An appropriate sub-title for this article would have been "The Career That Should've Been."
The first time I ever heard the name Armando Allen was about four years ago in a season opener against Georgia Tech. Prior to the game, then head coach Charlie Weis stated that Allen would be a household name by the dinner time.
Four years later, it just never happened that way.
Normally, when a player fails to live up to expectations, there are plenty of things that the player can blame nobody for but himself. Whether it is just not working hard enough in practice or the offseason or not being eligible due to bad grades in the classroom, the point is it is usually the player's own fault.
In the case of Allen, it really was unfortunate circumstances that caused him to not live up to expectations.
By that I mean he was injured a lot.
When Allen was healthy, he ran the ball hard, and I always liked the way he hit the hole. I remember watching him have a great day at the Hawaii Bowl at the end of his sophomore season. I thought that he would really break out his junior year.
When healthy, Allen ran hard. Unfortunately staying healthy was always a problem for him. The other problem that didn't help Allen was that he was in a pass-happy Weis offense that featured Jimmy Clausen. Therefore, the running game was often put on the backburner.
What will Armando Allen be doing next fall?
Coming into his senior season with Brian Kelly now as the head coach, it appeared that the offense would feature a lot more of Allen with Clausen gone to the NFL.
That is exactly how the year started.
Allen ran the ball really well and had over 500 yards halfway through the season. He appeared to be on his way to a 1,000-yard season.
Then, it happened again. Allen went down to a season-ending injury. Along comes Cierre Wood, who also had more than 500 yards for the season. That was especially devastating for Allen because he wanted to show NFL scouts that he could be durable.
So now it leads to the question: What is next for Allen? Will the NFL give him a chance? Will he have to play in Canada or the UFL? Or are his playing days done altogether?
Whatever the future holds for him, I want to wish him well. I have no doubt that he gave Notre Dame all he had and I am sorry that he didn't get the results he deserved.