For the second consecutive year, a former Connecticut high school football will be honored with the National Football Foundation’s National Scholar-Athlete award.
New Canaan’s Zachary Allen, the New Haven Register’s 2014 Player of the Year who is now a freshman at Boston College, has been named the NFF’s Northeast Regional winner of the award, annually given to five honorees from across the country.
Allen, who represents the Ralph DeSantis/Fairfield County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, will join his fellow award-winners, Kenneth Brinson Jr. (Marist School, Atlanta), William Hefley III (Pulaski Academy, Littler Rock, Ark.), Jelani Roberts (Gillman School, Baltimore) and John Rosen (St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif) at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City for the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, Dec. 8.
Allen’s selection, which was culled from a pool of 3,500 scholar-athletes and 40 nominations, is the second-consecutive Connecticut player selected for the honor. Glastonbury’s Kryan McKinney-Crudden (Dartmouth) earned the Northeast Region’s award in 2014 following the 2013 season.
At New Canaan, Allen was a three-year letterwinner at linebacker and defensive end. In addition to being the Register Player of the Year, Allen was also the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year, a first-team all-state player for the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, The Walter Camp Foundation, the New Haven Register and USA Today. He is the school’s all-time leader in sacks. The Rams won back-to-back Class L championships during Allen’s junior and senior years.
Allen was a member of the National Honor Society, served on the New Canaan High Captains Leadership Council and as a philanthropy liaison for the Service League of Boys. He was a member of the Future Business Leaders, and a mentor for the New Cannan seventh-grade football team. Allen also volunteered with the American Diabetes Association and Multiple Myeloma Race for Research.
His is currently studying finance at Boston College, where he has appeared in every game this season at defensive end.
During the past 24 years, 105 student-athletes have been recognized as NFF National High School Scholar-Athletes, and this year will mark the 25th class of honorees. Recent recipients include Brandon Fisher (2005, former Montana linebacker and current St. Louis Rams defensive backs coach), Andrew Luck (2008, former Stanford and current Indianapolis Colts quarterback), Chris Prosinski (2006, former Wyoming and current Chicago Bears safety), Andrew Rodriguez (2008, former Army West Point linebacker and winner of the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy), and Weston Steelhammer (2003, First Team All-Mountain West defensive back at Air Force).
Other past recipients include Todd Helton (1992, former Tennessee quarterback and retired Colorado Rockies first baseman) and Drew Henson (1998, a former Michigan quarterback and professional football and baseball player), Bobby Hoying (1991, a former Ohio State quarterback and winner of the 1995 William V. Campbell Trophy) and Jon Stinchcomb (1998, a former Georgia and NFL offensive lineman). Five NFF National High School Scholar-Athletes have gone on to win NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards for their accomplishments in college. They are Giovanni Carmazzi (1995, Hofstra), Hoying, Eion Hu (1993, Harvard), Rodriguez and Stinchcomb.