‘Dog mentality’ carries Allen into three-sport sensation
September 13, 2020/Chris Jackson/No Comments
The simplest way for Vacaville Christian head football coach Manny Tarango to describe three-sport sensation Kendall Allen is to look back at one of his former players.
Tarango remembers back when he was coaching Javin White. The two had started working together from when White was 11 or 12 years old all the way yp to White’s junior season at Vanden, where Tarango was on the staff until becoming Vacaville Christian’s newest leader, before White moved over to McClymonds.
White ended up shining at McClymonds, where he developed into a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and was a first team all-league selection while ending up at UNLV to play college football at the next level.
Now, White just wrapped up a remarkable stint at UNLV, winning Mountain Defensive Player of the Year honors and signing an undrafted free agent contract with the Las Vegas Raiders last month.
“I got to go to all his games, as many as I could go, graduation, the whole thing,” Tarango said. “That’s like my son. We used to workout at 4 o’clock in the morning. I would take him to school and then I would see him at football practice. He would come over on the weekends, and so because of that relationship I always knew that Javin was going to end up being in the league because he is, and I say that because he and Kendall share that same.”
What made White special is exactly what has Allen destined for a career in athletics beyond high school, too.
Even if the success is there, Allen is going full throttle every single rep in practice and every single time he’s competing – whether that’s on the football field, on the basketball court or on the track.
“These guys are just dogs,” Tarango said. “Javin and Kendall hold themselves to a standard that I don’t think anybody could ever touch. When Kendall works out, Kendall is going a 100 miles an hour and nothing is good enough for him. And now some people may be like, ‘Well, that’s kind of obsessive, compulsive, but no.’ He just understands, ‘If I want to be the best, I have to work like I’m No. 2 chasing No. 1.’ And he is out there, and on game day he is the ultimate competitor.”
It’s simply like watching Russell Westbrook, whose aggression and will to win every single play has helped him morph into an NBA All-Star.
In basketball alone, Allen’s stardom has guided Vacaville Christian to unprecedented heights every single time he and his teammates step foot on the hardwood. As a freshman, Allen averaged 13.9 points per game while coming off the bench in the Falcons’ run to a Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship.
His sophomore year saw those numbers skyrocket, amassing 21.8 points per contest and being named the MVP of the squad as Vacaville Christian was a Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI semifinalist.
“When he goes up and dunks, he’s trying to break the rim off,” Tarango said. “He plays with an anger but at the same time he’s just a good hearted kid, and he’s constantly working on his craft. He just wants to compete and he doesn’t do it in a disrespectful manner.”
This type of athleticism was noticed a couple of years ago from Allen, citing a conversation with his mother when they understood that the sky was the limit for him.
“Seventh grade summer going into eighth grade,” Allen said. “I kind of hit a little bit of a growth spurt and I started getting my athleticism and stuff. It was always born with me, but I was always a small kid. That’s when I knew. I told my Mom I could actually do something with this athleticism and my God given talent, too.”
Meanwhile, Allen’s talents in every other sport he competes in are evident each and every night.
During his first year at VCS, Allen recorded 994 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, following that up with 992 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore to bump the Falcons’ win total from one to seven while appearing in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII semifinals.
And Allen’s resume also features being a Junior Olympian.
“He works his butt off,” said Vacaville Christian senior receiver Jaron Leaks, whose offer list includes UC Davis. “That guy – what an athlete. He’s just wonderful. I love that kid to death. He just knows how to work hard.”
It’s all that “dog mentality” Tarango alluded to, with his constant hours perfecting his craft with fellow teammates paying enormous dividends.
Allen, Leaks and others have worked out three and four times per day. They’re getting up early to run a few miles.
Plus, Allen is attending every showcase and camp he can, most recently having a three-showcase weekend over Labor Day with the xposure Academy Football Showcase on Friday night in Vacaville, the Xclusive Speed Bay Area Top 100 Showcase Saturday morning and the Exposure Academy Boys Basketball Showcase on Sunday – the latter being a day when he also earned an award from the coaching staff.
“He does it to the point where if he lines up at wide receiver, he’ll tell you I have to make this corner know that I’m the best receiver that he’s going to guard all year,” Tarango said. “That’s his mentality every single day, on the basketball court, when we’re doing 400s on the track, when he’s out at practice just going up against his teammates in 1 on 1s or whatever.”
No schools have offered Allen yet, but schools from across the region are interested, like Hawaii, Sacramento State and Utah, to name a few.
But all Allen is focused on is continuing his progress as an athlete and adding more banners to Vacaville Christian’s athletic department.
“For myself I want to make the all-state nominee again,” Allen said. “I want to win Offensive Player of the Year. I’m trying to get 1,200-plus receiving yards, and then as a team I want to win state. I want to win. I don’t want to lose more than two games at all. We shouldn’t. We’re one of the best teams in this area and proved it already, too.”