Few NFL alumni are as knowledgeable, engaging and opinionated about the sport of football as Marcus Allen.
The Hall of Fame running back, who played his college ball at USC and spent the bulk of his pro career with the Los Angeles Raiders, is a legend in the sports world and he has used his name recognition for good.
I had a chance to catch up with Allen at the Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, California, where he was attending a promotional event for the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation.
For those of you who are curious, Laureus is a philanthropic organization based in the UK comprising 48 legendary athletes, of whom Marcus Allen is one, who travel around the world to fund-raise and promote charitable organizations that utilize sport as an agent for social change.
Laureus currently funds 84 programs in 31 countries around the world, including three in the United States. To be a member of the Laureus World Academy—the name given to the group of 48 athletes—one must be nominated and elected unanimously by the current members, a process that is rather thorough and painstaking.
I spoke with Allen, a member of the academy since 2009, about everything from philanthropy to football.
Read on to see what this legend of the gridiron had to say about the 2011 NFL Draft, the impending lockout and the state of the NCAA.