Travis Allen trades green and white for blue and gold
Alex Bender | Thursday, November 12, 2015
For senior defensive back Travis Allen, coming to Notre Dame was not a lifelong dream. In fact, the school didn’t come up on his radar until the end of high school, but once he received that acceptance letter, it was clear to him what he had to do.
“I’m from Lansing, Michigan, right near Michigan State. I didn’t really think about ND until late in my senior year, but once I got in, I couldn’t pass up the academics, and it’s the best decision I ever made,” Allen said.
Allen, a three-sport athlete in high school, passed up several Division II offers when he chose Notre Dame.
“During high school, I played football, basketball and ran track all four years. To be honest, basketball was my favorite sport, but I knew my best chance to play in college was going to be in football,” Allen said. “We had some good competition in Lansing, so it was great for me growing up there and getting to face that competition.”
Living just miles from the Michigan State campus, Allen said he attended every Spartan sporting event he could when he was younger.
“Growing up, I was one of the biggest MSU fans,” Allen said. “My mom went there, and I tried my best to go to all of the football and basketball games. A close friend of mine was a walk-on there, so we had a little competition that first year, but thankfully I came out on top. It’s always fun going back there, and even now I still can’t bring myself to root against them.”
After four years at Notre Dame, however, Allen said he has received much more from the University than he could have ever expected. A marketing major in the Mendoza College of Business, Allen said he is not sure what his future holds just yet.
“I’ve been surprised by all that you learn and the connections you make through ND,” Allen said. “I’m hoping to do marketing or management in the sports field but I’m not set on that. Notre Dame really helps you to figure out what it is you want to do after college.”
In addition to his education, Allen said he realizes he is part of a select group that has suited up for the Irish football team, a part of his life that has had a huge impact on him.
“Playing on this team has been amazing. I still remember the first time I ran out of the tunnel,” Allen said. “ We had the Michigan game under the lights, first game of the year. It’s a dream, and it was great. Being on the field with guys you will have friendships with for the rest of your life is amazing because of all of the camaraderie on and off the field, and I can’t believe how fortunate I am to have this experience.”
Now, in his final season with the Irish, Allen said he is making sure he enjoys every last bit of time he has with the program.
“It’s been everything I could hope for and just knowing it’s the last time going out there and doing this stuff makes you not take anything for granted,” Allen said. “It’s tough not to get caught up in any moment. I know that last home game will be special and I’ll just try to take it all in.
“The season’s not over yet though, and I hope to make even more memories with the time I have left on the team.”
Allen said his Notre Dame experience has been much more than just the football team, though.
“I feel like I am a well-rounded person now because of ND,” Allen said. “In both academics and athletics, being around great people 24/7 makes you a better person. It’s just about growing and being the best person you can be in all walks of life.
“You never know what you might come across any given day, and that’s what sticks with me.”