5A No. 1: Experience has Allen eyeing state title


2010 record: 10-2

Predicted 2011 regular-season record: 10-0

ESPNDallas.com spring ranking: No. 1

Division I commits: QB Alec Morris (Alabama), RB Jonathan Williams (Missouri), LB Thaddeus LaGrone (Baylor).

Why they’re here: Why wouldn't Allen be here?

With its high participation numbers and seemingly endless talent pool, the Eagles are a perennial state title contenders even in years when they don't have a lot of returning experience.

This year Allen has seven starters coming back on each side of the ball, a high number for a team that usually relies heavily on its senior classes.

It's not just quantity coming back, but quality, and at key positions. QB Morris shouldn't have any trouble improving on the 2,533 yards and 22 touchdowns produced as a junior. Williams has the potential to lead 5A area players in rushing after passing the 2,00-yard mark in 2010.

Morris has experienced receivers returning in Andrew Rodriquez and Oliver Pierce. OLs Jake Trotter and Mark Massey return after all-district seasons at a position where the Eagles never have a problem excelling.

With so much talent and experience, expectations are soaring in Allen, and anything short of a state title will be considered a disappointment.

Holes to fill: For any team, 14 returning starters is a big number. It's even bigger at Allen. There aren't many holes. Allen has to fill out its offensive line and secondary, but head coach Tom Westerberg's primary concern coming into the season was establishing depth.

Key game: at Plano, Sept. 23