UK Football

Kentucky’s Allen adds another national honor to his growing stash

Kentucky football’s Josh Allen closes out a chapter

Kentucky senior outside linebacker Josh Allen talks to the media after making 15 tackles, including two sacks, in the 34-23 win over Middle Tennessee at Kroger Field on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Allen became the school's career sacks leader.
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Kentucky senior outside linebacker Josh Allen talks to the media after making 15 tackles, including two sacks, in the 34-23 win over Middle Tennessee at Kroger Field on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Allen became the school's career sacks leader.

This could be a big awards week for Josh Allen.

It already started with a defensive player of the year award in the Southeastern Conference as voted on by the Associated Press, and on Monday night he added the Bronko Nagurski Trophy to his growing stockpile.

The award, presented to the nation’s most outstanding college defensive player, was handed out on Monday night during a banquet in Charlotte.

Allen was one of five finalists for the honor. The others included Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, LSU safety Grant Delpit, Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and Alabama nose guard Quinnen Williams.

Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State won the award last season. Other notable past winners have included Alabama’s Jonathan Allen, Boston College’s Luke Kuechly, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, Louisville’s Elvis Dumervil and LSU’s Glenn Dorsey.

Allen, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound linebacker, has been on a tear this season for Kentucky with an SEC-best 14 quarterback sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles to go with his team-high 84 total tackles. He broke the Kentucky single-season and career sacks record (28.5) already this season. He was named a ProFootballFocus.com All-American as well on Monday.

That site, which uses advanced metrics to grade players nationally, noted that Allen was the top defensive edge rusher in the country. “Allen brought in 51 total pressures that included 14 sacks, nine QB hits and an additional 28 hurries,” the site said. “Rounding out his game, he dropped into coverage on 141 snaps and allowed just 130 yards on 19 targets without allowing a touchdown.”

The senior has been named a finalist for several major awards as of late, including the Butkus Award (nation’s best linebacker), the Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player of the year), the Ted Hendricks Award (nation’s best defensive end) and Lott IMPACT Trophy (defensive player of the year). He’s also a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award.

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