Film room: Wisconsin RB Braelon Allen has arrived

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Wisconsin freshman running back Braelon Allen won’t turn 18 years old until after the 2021 football season. He reclassified in high school, joining the Wisconsin program this summer and forgoing a final season of high school football.

Now through five games of college action, one thing has become clear: the former four-star recruit is good beyond his years. Allen has officially arrived after two really impressive showings the last two weeks as a big part of Wisconsin’s rushing attack.

Allen carried the ball 16 times last night for 108 yards, 6.8 yards per carry and 1 touchdown. Every time he touched the ball we saw progressing comfort, better vision and more and more examples of his burst in the open field.

He’s 6-foot, 2-inches and 238 pounds. So when the freshman takes it into traffic through the middle, we see him fall forward for positive gains. Does he have the instant cut and vision we saw from Jonathan Taylor for four years? Not yet (well, nobody really does). But the signs are there of a workhorse back that can both wear a defense down inside, and take one to the house at any moment.

And dare I say: signs are there of a young running back who has star potential (I’m saying Jonathan Taylor’s name without actually drawing the comparison because it’s an impossible one).

Are there still areas where he can progress? Yes. But Allen is only 17 years old and is still new to the speed of college football.

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Look at this play. The freshman will soon have the awareness to find the lane faster and turn well-blocked plays into 20-yard gains. But even when he runs into a lineman at first, the speed and quickness is there to pick up 11 yards.

Chez Mellusi will continue to be a big part of the Badger backfield moving forward. But as time moves along and Allen continues to impress on every touch, it’ll be tough to keep the ball out of his hands.

(Note: Ball security is a minor issue and will need improvement. Hopefully, that comes with more experience and more reps).

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