Q&A with Geronimo Allison

Q&A with Geronimo Allison

He’s got a cool first name and an even better game. Geronimo Allison leads Illinois
with four touchdown catches and is second on the team in receptions and yards.
Staff writer Bob Asmussen sat down with the junior college transfer earlier this week:

Why are you Geronimo?
My mom really wanted a unique name for me. I don’t know what struck her to name me Geronimo. I just took it and ran with it.

Have you met anybody else with the name?
Never met another Geronimo.

Has the name been good?
It’s been awesome for me. Being an athlete, it gives a ring to my game.

Did kids ever make fun of you?
In my early childhood they would. Typically, you hear a lot of pilots, a lot of Army men jumping out of airplanes, yelling “Geronimo.” You hear it on cartoons. Growing up, I used to get teased about it. It just took me getting mature and getting comfortable with it.

How did you react?
I used to get mad about it. Nobody likes getting teased.

What do you miss the most about Council Bluffs?
I miss the football at Iowa Western, being around those guys. I was around a lot of good coaches, a lot of great friends that I met. To this day, I still keep in contact with a lot of people over there. It was a nice town. I enjoyed my time there. That was my first glimpse of corn being in Iowa.

How about Tampa?
Mainly my family and my neighborhood. My friends and the good weather, too.

Is it easier to be far from home now after spending two years in Iowa?
It is, but I miss my mom. It’s a plus for me being older and knowing the process I’m going through, too.

What is the most difficult part of adjusting from junior college to major college football?
Getting comfortable with a new city and a new state. And getting comfortable making new friends. Once I got here, I was able to make friends quickly. That made it easier on me.

What’s been easier than you expected?
Football because that is something I love to do. I put a lot of focus and a lot of time and effort into it.

Bucs or Rays?
Rays. I’ve been to more Rays games than Bucs games. I grew up playing baseball first before I started playing football. My favorite baseball player is Ryan Howard. My favorite baseball player for the Rays was David Price.

Champaign or Tampa?
Tampa. That’s home. The weather is better in Tampa. We have a lot more amusement parks, beaches.

Is it difficult adjusting to a new quarterback?
It’s not hard because we put in the time in the offseason. Both of their games are similar but different. I know how Reilly throws. I’m comfortable with Reilly, just like I’m comfortable with Wes.  

What can you do to make things easier on Reilly?
Continue to play my game and stay on the same page with him and communicate when we’re out there.

You know, Coach Bellamy was a great player here back in the day. Can you picture him catching passes?
I watched a few clips of him playing. He was an explosive player. I watched it on my own. He didn’t have to show me or anything. He was fast. He could catch the ball. He had a lot of enthusiasm when he played. He had a lot of support, too. He was a very dynamic player.

How hard have the last couple games been on you and the team?
It’s been tough. I’m not used to losing. At the same time, I don’t dwell on the losses. I learn from my mistakes and move on.

How do you avoid pointing fingers?
You’ve just got to be a man about it and own up to your own mistakes. There is no need to point fingers. That’s very immature. Control what you can control.

How much did it help you to get here at the semester?
A lot. It gave me a jump going into camp on the other recruits who came in. It gave me time to get comfortable in the system. It helped with schoolwork. It gave me a jump. This academic atmosphere is very different from community college. It’s tougher, but at the same time we have a lot of academic help that comes into play.

Who are smarter, receivers or defensive backs?
Receivers, by far. Receivers know more. We have to study more. Defensive backs are always guessing.
Who are tougher, receivers or running backs?
It’s tight. Receivers take a lot of beatings also. But running backs take a lot of beatings from 300-pounders.
Who does better with women, receivers or linebackers?
Receivers. We are more swaggy than linebackers. Linebackers aren’t typically scoring touchdowns. Receivers have that advantage. You are noticed more than the linebackers by scoring touchdowns and catching passes.

Other than football, what is your favorite sport to watch?
A good baseball game. Two competitive teams going at it. Good pitching, good batting.

Is there another sport you’d like to try?
Track. I did track my senior year, and I enjoyed it. I did the 110 hurdles, the 300 hurdles, the 4-by-4 and the long jump.

Because you lived in Iowa, is the weather no longer an issue?
I pretty much adjust. I’m not a big fan of the cold weather, but I’m not one to complain about it. I had never seen snow until I got to Iowa. When I first saw it, I really didn’t know how to walk in it. The snowflakes were all in my face. Once it piled up pretty good, I was out there playing in it. But very, very, very bundled up.

Who is your favorite female entertainer?
Meagan Good.

A night on the town with Meagan Good or two touchdown catches in a win against Wisconsin?
Two touchdowns in a win against Wisconsin because that’s more realistic.

Tell me something people don’t know about you.
I was a baseball player, and I pitched. I was very good. My fastball was my favorite. It was my bread and butter. My junior year, I went to a Perfect Game camp, and I clocked in at 84.

Tell me something people don’t know about a teammate.
Martize Barr likes to wear funny socks. Not your normal white socks. He’s very creative with his socks. I saw him wear some purple, turquoise and blue socks. I’m not sure what character they had on them, but they had a character on them.

After football, what do you see yourself doing?
I would like to be a sports anchor. I don’t mind being on camera or maybe working off camera, too.