Another day, another honor for Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen.
The UK sack king is now a finalist for the Butkus award, which honors the best linebacker in America, it was announced today by the Butkus Foundation.
Entering the final week of regular-season play, Allen leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in sacks (13.0). He leads the league and ranks 11th nationally in tackles for loss (17.5). He also ranks second nationally in forced fumbles (five).
This is just one of many honors for Allen this year. He has earned first-team midseason All-America honors from the Associated Press, ESPN.com, Pro Football Focus, CBS Sports and The Athletic. Allen has also been named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week multiple times this season, and he’s on the watch lists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and the Bednarik Award.
While Allen is on the watchlist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy for the whole season, he is also up for the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week. And the Big Blue Nation can help Allen win this award this week.
His 15 tackles were a new career-high.— Lott IMPACT Trophy (@TheLottTrophy) November 18, 2018
His 2 sacks took him to the top of @UKFootball's all-time career sacks list AND set a single-season record.
Mr. @JoshAllen41_, ladies and gentlemen. #CharacterCounts
Vote for Josh: https://t.co/tw9Ny0wEfp pic.twitter.com/2i3nViOJt3
As you can imagine, a player who is up for this many awards is surely an NFL hopeful. In the case of Allen, he’s become one of the top prospects in the entire nation, as ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Wildcat ranked ninth overall in his updated 2019 NFL Draft big board:
9. Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 230 | Previously: 10
I pegged Allen before the season as a potential Day 2 pick, as he broke out in 2017 with seven sacks, 66 tackles and an interception. He has been underrated in this class, as I think he now has a chance at being a top-10 pick. Allen is disruptive, and he has the length that NFL teams love as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He is up to 11 sacks this season, including a three-sack game against South Carolina, and he has forced a whopping five fumbles.
Allen has already cemented himself as one of the best to ever play at UK. Now, it’s just a matter of getting him the national recognition he deserves.