If the Indiana defense was finally going to rise out of the basement this season, then it was likely that one of the Hoosiers' leaders in that charge would be safety Antonio Allen.
Allen is the team's only returning starter in the defensive backfield from a year ago, and the hard hitter led the team in tackles last season with 74. But now it's highly doubtful Allen will ever play for the program again after he was arrested Tuesday night on some staggeringly serious drug charges, including dealing methamphetamine and cocaine and dealing heroin with a firearm.
Indiana has suspended Allen from all football activities, and while Allen deserves his day in court, head coach Kevin Wilson will have no choice but to dismiss the player if any of the charges stick.
Allen had been one of the top recruits of the Wilson era, choosing the home-state Hoosiers out of Indianapolis Ben Davis High School over offers from several Big Ten and SEC schools. He was talented enough to play in the U.S. Army All-American game, and he cracked the starting lineup as a true freshman before an ACL injury shortened his season.
His legal issues could mean more playing time for sophomore Tony Fields, who saw action in all 12 games last season. Redshirt sophomore Chase Dutra counts as the graybeard of the safety group now with one career start. Wilson could also be forced to count on incoming freshmen at the position, as Indiana's seemingly never-ending youth movement on defense continues.
Mostly, though, it's a truly sad development for Allen, a talented player who has quite possibly thrown away a bright future. Allen may have inadvertently explained his situation on an Instagram post Tuesday just hours before his arrest.
— Matt Glenesk (@MattGlenesk) June 17, 2015