Dallas -- For Dallas native Jake Allyn art imitates life, kinda.
On the new BET television series, "The Quad," the actor plays a small town Texas quarterback trying to find his way on campus at Georgia A-and-M, a fictional historically black university.
"I'm remeber telling them. You know I'm from Dallas, if this pilot airs and the football is whack, I'm going to get hazed," said Allyn.
The football part fits. Allyn played collegiately at Cornell and he's actually made an appearance on WFAA-TV before. He was part of a story on an honorary assistant football coach at Jesuit high school, where Jake was an all-district tight end.
On "The Quad," the show tackles hot-button issues, like racism and sexual assault on campus. Allyn says he puts in extra work to give the topics the proper treatment.
"Each character carries the torch for a different topical issues," said Allyn. "Mine is domestic violence."
Allyn has been able to translate the perfromance aspects he learned while playing sports and bring them to his life's passion.
"When that ball is hiked, you just got to go," said Allen, who played receiver at Cornell. "You can't be thinking about what route you have to run, can't be thinking about the defender, you just got to go and react. On action, you've just got to roll."
So, in acting, you have to be a gamer?
"Absolutely," said Allyn.
Allyn's showing he's got game in this breakout role. And there's irony in his own story. He actually passed on a chance to start acting when he was 12, because he didn't want to give up sports. Now he can do both.
"With acting in general, I get to do what I love for the people that I love and they get to see it," said Allyn.
And from the great reviews he's earning, they'll be able to see more, soon.