• John Macon Gillespie

Breakout Star Allen Set To Compete At Fortius Project

Losing is never easy, especially when hardware is on the line. That’s what happened to Hattiesburg in the 2017 5A state championship game. Even that blemish, however, couldn’t prevent the Tigers from being distinguished as one of the state’s best teams last season.

Prior to the loss Hattiesburg was 14-0, and had won their three playoff matchups by at least double digits. Six of their 11 regular season wins came against teams who made the playoffs.

“It was an amazing season, other than coming up short of being perfect,” rising senior running back Drexlan Allen told SES Mississippi. “The best part was all of the wins and the fan support. Mostly everybody in the community is a graduate from HHS. We are just continuing their legacy and they are full ride supporting us.”

Allen played a pivotal role in that success as it was on the ground is where the Tigers were particularly dominant. Hattiesburg averaged over 230 rushing yards per game, while three players finished with double-digit touchdowns.

Two of those guys - quarterback Snoop Conner and Allen - are coming back next season. Last season they combined for over 2,000 yards and 45 touchdowns on the ground.

“With a quarterback like him we have a high chance of making back to another state championship,” Allen commented. “He has the ability to do any and everything, and I can either outrun you or make you miss.”

“You can expect big numbers from us. But without our great offensive linemen none of that would be possible.”

Both Conner and Allen were breakout stars last season. Many people expected Fabian Franklin to be the primary playmakers for the Tigers going into last fall. But it was Conner and Allen who finished one and two, respectively, on the team in carries.

Allen finished the season having rushed for 613 yards and 17 touchdowns. He would score in 10 of 15 games, with five multiple score game. His best performance of the season came against Laurel in the South state final, when he rushed for 104 yards and three touchdowns.

“It made me an experienced running back,” Allen said.

Now, the focus in the backfield will be on Allen and his fellow rising junior signal caller. Allen knows he must make improvements and grow as a player to rise to that occasion.

Of course, He wants to put on weigh to add power to his game. Additionally he wants to improve his ability.

With that in mind, Allen has decided to compete at the Fortius Project combine when it comes to Hinds community college on Saturday, April 7th. He is putting his competitiveness, agility and experience out there to see where he stacks up against some of the best of his peers.

“I’ve been interested in the camp for a while. I’ve heard a lot of hype from other athletes about the camp. So I want to see what all the hype is about,” Allen explained.

**Photo courtesy of Zac Chamblee

#Hattiesburg #JohnLukeMcCord

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