Jeremiah Allison is entering his third season at WSU. His story is inspiring.
Name - Jeremiah Allison
Position - Linebacker
Year - Junior
Height/Weight - 6'2', 224 pounds
Hometown - Los Angeles, CA
Things to know:
1. A special recruit - Allison was both an athletic and academic standout at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles. He made his commitment to WSU on January 30, 2012. With a 3-star Rivals' rating, Allison excited Cougar fans about the type of talent that could be attracted to Pullman with a household name coach like Leach. He held offers from Arizona, Duke, Boise St., UCLA, Yale (i.e. super smart), and a host of mid-majors.
2. A brave soul in the face of tragedy - Allison endured a very difficult set of circumstances when his mother Lucille, who raised him and played a major role in shaping his values, passed away in 2012 after falling into a coma in December of 2011. Ms. Allison raised three children in a rough part of Los Angeles and worked hard to see to it that her children did well in school and stayed away from gangs.
4. Outstanding citizen and student - Just Tuesday, it was announced that Allison was nominated for the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team®. Allison's nomination was based on his involvement in numerous charities all across Pullman and his academic achievement. Now that Allison in his junior year when citizenship and academic awards start being issued, you might want to put him down on your watch list for national and conference honors.
5. WSU career and 2014 - Allison has seen most of his action on special teams as a true freshman (2012) and sophomore (2013). Allison was listed as the No. 2 WILL linebacker behind Tana Pritchard at the beginning of spring. It is to be seen how many reps he will get on defense this season.
To paraphrase something that I think I heard Bob Uecker say once, "If you don't root for Jeremiah Allison, then you don't root for anybody." I would expect to hear Allison's name called more on the field in 2014. Whether that happens or not, you always hear coaches talk about the importance of having off-field leaders. Football teams have their own idiocutlures. This is why we often see off-field issues are clustered among certain teams. Leach's leadership style has gone a long way to cutting back on off-field issues, but bringing players like Allison helps build a positive culture. And as seen at WSU in the past, that has to start with coaches during the recruiting process.
Here is a video put out by WSU's athletic department interviewing Allison after his first year in Pullman: