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Josh Allen earning more national honors, deserves to be in Heisman talk

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Why Josh Allen deserves to be in Heisman contention.

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Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Rarely do you ever see defensive players mentioned on the list of Heisman Trophy hopefuls, let alone win the Heisman.

The last three defensive players in recent memory to be even named a finalist for the prestigious award were Ndamukong Suh in 2009, leading a stout Nebraska Cornhuskers defense, Tyrann Mathieu in 2011, leading an LSU Tigers team to a national championship game appearance and an SEC Championship, and Manti Te’o in 2012, leading Notre Dame to a national championship game appearance.

And of course, Charles Woodson is the only defensive player to win the award, back in 1997 playing for Michigan.

Josh Allen deserves to be added to the list of defensive studs to be on the Heisman ballot. After coming off a dominating 11 tackle, 2 sack, 2 forced fumble performance against Missouri, Josh Allen has shown that he is Kentucky’s most important player. And also the best defensive player in all of college football.

After a stagnant first 55 minutes from Kentucky’s offense, the Kentucky defense kept the Wildcats in the game, not allowing a single first down to Drew Lock and the Mizzou offense in the second half.

The leader of that defense?

Josh Allen.

Through eight games in the 2018 season, Allen has 56 total tackles, 10 sacks (including a 3 sack game against South Carolina), and five forced fumbles.

Comparing to Ndamukong Suh’s incredible 2009 season through eight games, Suh had 49 total tackles, 5 sacks, and only one forced fumble. Suh came in fourth in the Heisman voting in 2009, but arguably deserved the trophy due to his dominating performance on the field. Suh would finish with 85 total tackles, 12 sacks, and one forced fumble.

In 2012, Manti Te’o took the country by storm with his incredible defensive performances. Through eight games Te’o put up 80 total tackles, only one sack, five interceptions and zero forced fumbles. Te’o would finish 113 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, seven interceptions, and only one forced fumble, and would finish third in the Heisman voting.

When looking at the stats, Josh Allen has arguably out-performed two of the most dominating defensive players of the past 20 years.

Josh Allen does it all on the field for Kentucky. Whether it be tackling in the open field, getting to the quarterback or running back in the backfield, or his infamous strip sack, Allen is a man amongst boys when he steps out onto the field.

From a former two-star recruit in Montclair, New Jersey with only one scholarship offer, to the most dominating defensive force in college football, Josh Allen rightfully deserves to be in the Heisman talk.

While it’s going to be hard for any defensive player to get there, Allen is in the running for some major defensive awards. On Monday, Allen was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, given to college football’s top linebacker. He was also named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to college football’s most outstanding defensive player.

On Sunday, Allen was named National Defensive Player of the Week by Walter Camp Football Foundation.

And of course, Allen was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance at Missouri. With those kinds of honors coming in, you’d think getting Allen in the Heisman conversation would be an easy call.