Former Texas Tech linebacker Dakota Allen is returning to the program seven months after he was kicked off the team.
Allen, who spent this season at East Mississippi Community College, received a scholarship offer from Tech in early December and made an oral commitment Saturday to return. He announced that decision on Twitter.
“I have decided to finish what I started at Texas Tech,” Allen wrote. “Blessed for a second opportunity to play football again. #GunsUp”
Allen, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound product of Humble Summer Creek, was the leading tackler on an 11-1 East Mississippi team this season and the second-leading tackler for the Red Raiders in 2015, though his inconsistent play kept him out of the starting lineup the last month of that season. Allen and two others were kicked off the Tech team in early May, months after being arrested.
Oral commitments are non-binding. Because Allen is still a recruitable player for other schools, Tech officials would be prohibited by NCAA rule from discussing him until after he has signed. In this case, Allen is expected to sign with the Red Raiders on Feb. 1, the first day of the regular national letter of intent signing period. He would return to Tech in the summer.
In June, Allen and two Red Raiders teammates were indicted on a second-degree felony count of burglary of a habitation. Lubbock police, according to earlier A-J Media reports, believed Allen and offensive linemen Trace Ellison and Robert Castaneda broke into a Lubbock house in the 4300 block of 43rd Street and stole two digital cameras, a 40-inch television and a gun safe containing seven firearms.
The home’s residents called police on Jan. 9, saying they had left town Dec. 20 and returned to find the property missing.
Allen and Ellison admitted to each keeping one of the guns, and Allen told investigators he and Castaneda sold the others. All of the recovered guns were eventually returned to the owner.
In late July, the men entered into an agreement with the district attorney’s office for pre-trial diversion, which places defendants on community supervision in exchange for the dismissal of their charges.
Ellison transferred to Louisiana-Monroe. Castaneda transferred to Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College. Castaneda signed with Utah State on Wednesday, the first day of the month-long mid-year signing period for junior-college players.
Allen landed at East Mississippi, a school in Scooba, Mississippi, known for taking players who had problems elsewhere. The Netflix documentary series “Last Chance U” this year profiled the East Mississippi football program, with a promo trailer describing team members’ journey “from troublemakers to playmakers.”
Allen was credited with 117 tackles, as well as two sacks, a fumble recovery, an interception and five pass breakups. East Mississippi beat Kilgore in the Mississippi Bowl to end the season on an 11-game winning streak and finished No. 2 in the NJCAA.