Pikeville comes looking for Harmon, Allen

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 12, 2008

COAL GROVE — Two Hornets were attacked by bees.

The bees in this case were the Pikeville (Ky.) College Bears football coaches and the Hornets they attacked were senior linemen Dustin Harmon and Tyler Allen.

Josh Phillips, Pikeville assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator, said assistant coach Paul Howard made him and head coach Mac Ryan aware of the tandem and they liked what they saw.

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“We were shocked they were still available,” said Phillips after the two Coal Grove senior standouts signed a letter-of-intent with Pikeville on Friday.

“Once we found out they were still out there, we were like a pack of bees on them.”

Howard, who lives in Huntington, W.Va., told Phillips about the strong football program at Coal Grove and that they always have some good linemen.

“Not only did they have one lineman, but they hat two 280-pound linemen on the same team,” said Phillips.

Both Harmon and Allen were first team All-Ohio Valley Conference, first team Southeast all-district in Division V, and honorable mention All-Ohio by the Associated Press.

Harmon has been selected to play in the annual North/South All-Star Football Classic June 14 sponsored by the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association.

Allen and Harmon have been teammates and friends since they were in grade school. They passed on other schools in order to continue playing together at the same college.

“(Going to Pikeville with Harmon) is the only reason I’m going there. I wouldn’t play somewhere else,” said Allen.

“We’ve been playing together since little league football. I know I’ll have a friend down there,” said Harmon.

Harmon, who stands 6-foot-2, 270 pounds, and Allen, 6-3, 280, also liked Pikeville because of its proximity to home and the opportunity to play right away.

“(Coach Phillips) told us to be ready to play. They said they’re going to try me all over at center and tackle,” said Allen. “They told us to come ready to play.”

Harmon said Pikeville has excellent facilities and a small but strong academic campus.

“I really liked the campus because it’s small like Coal Grove,” said Harmon who is expected to play at left guard. “The coaches seem really nice and they have a good football team. They said we could possibly play as freshmen.”

Phillips said the coaching staff has three main criteria when recruiting players: academics, character, and can they play the game.

“Once we got those three things, it was a no-brainer. They’re very talented and we’re very excited to get them to Pikeville,” said Philips.

Tyler is the son of Gail and Bob Allen of Coal Grove.

Dustin is the son of Leah and Chris Harmon of Coal Grove.