Allen, who is now regarded as one of the top four quarterbacks in football, was once highly disrespected and undervalued. Is there a specific explanation as to why this happened?
In Josh Allen’s final season at Firebaugh High School, he completed 57% of his passes for 3061 yards for 33 touchdowns and tossed just five interceptions. He finished his senior year with a gaudy QB rating of 112.7. He averaged 15.5 yards per completion, and he was just scraping the surface of the type of player he was capable of becoming. He also ran 56 times for 407 yards and four scores, finishing the year with 37 total touchdowns. (maxpreps.com)
After the season, the young Allen sent his game film and numerous tapes to colleges and scouts around the nation to take a look at. He also sent over a thousand emails out to colleges he was interested in and asked if they would take a look at his highlight tapes in hopes that a few would be interested. Days, weeks, months went by, and the Allen family did not receive one email back. No phone calls, no interactions, nobody reached out. In this article, I’ll try my best to make some sense out of why no schools wanted to take a chance on the 6”5 237-pound prospect from Firebaugh, California.
Allen’s High School Accolades
In high school Josh Allen was a three-sport athlete. He played baseball, basketball, and of course, football. For his school’s baseball team, Allen was a pitcher who never posted anything worse than a 2.88 ERA, and in his senior year he dominated the league with a 1.82, meaning per every nine innings he surrendered under two runs or less every start.
He was also a first baseman when he wasn’t on the mound. In the eighty-seven total games he played in the field, Josh’s batting average was .352, and his OPS (on base + slugging%) was .887. (maxpreps.com) These numbers in the baseball world are known as consistent and downright elite. So, it wasn’t because scouts didn’t believe he was an all-world athlete, because clearly, he could play multiple sports at an extremely high level.
Allen’s best game in high school came on October 18th of 2013, when his Firebaugh Eagles dismantled Dos Palos. Allen completed 60% of his throws for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns. Additionally, in this game, Josh connected with his teammate Christian Patlan for a 82 yard score, which would be his longest TD pass of the season.
Were there scouts in attendance to watch this masterpiece by the young Allen? I don’t know, but there should’ve been. He also rushed seven times for 55 yards, showcasing everything he could do with a football in his hands, and subsequently making a case for why he should be a serious NFL draft target, not even out of high school yet. However, no top school thought this game was good enough to land him a spot on their roster.
So Why No Offers?
The only aspect of Allen’s game that I attribute him not getting any college offers to is his completion percentage and his accuracy. Scouts must’ve seen his mark of 54% and shielded themselves from it. I suppose they didn’t want to take a chance on someone who could have lingering problems with his ability to throw the football with precision and accuracy throughout his career.
Or perhaps they simply didn’t want to deal with the problem and didn’t have coaches that could help him work through them. It wasn’t until 2016 when Allen was finally recruited by the University of Wyoming, and without much of a choice, he decided to play in the Division 1 Mountain West Conference for the Cowboys.
In 2022, it’s still a mystery why Josh Allen, who is now regarded as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the world, wasn’t college recruited for his accomplishments in high school. It’s bewildering to hear Josh talk on podcasts how he would wake up every morning with no emails from schools that wanted him to play for their program, considering his size, his athleticism, and his unmatched raw talent as a football quarterback. He is now considered as the “perfect QB prospect” by analysts such as Dan Orlovsky and Mel Kiper Jr.
In fact, when comparing college QB’s to NFL signal callers during draft prospect season, Orlovsky always compares big, strong-armed guys with the ability to rush as well and take hits without being fazed to Allen. It has been constantly mentioned that teams that are searching for their next franchise QB are looking at players that have similarities to Josh, because they saw how much he was able to grow and improve in his career, and they believe they could do the same with comparable talents. I’m sure college scouts and recruiters nationwide have been demoralized and embarrassed ever since passing on Allen, and deciding not to return his emails.
The Wrap Up
I suppose the verdict is simply that Allen was perhaps too raw coming straight out of high school, and there weren’t any coaches that were interested in having to deal with a kid who needed to make adjustments to his game in order to fit in the school’s system. Allen, who had some considerable accuracy concerns even coming into the NFL, which was after college, struggled making the right decision on certain plays. Whether that was a run-pass option, or finding an open receiver downfield, scouts and coaches were visibly unimpressed, even though he had the capability of being a freak athlete and a future menace to opposing defenses.
Josh Allen is obviously now one of the game’s elites in terms of throwing, passing, hurdling and trucking, as throughout his career up to this point, he has broken Bills’ single season records, made plays that other quarterbacks plainly cannot make, and will be a annual MVP candidate injury permitting.