When the name Larry Allen is mentioned around Sonoma State University, a sense of pride is brought upon the students not only for his incredible legend that he has left behind, but also for his generous donations made to our university. He has journeyed from Compton, California, through community college, and to the NFL. All while going through this incredible path he has created a lasting name for himself and made great achievements all through hard work and dedication.
“I got in that weight room and became the strongest man in the NFL. I did it naturally. All right. What’s funny is once I benched 700 pounds, they tested me twice a week for the rest of my career,” said Allen during his Hall of Fame induction speech.
For Larry Allen it seems to keep getting better as he was just recently inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. He also gives students a sense of pride, and that coming from a smaller school doesn’t affect your chances of being exceptional.
Although Allen has become an incredible figure, it wasn’t always easy for him. Growing up he bounced high schools, and didn’t end up with the grades to play football at a University therefore he decided to attend Butte College so he could still end up playing the sport he loved.
However it seemed that success would start to be something he would become more familiar with. In his two years of attendance at community college his team won the Golden Valley Conference and went 10-1. Not only was Allen recognized as a Junior College All American but he was also named to the All-Conference and All-State teams. Making a name for himself Allen decided to apply to become a student and football player at Sonoma State University and was once again, successful. Allen made things look easy, and quickly made even more of a name for himself at Sonoma State University.
This included holding 10 new school records such as most yards gained, most touchdown passes, best gain-per-completion and highest passing efficiently. Before he knew it Allen was part of the NFL draft and found his first home at the Dallas Cowboys.
Once again success was following Allen seemingly everywhere he went, winning a super bowl ring, attending 11 out of 14 pro bowls more than any offensive player in the Dallas Cowboys franchise history. Not to mention being recognized as one of the strongest players in NFL history recording a bench press of over 700 pounds.
Being inducted into the hall of fame was a proud moment for Larry Allen, in which he stated “I just broke down and started crying,” which came as a shock for many considering his tough guy surface.
“My goal was simple: to earn a seven-letter word called ‘respect.’ The respect of my teammates, opponents and the NFL. Today, my mission is complete,” said Allen during his speech.
When fellow hall of famers spoke about Allen, they all shared the same words expressing how “scary” Allen really was on the field, and how most players didn’t want to face him on the field. Being one of the strongest men in the NFL, once Allen got a hold of a player, there was no chance for them it was simply over for them.
Larry Allen has traveled a long path of success and simply making it look easy along the way, however he has left a lasting impression in the NFL and on Sonoma State University. Few in NFL history have possessed the strength, versatility, and athleticism of Larry Allen and Sonoma State will continue to take pride in his achievements.