Updated 16 minutes ago
Born in Maryland, Marcus Allen grew up in this state and crossed the Mason Dixon Line to play football in Penn State.
Do not fool yourself, Pittsburgh is at home. That's why 21-year-old Allen was so excited that he was drafted by the # 148 Steelers on Saturday in the fifth round.
Allen was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attended high school in Upper Marlboro. But his father, Shawn, grew up in Homewood and graduated from Westinghouse High School in 1
"I'm coming home," said an emotional Allen during a telephone conference on Saturday after being selected by the Steelers. "I'm coming home."
Allen was one of the precautions the Steelers took for an advance visit, and he hoped the trip to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex was a sign of things to come.
"Everyone was scared and wondering where I should go, but it's a perfect situation," Allen said. It's my home, my grandmother's from there, my grandfather is from there – my whole family, I'm so excited. "
It was not long before Allen got a piece of Steelers clothing snapped as soon as his name became known.
"I have all this Steelers equipment in my room," he said. "I just went into my room and took the hat off my stand and just put it on because I had so much Steelers gear."
At 6-foot-2, 215-pound, Allen was a big hitter at Penn State, graduating as the number five of all time school. In his senior season, when he was All-Big Ten's first team, he had 72 tackles, a sack, an interception and two forced fumbles.
Allen started 39 games in the last three seasons and also started the last seven games of his first season.
"For me he is really a big attacker," said Steelers second coach Tom Bradley. He's a very physical tackler, he's a real physical person around the ball, this is probably the best part of his game, how physical he is, we watched him and followed him at different times, watching how he beat people, he's coming pretty good to you. "
Allen is the third prominent security the Steelers have added since the end of the season. They designed Virginia Tech Terrell Edmunds on Thursday in the first round, and they signed veteran Morgan Burnett in freelance agency.
Joe Rutter is an editor of the Tribune Review. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tribjoerutter .