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Five Things To Know About Quarterback Kyle Allen


The Washington Football Team shored up the quarterback position by trading with the Carolina Panthers to acquire 24-year-old signal-caller Kyle Allen.

An undrafted free agent in 2018, Allen appeared in 15 games (13 starts) for the Panthers over his first two NFL seasons.

Allen became the full-time starter in Week 3 of 2019 in place of Cam Newton, who was sidelined with a foot injury. Allen won his first four games and five of his first six, putting the Panthers in playoff contention, before suffering losses in his final six starts. For the year, Allen completed 62% of his passes for 3,322 yards and 17 touchdowns compared to 16 interceptions.

In Washington, Allen will join quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Alex Smith and be reunited with head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

Here are five things to know about the Redskins' newest signal-caller.

1. Allen was the best quarterback in the country coming out of high school.

Allen could play for nearly any college football program he wanted coming out of Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

His astounding career included more than 8,000 yards passing and 86 touchdowns, and by his senior year, he was the No. 1 pro-style quarterback and fifth-overall prospect in the Class of 2014, according to 247Sports.

He then played for the West team in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, where he set an Army Bowl record with 183 passing yards.

After much deliberation, Allen spurned powerhouses such as Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame and committed to Texas A&M. However, that would only be the start of his college journey.

2. He moved around during college.

Allen was serviceable for the Aggies during his first two seasons, but he constantly faced competition for the starting job.

After starting his career as a backup, Allen eventually earned the starting job and thrived in that role, completing 61.5% of his passes and throwing 16 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. He then won the first five games his sophomore year and led the SEC in passing efficiency.

But after throwing three interceptions that were returned for touchdowns against Alabama and completing just 35% of his passes versus Ole Miss, Allen was benched in favor of then freshman Kyler Murray. And while Allen regained the starting job to end the regular season, he announced his intentions to transfer a few weeks later.

Allen ended up at Houston, but because of NCAA transfer rules, he was forced to sit out the 2016 campaign. He began 2017 as the starter but was again benched following a four-interception outing in the Cougars' third game. He threw one pass the rest of the season.

During an up-and-down college career, Allen completed 61.7% of his passes for 37 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

3. His nickname with the Carolina Panthers was "Lovey Dovey."

Despite going undrafted in 2018, Allen signed with the Panthers hours after the conclusion of the NFL Draft. And it did not take long for him to earn a nickname that stuck with him throughout his time in Carolina.

Allen was just getting to know everyone during OTAs, he recounted in an interview with the Panthers' team website last April, when veteran tight end Greg Olsen approached him.

"Greg Olsen comes out and goes, 'Hey Kyle, I fell into a deep rabbit hole on your Instagram yesterday," Allen recalled. "And I've been dating my girlfriend for six or seven years now, and he scrolled all the way to the bottom and he said, 'I probably saw about 100 pictures or you and your girlfriend.'

"So, that turned into Lovey Dovey as a nickname. Of course, Cam [Newton] has to have a nickname for everyone, and it stuck."

Accompanying the nickname were hand signals Allen and his teammates flashed whenever he succeeded.

For example, after Allen threw a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints in 2018 -- his only start that season -- Newton threw his arms above his ahead and curved his fingers into a heart. Allen did the same, then positioned his hands in the form of a flying dove.

4. Turner lobbied for the Panthers to sign Allen. The two will be reunited in Washington.

Turner first met Allen during his Pro Day in 2018 and was immediately drawn to 6-foot-3 pocket passer. So when Allen went undrafted, Turner, then the quarterbacks coach in Carolina, was the one who advocated for the Panthers to sign him.

"Scott went out on a limb and found me and told the people here to bring me here. I'm thankful for that," Allen said via the team's website in December. "He was the one who said, 'Hey, this guy on the board right here, he might have something.' Scott is always going to be my guy. I'm excited about the opportunity he has."

5. He's the ideal quarterback to pair with Haskins.

At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Rivera said he wanted to add a quarterback who would provide "very competitive competition" for Haskins. It appears Allen will be able to do exactly that.

Allen has started more games (12) than his younger counterpart (seven) a year ago and has established relationships with the head coach and the offensive coordinator. Those factors make for someone who will push Haskins to maximize his potential.

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