Who knew former two-star recruit Josh Allen would become a program changer and lead a stout Kentucky defense?
Mark Stoops and his staff, that’s who. Back in 2015, Allen was headed to Monmouth, a university not even playing in the FBS until Stoops and Co. swooped in and took a chance on a two-star kid from New Jersey.
And after four years, that faith has paid massive dividends. You just can’t say enough about what Josh Allen has done for this Kentucky defense: 84 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss (tied for 10th in the FBS), 14 sacks (4th in the FBS), and 5 fumbles forced (tied for 1st).
After a historic season that saw the Kentucky Wildcats win 9 games, Allen now stands as the Wildcats’ all-time and single season sacks leader and he’s well on his way to becoming one of the more decorated players in Kentucky football history.
Not only that, but he is poised to become Kentucky’s first consensus All-American since Derek Abney in 2002.
This week, Allen was named a unanimous First Team All-American by CBS Sports, a First Team All-American by The Sporting News, and ESPN’s Mark Schlabach named Allen to ESPN’s All-American team. Just to keep everything updated, here’s a list of the awards Allen has earned this postseason:
- Lott IMPACT Trophy (National Defensive Player of the Year)
- Chuck Bednarik Award (National DPOY)
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (National DPOY)
- SEC Defensive Player of the Year (AP, Coaches)
- First Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, ESPN)
- First Team All-American (Sports Illustrated, The Athletic, Pro Football Focus, AP, FWAA, CBS, The Sporting News, ESPN)
- Finalist for the Walter Camp National Player of the Year, the Butkus Award (nation’s best linebacker), and Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end of the year)
The accolades keep pouring in and Allen’s incredible season could culminate in a bowl victory and potential top-10 selection in next year’s NFL Draft. Looks like returning for his senior season was one of the best decisions he could have made.