Jake Allyn is making the most of his chances.
His TV movie, Overexposed, recently aired on Lifetime. "I love to write," he said. "I've written a couple of movies with my older brother [filmmaker Conor Allyn]."
On Tuesday, March 6, at 8 p.m., he'll guest star on CBS's top-rated show, NCIS.
But it's his co-starring role on The Quad, BET's hit show that's set on the campus of Georgia A&M University that has him talking.
"It absolutely feels good," he said during a January interview, laughing that it used to just be "me and my friends in a garage.
"So many people in this industry don't get a chance to carry a character through."
As the second season began, the fictional historically black college was fighting off entreaties from a predominately white university. And BoJohn Folsom, who is the lone white player on the football team, was still fighting to belong at the school. Both are true-to-life issues.
"He's getting more and more comfortable with his surroundings," Allyn said. "The writers do a great job of doing that for me and I just have to go live it, you know?"
The Quad finds its chemistry from a volatile mixture of drama, of the high order and the petty kind.
"We do not shy away from any of the drama that's happening. I enjoy the harsh drama, the kind of raw, emotional stuff," Allyn said, adding that there will be a lot of racially motivated stuff for Bo in season two.
There is fun to be had, too, on the set.
"What I really love about it is when it's a fun day ... we have an absolute blast. It couldn't be more fun," he said. "When it's a very serious scene, people couldn't be more respectful of getting those scenes honest and right ... To have both is a really special thing."
New episodes of The Quad air at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on BET.
Allyn, son of famed campaign consultant and screenwriter Rob Allyn and brother of filmmaker Conor Allyn, went to Jesuit High where he played football and basketball. He loves Dallas and he loves the Dallas Cowboys.
He lives most of the year in Venice, Calif., he said, and the show shoots in Atlanta. But "when people say, 'Where are you from,' I say Texas. I say Dallas, Texas."
What he loves, too, is getting the chance to portray someone he says is rarely seen in proper light: a small-town Texan.
"With very true honesty, I take a ton of honor and pride with playing a character from Texas ... to do that truthfully and enlighten people," he said. "I take it very, very seriously."