No. 82 Paul Allen – Running back, Kick returner, Defensive back – 1959-1961
Paul Allen actually doesn’t have any business being on this list, but because of the unique way that the rankings were set up, he actually has some really good stats and memorable moments. As mentioned with some of the older receivers and quarterbacks, in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s passing wasn’t really part of the game.
Paul Allen played sort of the role that KJ Hall played a few years ago for BYU where he was a good running back, however he was mostly used as a screen or out pattern receiver out of the backfield.
Again, as you read this ranking you will ask, how the heck is this guy ranked higher than the Kaufusi brothers or Dayan Ghanwoloku? The answer is the same as some of the other players who in a popularity contest would be a top 20 player but because of some kind of ranking are pushed back to where they currently are.
We don’t actually have all the games Allen played in, but we know he played a lot more than the stats show. For example, there is record from his first ever game and him going for 106 yards on 18 carries, but on the stat sheet it is non existent. He also was a kick returner, but those stats weren’t kept back then very well so we have to depend on stories that others tell.
Paul Allen was an odd player that maybe didn’t deserve to be on this list because perhaps he had more stats that would have brought him down. Or perhaps he should be ranked higher because he did play more than what we have statistics for, giving him more impact and memorable moments. Either way, we don’t know so No. 82 felt about right.
Paul Allen was a contributor to his team, however with only 66 career touches either as a receiver or a running back on record, it is really tough to make much of a contribution. Where he does make a difference is when he touched the ball he made a difference scoring or going for 10+ yards on nearly 50% of his touches. Again these are the games that are on record.
This is where it gets a bit grey for Allen and how he actually makes this list. I debated quite a bit whether or not he actually deserved any recognition for his stats with such a small sample size. During his career, Allen averaged 37.2 yards per catch. Yes I realize he only had ten catches, but 37.2 per catch is phenomenal. And it isn’t like it was only one nice catch that bumped the average up. He had catches of 70, 80, 46, 46 and 25. Also to this day, he holds the NCAA record in kick returns averaging 40.1 yards per return his senior season, three of which went for touchdowns. Finally, there is record of him playing on defense and pulling down two interceptions which was quite a bit back then.
Memorable Moments C+
When you average 40.1 yards per kickoff return and score on 25% of the returns that is a memorable moment. If you catch ten passes your entire career and have those average 37.2 yards that is pretty memorable. I don’t know what else he did because we have lost the record of his performances in so many games, but he seems like the kind of guy that had plenty of memorable moments despite being on some pretty bad teams that went 8-23 while he was there.