Next Generation: How a former Gator, hard-knocks youth football turned Jake Allen into Florida QB

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Tim Allen knows the day is coming.

His wife Leslie expects to cry when it does, but he’s anxiously awaiting May 8. That’s the day their son, Gators quarterback signee Jake Allen, enrolls at the University of Florida.

“This is a dream we’ve been working on for years,” Tim says. “I’m excited for him to take the next step.”

It won’t be the first time Tim has dropped his son off to play football by himself. The Allen family lives in Boca Raton, one of the wealthiest communities in the United States.

For a kid with NFL aspirations, that’s not the place to cut your teeth. So at 13 years old, Jake’s father brought him to a youth football tryout for the Deerfield Packer Rattlers.

They received an invitation from Darron Bostic, who everyone knows as “Coach Pimp.” His team was coming off back-to-back championships and in need of a quarterback.

“Where we come from, there’s no white players. Not one in the entire league,” Bostic says. “So he really was a sore thumb. Kids looked at him like he was crazy. … Then they saw him throw.”

Tim watched his son that day from his vehicle. He made Jake walk onto the field alone when they arrived at the tryout.

“I don’t even get out of the car,” Tim says. “Not because I’m afraid, but because I want him to be his own man. That’s a tough thing to ask from a kid that lives on the other side of the tracks.” Phone trouble

Like his father, Allen wasn’t scared to take the field, either. But he admittedly felt awkward and uncomfortable at first.

“It was weird walking out there. I knew no one except Coach Pimp,” Jake says. “But I knew if I wanted to become somebody, I couldn’t keep facing these wimpy Boca Raton kids. They’re playing because their parents signed them up.

“The difference in Deerfield Beach was that these guys live and breathe football. I wanted to be surrounded by people who really want to be there because they would push me to the edge.”

However, they almost pushed Allen away on his first day. He put his iPhone in his sneakers before practice started. Upon returning, the phone was gone.“They got him real good,” Bostic says. “A lot of the kids are underprivileged and they don’t have much of anything. You can’t leave nothing around because it’ll get taken. I wasn’t letting that go down. I did a little digging around, found out who took the phone and made him bring it back.“For most kids, that would’ve broke them. They would quit right then and there. But Jake wanted to take on that challenge because he knew what lied ahead of him. He needed to go through adversity. His dad told me he wanted him to face some tougher competition, and that’s what he got.” Jake Allen (12) in youth football with Darron Bostic (back right) watching. (Courtesy of Jake Allen) Bostic first met the Allen family at Impact […]