Dakota Allen took his second chance and ran with it.
The Texas Tech linebacker was taken in the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Saturday by the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams.
This was a long time coming for Allen, who elected to return to the Red Raiders after a solid junior season in Lubbock, Texas, and it’s a journey he won’t take lightly after a long and complicated trip to get to the draft.
Allen was kicked off the Texas Tech football team in 2015 when he was arrested along with two other players on a burglary and gun theft charge. He has been up front with professional teams about his past, and hopes to continue to grow after his transgression.
“I’m just straight up with them,” Allen said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I tell them exactly what I did. I own it 100 percent, and I also tell them what I’ve learned from it. I tell them I grew as a person.
“I learned a lot about the people around me. I hope that they’ll give me an opportunity, because I won’t let them down. I’ve learned a lot through that situation. Most importantly. I learned how to handle adversity.”
He ultimately found his way to East Mississippi Community College where he became a prominent figure on the Netflix show Last Chance U, which follows junior college programs as players try to get back to the Division I level.
For Allen, he was at EMCC hoping to earn his scholarship back at Texas Tech. Throughout Season 2 of the show, the linebacker detailed how he hoped to get back to Lubbock and get another shot to play for the Red Raiders.
When the show ended he did not yet receive an offer, but soon after cameras stopped rolling, he was given another chance at Tech.
Upon his return to Texas as a junior, Allen was named to the Big 12 Second Team after tallying 102 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
He was named to the first team All-Big 12 as a senior and second team All-Academic team as a senior. He recorded 73 tackles with two fumble recoveries in 2018.
He is confident he can not only produce at the next level but excel when he gets there.
“They’re definitely going to get someone who’s going to dedicate all his time and efforts to football,” Allen said. “I know what it’s like to almost lose everything, including football. I won’t let anything stop me this time.”