Allen, who graduated with a communications degree in 2000, is comfortable in front of a camera, doing analyst work for both Sky Sports in the United Kingdom and the Big Ten Network back home.

How could he best combine corporate communication with what the bottom-line numbers actually mean? An NFL-sponsored entrepreneurship program out of Northwestern pointed him toward MBA programs, and he chose Purdue not because he played on its last Rose Bowl team, but because it seemed the best fit for his family.

“I try to remove the glossy veil,” Allen says of his decision to return to Purdue. “That’s another thing I picked up from the NFL. Offensive linemen care about the hard work. What’s the core of everything? Once you take the glitz and glamour off, Purdue’s MBA stands up to any program in the nation and I’ll bet that the training is unmatched.”

Purdue’s renowned reputation with employers also impressed Allen, who will begin his corporate climb this summer with an internship in the global finance area at General Motors in Detroit. Toward that end, he’s looking forward to being a part of a company that helps transform the face and perception of the automotive industry.

And beyond that?

“I feel like with the training we get here, I’ll have the capacity to take a company public,” Allen says. “Maybe I’ll get it done in my lifetime. Or maybe I’ll pass that task down to my two daughters.”

In either case, Allen believes it’s the line he is destined to follow, and it will take more than a defensive end to stop him.

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