No one ever told Aundrae Allison that climbing the ladder to the NFL ranks would be easy, but if they did, he probably wasn't listening. After spending two seasons at the junior college ranks, the speedy Allison raced through the typically difficult transition to the next level, emerging as one of the mid-tier wide receiver prospects in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Allison attended Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College in 2002 but didn't
play football that year. He attended the Georgia Military Academy Junior College
in 2003-04, where he totaled 70 receptions for 865 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Allison burst onto the Division I scene in 2005, where he posted 1,024 yards
and 11 touchdowns in his first season with East Carolina. This past season,
he put up 62 catches for 708 yards and four touchdowns after missing two games
with a sprained ankle. Despite the injury, he earned second team All-Conference-USA
Allison dazzled NFL scouts all the way across the board with his speed at this year's combine, as he zipped down the RCA Dome track in 4.37 and 4.39 seconds in his 40-yard dash efforts. Another high mark Allison received at the combine was his vertical leap, which was an impressive 37 inches. On the field, beyond his speed and ability to soar for the ball, Allison has made a name for himself with his tactical footwork, where he's shown above-average skills at making tough catches while tip-toeing to keep his feet in play along the sideline. Although he's not the biggest guy on the field, Allison manages to avoid the big hit. He doesn't do this in an "alligator-arm" fashion, as he simply appears to have a good sense of his surroundings. When faced with contact he will twist, turn or spin however possible to elude the defender. His quick feet and ability to make sharp cuts in the open field will make a lethargic defender appear immobilized.
At six feet, 198 pounds, Allison is not the most physically intimidating player lined up on the offensive side of the ball. To that same token, he's not the strongest guy on the field, either. One of the biggest knocks on Allison, who declined the bench press drill at this year's combine workout, is his dedication to weight lifting. If Allison is unable to beat a more physical cornerback with his feet, then he has struggled in hand-to-hand combats on the line. He's not bad, per se, at blocking down field, but his lack of physical size has proved evident when asked to block on the line. This is where he was out-muscled several times in his two seasons with ECU. Allison's work ethic is questioned by some as there are rumors of him taking plays off. Although his speed scares the daylights out of the opponent, he tends to depend too much on it, while slacking a bit on his routes - a bad habit that will have to be reversed in the NFL.
NFL scouts love players that can jump over three feet in the air and have the ability to shred an opposing defense worse than a stack of scandalous business documents. If that's all that teams were looking at, Allison would be set for a nice pay day come April 28. However, his less than desirable work ethic coupled with the fact that he only played two years of Division I football weigh-in significantly. All factors considered, Allison makes a nice addition for any team looking to add a deep threat and return man, but it's unlikely you'll hear his name called from the draft-day podium until the middle-to-late third round.
About Charles Roberts
Charles Roberts has been a KFFL contributor since 2006.
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