College Sports

Linebacker from Belleville East, Southern Illinois not selected in NFL draft

Chase Allen, a Belleville East High School graduate, was not selected in the NFL draft Saturday.

Allen, a 6-foot-4, 241-pound middle linebacker, had 77 tackles, including seven for losses, and one sack last season for Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He had 324 career tackles at SIUC, 12th on the all-time list at the school.

Allen, 23, had 120 tackles in his junior season with the Salukis. rated him 14th in a pool of 170 draft-eligible linebackers. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds during a Pro Day at Northwestern University in Evanston, third-fastest in the group of linebackers.

The Salukis have not had a linebacker taken in the draft since John Harper was selected in the fourth round by the Atlanta Falcons in 1983.

Many players who were not drafted by the NFL are offered free-agent deals and can sign with any team that makes an offer. Allen could fall into that category.

Quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Tony Romo are two players who went undrafted and enjoyed long and successful careers. Warner led the then-St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl championship in 2000.

Dowling to Chiefs

Another East graduate, Nolan Dowling, a long-snapper from Western Kentucky, was not drafted. Dowling, however, has been invited by the Kansas City Chiefs to their rookie mini-camp in May.

Dowling (6-0, 230 pounds) graduated from East in 2012 and redshirted that fall at Western Kentucky. He closed his career with 52 consecutive starts and was an honorable-mention selection in Conference USA as a sophomore, junior and senior.

David Wilhelm: 618-239-2665, @DavidMWilhelm