Asher Allen, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Asher just finished his third year in Pro Football. He played in 12 games this year for the Vikings and started 9 of those. He had a season total of 49 tackles and 1 interception.
Asher was born in Tucker, Georgia, went to Tucker High School and was drafted in the 3rd round (overall pick #86) in 2009 by the Vikings.
Draft analysis from the Vikings website (time to reminisce):
The two-year starter at strong-side cornerback decided to forgo his final year of eligibility to test his wares in the National Football League. He closed out his Bulldogs career as one of the elite kickoff return specialists in school history despite handling the duty for just two years.
Allen's 47 kickoff returns for 1,110 yards rank third on the Georgia career record list, as his average of 23.6 yards per attempt placed him fourth in school history. Those totals were aided by his 28 returns for 690 yards in 2007, both setting new Bulldogs season marks.
At Tucker High School, Allen excelled in football, basketball and track. On the football field, he earned Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11 and Super Southern 100 honors. He was a member of the Fox Sports Net All-South third-team, Super Prep All-American and Prep Star Top 200 squads. He was rated the ninth-best cornerback in the country by Rivals.com.
Allen earned Coaches Choice All-State honors as a junior punt/kick returner, as he had seven punt returns and two kickoffs for touchdowns. On offense, the receiver had 36 receptions for 432 yards and five touchdowns as a junior and almost 500 yards and six rushing scores. As a cornerback, he recorded six interceptions, 46 solo tackles and 20 assists as a junior.
Allen enrolled at Georgia in January, 2006, competing during spring drills. He was named the team's Defensive Newcomer of the Year, seeing action in 13 contests behind Paul Oliver (San Diego) at weak-side cornerback. He posted 24 tackles (20 solos) on defense and also handled return duties. He averaged 22.1 yards on 19 kickoff returns and 13.5 yards on four punt returns.
As a sophomore, Allen started the team's final 11 games at strong-side cornerback, recording a career-high 64 tackles (50 solos) with a pair of sacks and a fumble recovery. He had his only interceptions (three) during his time with the Bulldogs and broke up four other throws. He tied the school single-season record with 28 kickoff returns and broke another annual mark by gaining 690 yards on those runbacks.
Allen started all 13 games at strong-side cornerback in 2008. The Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist played in the last five contests with a right hand fracture, wearing a cast that prevented him from getting too many interception opportunities and not handle the bulk of the kickoff return chores like he did in the past. He still managed to record 53 tackles (44 solos), adding 4.5 stops for loss while deflecting seven throws.
Partially due to his injury, Allen decided to leave Georgia after the season, joining fellow underclassmen quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno in declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft. "Asher Allen has been a great part of our football team as well as our overall athletic program over the past three years," head coach Mark Richt said. "We will certainly miss him, however, we wish him the very best in the NFL Draft and with his professional football aspirations in the future."
"This was the hardest decision of my life because of my love and respect for Georgia and everyone who is affiliated with Georgia, including the fans, my teammates, my coaches, the academic staff and everyone else," Allen said. "I have been chasing this dream of playing in the NFL and after making this decision with my family, I feel like I am ready for this next step. But I owe everyone the world who has helped me out during my time at Georgia."