of shoes. It's crazy."

In a pre-draft meeting with San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary, the former Chicago Bears linebacker asked Allen how he would handle a particular offensive formation.

"Nate goes, 'Let me show you up on the board,' " said Jackie Allen, Nate's father. "And it blew him away. That was a pretty neat experience."

Nate Allen has pretty much blown away everyone who ever has known him, said Dianna Quay, a business law teacher at Cape Coral and a family friend.

"I'm so proud of him," Quay said. "We all like to take a little ownership of him. His character has never wavered. Even when he was the king of the school, he was always very humble."


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In NY now, bunch of Bucs jerseys and UF jerseys-only one rocking the bulls gear so far, but had some good bulls conversations....can't wait for tomorrow to hang the bulls gear on the banner

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