Judging by his play for the Alabama football team, Jonathan Allen sometimes doesn’t look human.
But according to a story from Jon Solomon of CBSSports.com, a void in Allen’s life is something almost any human can connect with: The loss of his mother.
Allen, the star defensive tackle for the Crimson Tide, was removed from his mother’s custody in 2004 and has not seen his mother, who was not named in the story, since.
“I’ve been trying, but I don’t know how to get in contact with her,” Allen told CBSSports. “No idea where she lives. … It would mean a lot [to talk to her]. I would love to. That’s my mom. You never replace your mom, even though my stepmom, I love her to death. She’s been great. But there’s nothing like your mom, you know?”
Allen and his brother, Richard III, lived hotel to hotel during a time before they were taken away from their mother, who at the time was in a custody battle with the children’s father.
Since then, the boys were raised by military father Richard Allen and their stepmom, Traci Allen. Jonathan moved from Washington state to Virginia, where he became a star at Stone Bridge High School.
This year, Allen has become a transcendent player at Alabama for coach Nick Saban, becoming the school’s first national defensive player of the year. He’ll surely be one of the first players selected this spring in the NFL draft, and is one win away on Monday from earning another College Football Playoff national championship.
But there’s still the void of his biological mother not being in his life that Allen hopes to fill someday soon.
“It definitely shaped who I am,” Allen said of his childhood. “I try not to take things for granted. I just try to control what I can control.”