Those who know Anthony Allen know he’s not a shrinking violet when it comes to the attention he’ll be getting this season nor is he afraid to take on that responsibility. Allen was not named on the preseason all-ACC team as Dwyer was but this doesn’t bother Allen. “We’ll just use that as motivation going into the camp and going into the season,” said Allen. “We have to gain their respect and we might as well take it.”
Having played both positions in the Georgia Tech offense will help Anthony as he moves back to the B Back position for the upcoming season. “Playing in the offense you have to know all the positions because you have to know where the blocks are coming from and playing A Back last year will help me with B Back because I’ll know what to anticipate from my A Backs.”
Allen had spring practice to get readjusted to the B Back position but he was unable to work with starting quarterback Joshua Nesbitt who missed the spring following minor ankle surgery. Allen doesn’t feel that this will be a problem going into the season. “We’ve been working a lot together this summer getting our timing together and meshing up.”
The players starting in the middle of the offensive line will play a big role in Allen’s success this coming season. The line returns Sean Bedford to anchor the middle of the line but they’ll be breaking in two new starters at the guard position. The spring gave Allen a chance to look at their progress. “Uzzi has been working hard and has lost some weight and is moving better now and Will Jackson was one of the most improved lifters in the off-season so I’m excited about having them there,” said Allen. “The whole line period has improved in the off-season and they’ve been working together a lot staying low and driving off the ball so I’m really excited about that.”
The perception that the blocking at A Back position may not be as strong this year with Allen and Cox moving to B Back is not one that Allen believes is true. “One of the most effective blockers last year was Marcus Wright and he might be the smallest guy,” said Allen. “We have Charles Perkins and he’s getting huge and Orwin Smith is another guy you need to look out for.”
With one season under his belt in the Coach Johnson offense, Allen has one thing in mind that he feels he needs to improve. “I want to be better at finishing my runs and improving my leg drive.” Allen has been spending the off-season pulling and pushing sleds and doing squats to improve his leg strength.
Anthony has also lost weight and lowered his body fat to improve his speed for the upcoming season. He’s now down to 225 which he feels is his ideal weight. “In the 7 on 7’s, I’ve been blowing by guys,” said Allen jokingly. “I don’t want to mention any names because that wouldn’t be right.” Allen doesn’t feel that being big is the most important factor in being a successful B Back. “You have to be able to explode through that hole.”
There has been some talk about Allen also playing some A Back this season. “We talked about it some after the spring but that’s about all.” Anthony is happy to play whatever he has to play. “I might step in at quarterback for a few plays and you know Coach Johnson said he was going to add some wrinkles,” said a laughing Allen. “I might take the ball in the shotgun and throw it as far as I can and that would be about fifteen yards.”
In the off-season, Allen has begun a new video career. He’s not sure if Coach Johnson has bought in on that career. “I’m trying to give everybody motivation with the video I did for ESPN,” said Allen. “I’m trying to put my team out there so everybody will notice us.” Coach Johnson hopes he’ll be able to back that up. Allen wants everyone to know that they’re the defending ACC champs and they’re here to defend their title.