LAFAYETTE — New Mexico State quarterback Andrew Allen is healthy enough to play Saturday — but because of a personal tragedy, he may not take the field.
Allen’s father, Marlin (Texas) police chief Darrell Allen, died Nov. 10, a week after he was shot while providing off duty security at a bar on Halloween in Temple, Texas.
“Andrew has handled everything really well,” New Mexico State coach Doug Martin said. “The police department there had a service for his dad this past Saturday, and Andrew was able to get to that. ...
“He’s handled it really well. He got to see his dad before he passed away, got to go home and do that. I think that helped him also.”
A memorial service will be held for Darrell Allen on Saturday morning in his hometown of Texas City, Texas. Andrew Allen plans on attending the ceremony before driving to Lafayette to meet the rest of his team.
Texas City is near Galveston, a little less than a four-hour drive from Lafayette.
“He’s got a great family around him, grandparents and everybody helping him get through this,” Martin said. “Mentally, he’s fine. Maybe the best thing for him is to be around this football team, to be with these guys. They’re all supporting him and have done a great job boosting him up.”
Allen took over the reins as the starter in October after an injury to Tyler Rogers, and he led the Aggies to their first win of the year with a monster game against Idaho. In that game, Allen threw for 300 yards and three scores while adding 92 on the ground.
Allen injured his MCL in that game. That performance also came on the day his father was shot.
The Aggies are planning on starting freshman Nick Jeanty, who threw for 297 yards and two scores in a win against Texas State in place of Allen.
“We’re going to start Nick in the game, but Andrew will be available,” Martin said. “We’ll see how he practices this week because he is coming off the MCL — plus what he’s dealing with, I don’t want to put any more on his plate than we have to right now. But he certainly will be an option for us.”
Safety Tracy Walker (shoulder) and left guard Grant Horst (concussion) should be available for Saturday’s game after they did not travel with the team to South Alabama, though Horst’s status isn’t as clear-cut as that of Walker.
“If everything goes as planned this week, he will be available Saturday,” coach Mark Hudspeth said. “He is on course to play unless he goes backwards.”
Horst did not participate in Tuesday’s practice, but Walker was a full participant.
Reserves Trey Granier and Keenan Barnes will not be available against New Mexico State, Hudspeth said.
Because of the nature of Horst’s injury, Hudspeth said the Cajuns are staying cautious.
“We want him to come back when he’s ready to come back,” Hudspeth said. “We don’t ever push a kid with a concussion. Our training staff does a great job with the concussion protocol and monitoring those guys.”
The open date came at the right time for the Aggies, as they were able to get the majority of their injured players back to health, including receiver Teldrick Morgan, who was having a solid year before an injury forced him to miss most of the last three games.
New Mexico State will not have receiver Josh Bowen, however, after he broke a bone and tore a ligament against Texas State.