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Allen: 'It’s a pretty drastic situation'

Posted Aug 27, 2017

Brian Allen and teammates are praying for family and friends in Texas impacted by the storms.

The emotion was heartfelt. The message was simple.

Please say some prayers.

That was the sentiment from several Steelers players who, like most of the country, have been watching the devastation that Hurricane Harvey, and the flooding that has occurred in the aftermath, has caused in Southeast Texas.

It has hit close to home, literally for Brian Allen, Knile Davis, Trey Williams, Demarcus Ayers, and T.J. Watt. And it hasn’t been an easy few days.

Allen is from La Marque, Texas, an area hit hard by the storms.

“I talked to my grandparents,” said Allen. “Right now most of my city is under water, but everyone is safe. I am keeping in touch, checking in every hour, making sure everyone is safe.”

His biggest concern has been his younger sister, Jada Dancer, who is in Dickinson, Texas, an area that news stations report is isolated because of flooding.

“Last night, my little sister called me about four in the morning,” said Allen, his voice a telltale sign of his concern. “She had to be rescued by boat, evacuated out of the house. It’s a pretty drastic situation down there. I am trying to stay on top of it. Right now she is with one of my best friends and his sister. They go to same high school. They were evacuated to my friend’s grandmother’s house, who is a little higher. They are okay right now.”

Allen’s mother, Niki Jolly, came to Pittsburgh to see him play against the Colts on Saturday night. She was scheduled to return home today, but Allen said he is not letting her go back, keeping her safe in Pittsburgh and not returning to what Allen knows is a bad scene.

“I still have friends there,” said Allen. “One of my closest friends, he woke up this morning to his whole bed almost submerged under water. He sent me a video, walking into his kitchen and the water was almost up to his chin. It’s real sad down there right now. I am doing whatever I can.

“I texted a guy who I played football with and he said it’s bad. His family has to be rescued by boat. He lives in a two story house and his garage is submerged.

“It’s a real bad situation. I am just trying to do what I can, make sure everyone is safe, my family is safe. My prayers go out to all of them, to everyone affected by it, and everyone pray for them.”


Davis shares the same feeling Allen does. He wants to help, is doing everything he can to help, but from a distance, it isn’t easy.

“Just talking to my mom, it’s frustrating,” said Davis, who is from Missouri City, Texas. “She was frustrated. I wish I was there to help them out. I am trying to help as much as I can from here.

“The worst feeling is not being there with them. I can hear it in her voice. But she will be all right. I know she will be.”

Most of Davis’ family is currently in Briargate, Texas, at his grandmother’s house, staying together, looking out for each other, and staying as strong as possible.  

“It hasn’t reached there yet, but it’s getting close to flooding there too,” said Davis. “They might have to get out of there. The problem is some of the evacuation routes are flooded. We just have to pray for them, everyone does.

“There is a lot of flooding going on. I am keeping tabs on my mom. It’s the rain. It’s continuing to rain. Houston is below sea level. There aren’t a lot of places for the water to run off to. It’s day-to-day. I am keeping them in my prayers.”

Ayers keeps checking his phone, hoping to hear back from friends he has sent text messages to, text messages that have been frustrating and fearfully not returned.

Ayers placed college football at the University of Houston, and while his family doesn’t live there, he still has plenty of friends in the Houston area.

“It’s emotional. That is like a second home to me,” said Ayers. “The relationships I built there, the people I met. Just knowing and thinking about them, not hearing back from some of them, it’s been on my mind.

“My teammates are safe. Everyone else I am worried about, especially the ones I haven’t heard from. I have reached out to numerous people that haven’t gotten back to me yet. It’s been hard knowing some people may or may not be safe.”


Watt has heard from his brother J.J. Watt, who plays for the Houston Texans. The Texans played in New Orleans on Saturday night, and then flew into Dallas after the game where they are staying. While he knows his brother is safe, there are still a lot of concerns.

“He sent me a picture today of some of the highways,” said Watt. “It was absolutely flooded. It was up to the signs. He doesn’t know how his house is because nobody can go check on it. There is a lot of uncertainty which is frightening. Just hoping everyone is safe back in Houston.”