This fall's season of "Undrafted" will feature Washington State linebacker Jeremiah Allison, one of the Cougars' most respected defensive players. A four-man crew from the NFL Network was in Pullman on Thursday to film Allison's Pro Day workout.
The players who enter the NFL via the annual draft get the big contracts and garner the most publicity, but hey, there’s more than one way to make it to the NFL, and that’s what the NFL Network’s reality show “Undrafted” has tried to demonstrate over the past two years.
“Undrafted” follows a handful of NFL hopefuls around every year and documents everything your average non-superstar-caliber college player has to go through to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL.
This fall’s season of “Undrafted” will feature Washington State linebacker Jeremiah Allison, one of the Cougars’ most respected defensive players.
A four-man crew from the NFL Network was in Pullman on Thursday to film Allison’s Pro Day workout. The crew started following him around last week, when he participated in the NFL’s regional combine in Minneapolis. Allison said the crew will also travel to Los Angeles to meet his family over Spring Break.
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The NFL Network contacted him last month to inquire about his interest in being feature on Undrafted. The gig is not paid, but Allison nonetheless jumped at the chance to tell his story.
“They heard my story and they felt I’d be a good inspiration to people,” said Allison, who lost his mother — the person who raised him — while he was in college, but pledged to fulfill his promise to her and get his degree. “It’s the ultimate underdog story.
“It’s an opportunity to get my story told. My thing is that I want to be an inspiration to others, and this (series) does a good job of explaining that.”
Allison is a client of NFL agents Chris Ellison and Jerome Stanley. His agents offered him the option of doing his pre-Pro Day training in Los Angeles, but Allison declined because he wanted to stay in Pullman to finish the final two classes he needs to get his second major — political science.
So Allison spent the last couple of months training under the supervision of WSU strength coaches Jason Loscalzo and John Graves.
At the NFL’s Minneapolis regional combine last Saturday, Allison clocked a 4.79 in the 40 yard dash (though, he says, that was the laser time and the hand-timed result was a 4.68) and managed a 9-foot-4-inch broad jump, a 35-inch vertical jump, and a 4.4s shuttle time.
He improved on many of those metrics at his Pro Day, clocking a 4.3 shuttle run time, a 9-foot-10-inch broad jump and a 35.5-inch vertical jump. Allison did 20 reps of the 225-pound bench press, but said he did not know his 40 time.
Still, he felt good about his Pro Day performance, especially in the linebacker drills, which he went through alongside Ivan McLennan and Kache Palacio.
“I caught every ball,” Allison said. “Everything was clean, straight and fluid.”
Allison is a criminal justice and political science double major, and he’s planning to walk in WSU’s commencement ceremony in May. He said his family will come up from California to share his special day with him.
“I’m the first to graduate from college in my family and they undertand the uphill battle I’ve had, to do everything I’d done and touch the lives I’ve touched,” said Allison, who’s also well-known in Pullman for all the community service he’s done over the years. “I don’t really dwell on that stuff because I feel like I’m supposed to be doing this, it’s my purpose. But when I look back at it, it’s amazing.”