As he shares his adventures of his past years he does so with the wisdom of a very accomplished young man who has experienced what most only read about. The snicker in his voice as he shares his journey reflects what a youthful age Milton High Graduate Brandon Allen actually is.
The 2010 Milton High School Graduate turned down several dream scholarships and had firmly committed to the Auburn Tigers Baseball Program to begin his collegiate career. Then an opportunity was made available, such an amazing opportunity was expected for the Allen family but for most everyday high school athletes was too good to be true, to turn professional right out of high school.
Allen who was drafted as a right-handed pitcher for the San Francisco Giants in the 18th round of the 2010 MLB June amateur draft is no longer a baseball player. He is a freshman student in a classroom at Florida State and is fighting his way back onto the court for Coach Leonard Hamilton and the Seminoles.
“I had decided on Auburn, but actually Virginia was the best offer but it was just so far away.” Allen commented. “Florida State didn’t even recruit me.”
Since that offer just a few short years ago Allen has done it all just the way he wanted to do it in and on his own agenda and for the love of sports.
However, his intense passion for another game recently changed his life’s direction once again. One could say his heart was torn in two directions for two different sports and all at the age of 22.
Allen made a decision to forgo his paid semi-professional baseball career for a different but familiar style of ball. Such a change would push his body to have to recondition physically in ways he had not ever encountered. He would also have to get his priorities back into the books just like the high school honor graduate did in school, but this time it would be for college books.
“I have no regrets that I left professional baseball, “ Allen humbly shared. A decision that would be taxing for any young adult especially in Allen’s situation, “I just didn’t see it totally working out for me.”
Allen, who walked and talked athletics from the day he could do so, is the son of Milton High Graduate Randy Allen. A local legend in his own right from his days playing basketball for the Black and Gold, followed by a record setting college career at Florida State (1984-1987) and then for two seasons (1988-1989) on the hardwood court as a Sacramento King. Randy Allen is listed as the Seminoles’ No. 14 all-time leading scorer.
Allen, who grew up on the heels on his brother Adam, also a standout for the Panthers and who pursued his own basketball career ironically as a Florida Gator.
Allen, who also had the academic and educational aspect of school life modeled for him by his own Mother Kelly Allen who is the principal at Jay Elementary School. Allen has his vision set on using that academic support and talent to pursue a degree in engineering.
“I missed basketball,” admitted Allen. “I was involved with the best competition in the world in professional baseball. I went to Arizona right after graduation, was taking to a hotel and before I knew it the next morning at 7 A.M. I was off to a baseball field where I did not know anyone.”
“I love baseball, loved the past few years. I think I honestly went in to early,” Allen continued. “I just can’t say enough about all the good that came out of it, the level of athletes I was involved with and making my own money playing a game I love. I saved some of that money and still have money as a college student but I bought some toys too.”
Allen proudly comments that his parents trusted him and his choices, “My dad didn’t play pro baseball, my brother didn’t…I was trusted to live my own life and make my own choices.”
Allen’s professional contract provided one round trip for his parents’ travel and accommodations to see him play. “My parents came to Oregon once. It is expensive to follow a professional sport and they both work as well.”
For now Allen is finding conditioning and training challenges within his body he never encountered before, the training for baseball is very different than that for basketball. He has been away from the hoops for three years.
“My body is still improving, it’s a process. I am nowhere close to being where I need to be yet,” Allen humbly acknowledged. “The first practice I realized how different my body was, how my shape was different. But I am working hard.”
Allen added with a giggle, “I can tell I am 22 and have already played a lifetime of sports. I have been out of the loop as far as the different physical demands that basketball requires.”
Physical conditioning is not the only challenge that is now required of Allen. “I love FSU. I’ve had to review on some of my mathematics skills after all it has been three years. The math is harder than I remembered but I am catching back up!” Allen said.
“In the gym at FSU, I had to realistic there as well. There are some great athletes here. This is the highest level of competition and I cannot expect to dominate. My real test will be this coming summer as I have a ton of work to do.”
“Plus I love it here. I can go home when I want. My family loves that I am here. This past football season was an awesome time to be a Seminole. I am just ecstatic with where I am right now. It is perfect timing,” Allen continued.
Allen whose list of high school honors include all-area team honors, MVP, All-State honors, Pensacola News Journal recognition etc. averaged 17.1 points per game his senior year at Milton on the basketball court. On the baseball field Allen ranked up awards of excellence just as he had in the gymnasium and classroom.
The last three years Allen spent two seasons with the Arizona Giants and one season with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Short-Season Class A Northwest League in Oregon.
Appearing in 32 games, striking out 57 batters in 102 innings both as a starter and a reliever Allen purely demonstrated his athletic ability. These stats also give insight into the complexity of the decisions Allen made, for the love of the game.
He has seen some action for the Seminoles this his freshman season and has added points to their score board in games against teams such as Maryland, Charlotte, Virginia Tech, and Jacksonville.
The 200 lb. 6’6” Allen is home to Florida and what a future he has in store, all for the love of the game.
Allen and his Seminoles will play in Tallahassee Saturday, March 2nd at 6 P.M. ET against Georgia Tech. This game will be televised.