Marcus Allen is bringing his hard-hitting nature to Pittsburgh.
Allen was selected by the Steelers at No. 148 overall in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday afternoon. He joins former Penn State teammates Jesse James and Malik Golden in Pittsburgh and will be coached by former Nittany Lions assistant Tom Bradley.
"It's all tears of joy right now. It's a perfect situation," Allen told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. "It's my hometown."
It's a natural fit for Allen, a Maryland native whose grandparents lived in the Steel City. His family had a solid relationship with Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert before the draft process, and that apparently strengthened in recent months.
For four years, Allen anchored Penn State's defense. His first career start came against Ohio State, the eventual national champions, in 2014, when he posted a season-high 11 tackles. Allen's final game for the Nittany Lions came on Dec. 28 — a Fiesta Bowl victory in which he earned defensive MVP.
In 52 games, Allen tallied 321 tackles. That total is fifth-best all-time at Penn State. The only tacklers ahead of him? Legendary linebackers Dan Connor, Paul Posluszny, Greg Buttle and Sean Lee.
"Allen is a punishing, downhill banger with good size and the attitude of a linebacker in run support," the safety's NFL.com scouting report reads. "He has the toughness and tackle production of a future starter who does his best work near the line of scrimmage."
There is concern about Allen's coverage skills. The NFL.com scouting report highlights limitations "in terms of his lateral movement and agility," and the safety managed only one interception over a lengthy career.
"He's not a guy you're going to ask to match up with slot receivers," ESPN and Scouts Inc. draft expert Steve Muench added. "He has shorter arms. There are enough negatives to pick on him."
But the Steelers see the positives and potential in Allen's game.
Expect plenty of Nittany Lion fans sporting black and gold Allen jerseys at Beaver Stadium come September.