Finland: Kuopio Steelers re-sign D1 defensive tackle Ikeem Allen

The reigning back-to-back Maple Bowl champion Kuopio Steelers are bringing back a core piece of their championship defense in defensive tackle Ikeem Allen.

The 2021 Maple League All-Star is excited to be back in Kuopio next season:

“I decided to continue at the Steelers for the 2022 season due to the connection I formed with the team and the organization. I feel really at home among the coaches, players and other staff”

The 25-year-old, 6’1″, 270-pound Allen, from Charlotte, North Carolina recorded 30 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss, and one blocked kick in 10 games.  Allen fit perfectly in the league’s top defense, helping them shut out the Helsinki Roosters in the championship game.

Before coming to Finland last year, Allen played for the Brisbane Rhinos in Australia’s Gridiron Queensland league, helping them to a 9-1 regular-season record and a berth in the championship final where they lost by a single point to the Bayside Ravens.

Allen enjoyed an excellent four-year career at the Miami University (Ohio) where he played 49 games and finished with 94 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and nine sacks. In his freshman year, he was named Miami’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year and in his senior season he was a third-team All-MAC selection and also named Defensive Power Player of the Year.

Miami of Ohio is also the alma mater of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay among many others.

The former division one player is spending the winter in Kuopio helping the team’s strength and conditioning program. Steelers head coach Pekka Utriainen looks to reload with a similar team in 2022 as he’s already resigned running back Le’anthony Reasnover and quarterback Joey Bradley to go along with Allen in search for a third straight title.

Watch Allen’s 2021 highlights here

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football