Braelon Allen turns 18, commemorates 'end of an era' to Wisconsin Badgers meme with great tweet
Anyone who tuned into a Wisconsin Badgers football broadcast this season was treated to the same nugget of information over and over.
"Braelon Allen is only 17!"
The oft-repeated fact caused Badgers fans to roll their collective eyes, just as all mentions of tight end Jake Ferguson as Barry Alvarez's grandson did.
But today, Allen's circumstances have changed. The freshman sensation from Fond du Lac turned 18 on Thursday, and he commemorated the moment with a perfect tweet.
The end of an era. R.I.P - “he’s only 17”
— Braelon Allen (@BraelonAllen) January 20, 2022
In fairness, it's easy to see why announcers (and anyone else) were so fascinated by his youth. Despite it, Allen finished with 1,268 yards rushing for a 6.8 average per carry, with 12 touchdowns as a freshman. His performance earned him a spot on the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, in addition to second-team all-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and media.
The four-star prospect was recruited on the defensive side of the ball, but after reclassifying into the 2021 recruiting class and graduating from high school early, the physically gifted Allen said in May that he'd be arriving on campus as a tailback.
The switch proved crucial for the Badgers when the running back room suffered a number of losses to injury and players parting ways with the team. By the time leading rusher Chez Mellusi was lost for the season with a knee injury, Allen was one of the last men standing.
More: UW freshman Braelon Allen shows his maturity by recovering from a lost fumble that led to a Purdue touchdown
More: UW freshman Braelon Allen acknowledges he felt worn down late in the season but feels fresher heading into bowl game
Allen saw the field immediately on special teams and got his first carries against Eastern Michigan in the second game of the season, but he really took off Oct. 9 against Illinois, when he racked up 131 yards on 18 carries for the first of seven 100-yard performances.
He capped his year with 29 carries and 159 yards on his way to the game MVP trophy in the Las Vegas Bowl, a 20-13 win for Wisconsin over Arizona State.
And yes, he did it all at 17. Now, he graduates to, "He's only 18 as a sophomore!" on the 2022 Badgers broadcasts.
This fall: "Remember, he's still only 18 this fall." 😂 https://t.co/Eab3D7EBqF
— Mike Schneider (@CoachSchneid28) January 20, 2022
Allen will have three college football seasons completed in his teenage years. The greatest accomplishment I had before I turned 20 was growing my hair out. https://t.co/UIQ0RloJfb
— Jimmie Kaska (@jimmiekaska) January 20, 2022
new era of "he was only 17 last season" https://t.co/dm2AZF2Zvo
— yosef (@Joe_NoCost) January 20, 2022
Ahh man. At least Jake Ferguson will always be Barry Alvarez's grandson. https://t.co/PxbaZlqKZv
— Kev (@KevGrande) January 20, 2022
If Paul Chryst doesn't sign one of Barry Alvarez's relatives here soon we've got a real crisis on our hands. https://t.co/TJpJ4iZAtl
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) January 20, 2022
With Grandson of Barry leaving, Brad Davison as a high school QB lot of new narratives need to be found
— Mark Tauscher (@MarkTauscher65) January 20, 2022
JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Allen's birthday means 'He's only 17!' comes to end for Badgers RB