Allen Bailey brings the pain. He is the type of linebacker that will cause a running back to change the way he attacks the hole because he lets them know it’s no fun going inside. At the US Army All-American Bowl, Bailey has impressed enough that he will be a real leader on defense. The East coaching staff has a lot of faith in the big time ability of the Darien (GA) pain machine.
The east linebacker corps is a strong bunch and a guy like Bailey (6-3, 260) can really take up a lot of space at the line of scrimmage and beyond in the front seven. Frankfurt (IL) Lincoln-Way East coach Rob Zvonar is coaching the linebackers for the East squad and just loves the potential of his star middle linebacker.
“Allen is our Mike backer and our force in the middle,” the smiling Zvonar said. “He is one of the biggest linebackers I have ever been around. A lot of people say he may move to a down lineman at the next level, but he is doing a great job at the Mike position.”
Bailey has been quite spry on the field after sustaining a season ending injury early in his senior season. According to the coach, He has been pumped just to play in the game. Zvonar sees a guy that will be hard to handle up front for the West team.
“He had some adversity earlier in the year and is excited to make plays in this game,” the coach said. “You hope he is a guy that can eat up the gaps. He also has the ability to make plays outside the tackle box too. It has been a lot of fun working with him and I look forward to working with him Saturday.”
The five-star Bailey is really happy to be back playing and against the big boys.
“I played the first four games and was just finally cleared to play again three weeks ago,” Bailey said. “It is good to be back in action. I like the competition. It’s a lot more than back home.”
Off the field, he still has one huge decision to make. He hasn’t informed anyone of where he will attend college and play football. He will make his decision on signing day and it will be between the same four schools as it has been for quite some time. Florida, Georgia, Miami, and Alabama will be waiting until February for the big news.
This is the first time we caught up with Bailey after his official visit to the University of Florida. He has been to the school a handful of times, so there wasn’t too much to new for him to learn. Still, he talked about the visit.
“It went pretty well, my parents enjoyed it,” Bailey said. “My mom, dad, and I went. I went to a couple of practices and toured the place and then went on the town at night.”
The coaching staff at Florida has also left an indelible impression on Bailey. He likes their laid back casual approach in the way they are recruiting him. Co-Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison is the recruiting area coach for Darien (GA) and Head Coach Urban Meyer saw a lot of Bailey on his visit.
“Coach Mattison is a pretty good guy, a pretty cool person, good to be around,” Bailey said. “Coach Meyer talked to my parents and me about how it is to live in Gainesville.”
A man of few words, Bailey said what stands out about his other schools of focus.
Georgia: “It’s the in-state school.”
Miami: “I knew Coach Shannon before he got the job, so nothing has really changed with them.”
Alabama: “They are still in it. I am just waiting on the coaching change to be done. I am still recruited by Coach White. I don’t know what to say until they get their head coach.”
He walks the walk and doesn’t talk much. Allen Bailey is guarded with his words but one heck of a good football player. The silent assassin can put someone out of their misery with one big hit. On signing day, he will silence three big time programs.