For Tulare Union running back Kazmeir Allen, the great moves start before the game even starts.
“I like Michael Jackson pregame,” says Allen, mimicking a dance move. “I plan all my moves, all the beats.”
His moves during the game are pretty good as well. In helping Tulare win its first six games, he’s already accounted for 30 total touchdowns, while averaging close to 200 yards rushing per game.
“We watch him on film on Saturdays, and we’re like ‘wow,'” says Darren Bennett, the longtime Tulare head coach.
His rushing statistics just tell part of the story though, because Kazmeir is also a huge threat receiving, where he’s averaging over 34 yards per catch, and returning kicks, where he’s averaging 45 yards per kickoff return.
“I can catch the ball, block,” says the 5’10”, 180-pound senior. “Put me at quarterback if you need me.”
His unique skill set has Bennett heaping high praise on his talented running back.
“If he continues the way he’s going now,” says Bennett, who’s been at Tulare for 22 years. “He could end up going down as the best running back that I’ve ever had and man, we’ve had some good ones.”
Allen comes from a family of athletes, and his cousin Tashard Choice actually played several years in the NFL as a running back.
Not surprisingly then, Kazmeir is blessed with some God-given speed. This past spring in his first year running track, he was a state finalist in the 100 meters.
But what’s made him especially tough to stop on the gridiron this year, is his improved physicality, after putting on about 15-to-20 pounds between his junior and senior seasons.
“I run with aggression,” says Allen, who also carries a 3.4 GPA in the classroom. “I’m either juking (you) or gonna run through you.”
Allen was impressive as a junior, rushing for 1,842 yards and scoring 36 touchdowns, but Bennett says hard work in the weight room and eating specific foods has helped Allen get even better this year.
“He’s quicker, he’s faster, he’s more explosive and he’s stronger,” says Bennett.
Colleges are taking notice. He originally committed to Boise State over the summer, but has since re-opened his recruitment. Several Pac-12 and Mountain West schools are currently in the running, including Fresno State.
The Bulldogs feel like a bit of a longshot, but there are Fresno State connections close to Kazmeir. Allen was mentored as a high school underclassman by former Tulare running back and current Fresno State redshirting transfer Romello Harris, and current Tulare wide receiver Emoryie Edwards has already verbally committed to Fresno State.
Bulldog head coach Jeff Tedford was at Allen’s game this Thursday night in Tulare, so what are the chances we’ll be seeing him in Bulldog red next year?
“There is a chance, there really is a chance, but we’ll see,” said Allen with a smile.