Prospects slip through the cracks all the time due to one thing or another. It could be because they play multiple sports, are not on the camp circuit, have a late growth spurt or are from a small town.
All of those can describe Wyoming Cowboys quarterback, and potential top-5 NFL Draft pick, Josh Allen.
Out of high school Allen was not heavily recruited and even the local Fresno State — within an hour drive of Firebaugh, California -- did not really try all that hard to recruit him.
Allen had very few offers out of high school and eventually made his way to Reedley Community College where he played in 2014 before transferring to Wyoming. Even after a year at the JUCO ranks, Fresno State — among many other schools — passed over the Firebaugh native and that likely hurt the town and Allen as both are fully behind the Bulldog football program, or at least were at the time.
Is Josh Allen worthy of the hype?
Everyone seems to be falling over Wyoming Cowboy Football QB Josh Allen as one of the best quarterbacks for the 2018 #NFLDraft.Posted by Mountain West Connection on Saturday, May 13, 2017
One reason that Allen was overlooked out of high school is because he did not live on the quarterback circuit by going to camps and seven-on-seven tournaments. Instead he was a multi-sport star in high school where he was a pitcher and played point guard.
“The only team I have respect for is Eastern Michigan,” Allen says because they were the only both FBS program besides Wyoming to offer him. As for the rest, he tells Bleacher Report: “You didn’t find me, and you didn’t offer me. I don’t like your team. I don’t like your program.”
Another reason he was not highly recruited was his size. Allen was tall at 6-3 but was only 180 pounds. He had a growth spurt to be 6-5 and now 220 pounds.
"The size that Josh Allen is right now, the size that makes him an NFL prototype guy, he didn't have going into his senior year (of high school)," former Wyoming assistant David Brown said, per Fresno Bee's Marek Warszawski. "There was a significant difference."
All of this hype could have happened a year earlier but Allen broke his collarbone in 2015 after just a few snaps into his first career FBS start.
He started to earn notice during this past season as a play-maker and the hype started to roll in.
"He is the real deal," former Wyoming quarterback Casey Bramlet told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. "He can make all the throws, and not just the throws outside of the pocket rolling out and throwing it 50 yards down the field.
"He can make the play-action, 7-step drop, back foot in the ground and throw an 18-yard comeback that looks effortless. Those are the throws you have to be able to make at the next level."
Head coach Craig Bohl knows what is coming with Allen next year, which began in January when Allen’s name was mentioned as the potential No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
"I told our sports information director to get ready, because things are changing," Bohl told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports after watching a draft in which three teams traded up in the first round for a quarterback. "It's not quite just going to be the Casper Star-Tribune that's talking about us now.
"Josh is really a good young man, with a great values system, and he's confident. But you're talking about a 20-year-old farm kid from Firebaugh, California. It's not like this is L.A.”
Scouts are already all over Allen and La Canfora spoke with plenty who said Allen was worthy of the top pick in 2018.
One comparison that will live long throughout the off season will be that Bohl recruited and coached Carson Wentz while at North Dakota State. Wentz ended up being taken No. 2 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles.
All eyes will be on Allen this season and that is great exposure for the university, but there are somethings which Allen needs to work on to get better.
For example, he completed only 56 percent of his passes last year and had 15 interceptions to 28 touchdowns. Of those 15 picks, 11 of them came in four losses for a Cowboys team that finished 8-6.
Allen just tries a bit too hard at times. Go back and look at the fourth quarter in the Nebraska game where he had five total interceptions with three in the final frame. Yes, the final score was 52-17 but heading into that fourth quarter the game was close with the Cornhuskers leading only 24-17.
Allen tried to do too much in that game which included a pick-six — not his fault as the ball bounced off his receivers hands — and a fumble in the fourth quarter to have six total turnovers in the loss.
Here are some miscues from the conference title game vs. San Diego State and the bowl game vs. BYU.
Then scouts see what he does well because when Allen is on, he is really on, and this is what scouts love about him.
Give Josh Allen time, he will pick you apart pic.twitter.com/vyxKLFGjKj— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) December 4, 2016
Well-known quarterback coach George Whitefield has extremely high praise for Allen who he had not yet met.
“His talent is mythical,” says Whitfield via B/R, whose past clients include Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel. “He’s Cam’s frame, but he can stop, start and has the antenna of a Manziel. It’s not a referendum on talent. It’s flight hours. He’s a young, talented pilot. He just needs more hours in the plane.”
While at home during the off season he spoke with the Fresno Bee and Allen just wants to try to be a typical college student.
“I am 20 years old,” Allen said. “Just to be able to experience another year of college, to be able to turn 21 and go out with my friends and do all that stuff before I get to an NFL team when everything’s spotlighted and magnified, every camera’s on you every time you go out.
Good luck with that, Josh.