CHARLOTTE, N.C. - NBC Charlotte's latest student-athlete comes from one of the top high school football programs in the state.
Mallard Creek graduated 13 players that went on to play in college, leaving behind big shoes to fill.
Senior linebacker Kalen Allen is stepping up to the plate. Allen is the leader of Mallard Creek’s defense, a defense that gives up just 14 points per game. Normally that would mean Allen has his pick of schools at the next level.
“I’m not going to say it’s slow, but I’ve heard from just about every school in the nation,” Allen said. “Every school, you name it, I bet you I’ve talked to them. I’m still waiting on the call.”
Each day he waits, Allen is fueled by the oversight.
“It makes me more hungry the fact that I don’t have it,” Allen said. “It makes me hungry the fact that I should be having it. So I’m going to go hard.”
With most of his senior season ahead of him, there’s still plenty of time to impress college coaches.
“It’s a long year,” Mallard Creek Coach Mike Palmieri said. “He knows he has to make plays. This is not a fair business. Sometimes kids get scholarships that don’t deserve them, and kids that deserve them don’t go as high as they should.”
The long-term goal is to play college football, but Allen is more focused on his role at Mallard Creek.
“Right here, we start from team inside out,” Allen said. “I have to lead my team first, because we’re as strong as our weakest link.”
Coach Palmieri knows it’s that attitude that will make Allen successful, wherever he ends up.
“He’s about his business. He’s a winner. He’s been here for four years so he knows what it takes to be a champion. He has a real bright future after Mallard Creek.”