HANNIBAL | Hannibal High School senior Caleb Allen signed a letter of intent to attend and play football with Illinois College on Wednesday at Porter Stadium.
Allen will major in criminal justice and wildlife management at Illinois College, as well as playing football for the Blueboys.
“They have both the majors I wanted,” Allen said. “I know football is a big deal, but that was something I really wanted to make sure of is I got the majors I wanted. As well as playing football and continuing to do what I like to do.”
Prior to Wednesday's signing, Allen had previously signed with MacMurray College earlier this year. However, MacMurray College closed its doors at the end of the spring 2020 semester, forcing Allen to choose another school.
Allen said he was able to meet with Illinois College's football coaching staff and some players via Zoom prior to signing a letter of intent with the Blueboys.
“I kind of got back into contact with all of the other coaches, and I talked to Illinois College,” Allen said. “They had the (football) program I liked and the two majors I wanted to get. It just ended up working perfect for me.”
During Allen's career with the Hannibal Pirates, he played offensive tackle. He was starting right tackle his junior season and starting left tackle his senior season.
Hannibal activities director Clint Graham said Illinois College is getting a great football player and a hard worker in Allen.
“Overall, I just think his enthusiasm and love for the game is what really sticks out for me,” Graham said. “I know he battled some injuries here (during) his senior year, but he was always positive, there for his teammates and that's what stuck out for me.”
One game that sticks out in Allen's mind is the 2018 Class 4, District 4 championship game when Hannibal defeated Fort Zumwalt East 48-34.
“When we played for the district championship my junior year in the snow against Fort Zumwalt East, that was definitely (my favorite memory of playing for Hannibal),” Allen said. “That was awesome playing in the snow, getting the wind and being up and down the whole game. That was good.”
Allen said he learned a lot from two great head coaches at Hannibal, former head coach Mark St. Clair and current head coach Quentin Hamner.
“The whole change of offense my senior year was tough,” Allen said. “It helped me get ready for college because now I'm just going to learn a whole new offense again. So it helped me get ready, unlike some of those other guys who ran the (same) offense the entire time (in high school).”