This is how poised Jim Allin is: He answered his cell phone while on a roller coaster.
The Queen's cornerbachas confirmed he will return to the Golden Gaels for a fifth season. Like with all players who have competed a degree and have eligibility remaining, he was on the fence.
"It's not 100% official, but unofficially, I can’t see myself not playing," said Allin, 23, who earned his life sciences degree and Queen's male athlete of the year award recently. "I'm not ready to be done yet."
Allin's unique skill set gives Queen's another dimension on defence and in the return game, where he was an all-Canadian kick returner in 2008 (second-team at corner). He's only 5-foot-11, 170 lbs., but set a record in the shuttle run at the CFL evaluation camp in March. He's also a pretty heady player, an aspiring doctor who is leaning toward following in the footsteps of his dad, Dr. Jeffrey Allin, a family practitioner in Belleville, Ont.
The FAN 590's Mike Hogan went on record a few months back saying it would be a "travesty" if Allin, 23, didn't get a long look at the CFL camp. He was at Montreal's camp in the spring.
"When things didn't work out (in Montreal), it was a chance to take a step back and take a look at what I wanted to do," said Allin, who has an offer to study medicine in Brisbane, Australia (yep, in Queensland). "There's no way I’m ready to hang up yet ... it was a good experience with the Als, I have to believe everything works out the way it does for a reason. I'm looking forward to going deep into the season."
Of course, what happens to Queen's this year is first of all what happened to them the past two post-seasons. The Golden Gaels are 14-2 in the regular season the past two years, but lost home playoff games to Western and Ottawa.
"Last season was just like the year before, our season ended way too early," Allin says. "I don’t know if we weren't just ready. We definitely have to finish and win those games. I think we have the team that can do it."
The Gaels already got some welcome news when all-Canadian receiver Scott Valberg successfully appealed. The upshot is Queen's has lost its best interior D-lineman, Dee Sterling and force-of-nature feature back, Mike Giffin, to the pros, but they have returned their No. 1 pass receiver and best defender against the pass. That should be reassuring in Queen'sland.