University of Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen has been named one of 15 “Players to Watch” for the 2018 Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year award, the fourth-oldest college football award in the nation. Allen is one of just five defensive players named a semifinalist.
Allen, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound linebacker from Montclair, New Jersey, has been a terror on defense the entire season as he leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks third nationally in sacks (11.0) and leads the league and ranks 11th nationally in tackles for loss (15.5). He also ranks second nationally in forced fumbles (five).
Interesting Allen notes:
- On verge of UK career records for sacks with 25.5 … Needs just a half sack (.5) to tie Oliver Barnett as UK’s sack leader (26 from 1986-89)
- On verge of UK single-season sacks record with 11.0 … Needs one sack to tie Dennis Johnson (12 in 2001)
- Helped lead UK to (as this was written) its best record in 34 years
- First-Team Mid-Season All-America by The Associated Press, ESPN.com, Pro Football Focus and The Athletic
- Four-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week this season, including two wins he clinched with a sack, fumble, and UK recovery on the final possession
- Current semifinalist for the Bednarik Award (National Defensive Player of the Year) and Butkus Award (National Linebacker of the Year); current quarterfinalist for Lott IMPACT Trophy as National Defensive Player of the Year
- 65 total tackles, five QB hurries, four pass breakups and two fumble recoveries
- Needs 3.5 more sacks to break into the SEC top 10 list for career sacks
- Nine of his 11 sacks have come in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter and three in the third
The Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. A list of five finalists will be announced on Wednesday, November 28 and the winner broadcast live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, December 6. The 2018 Player of the Year will be recognized along with the Walter Camp All-America team at the Foundation’s national awards dinner on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at Yale University’s Lanman Center.
The 2017 Walter Camp Player of the Year was former University of Oklahoma and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
2018 Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalists: Josh Allen, Senior, Linebacker, Kentucky; Deandre Baker, Senior, Defensive Back, Georgia; Devin Bush, Junior, Linebacker, Michigan; Travis Etienne, Sophomore, Running Back, Clemson; Will Grier, Senior, Quarterback, West Virginia; Dwayne Haskins, Junior, Quarterback, Ohio State; Darrell Henderson, Junior, Running Back, Memphis; Trace McSorley, Senior, Quarterback, Penn State; McKenzie Milton, Junior, Quarterback, UCF; Gardner Minshew, Senior, Quarterback, Washington State; Kyler Murray, Junior, Quarterback, Oklahoma; Tua Tagovailoa, Sophomore, Quarterback, Alabama; Jonathan Taylor, Sophomore, Running Back, Wisconsin; Jerry Tillery, Senior, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame; Quinnen Williams, Sophomore, Nose Guard, Alabama.
Allen has also been named one of the five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy awarded to the nation’s top defensive player, it was announced today by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Monday, Dec. 3 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery. Ohio State’s Tom Cousineau, a member of the FWAA’s 1977 All-America team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.
The other finalists are: Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, LSU safety Grant Delpit, Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and Alabama nose guard Quinnen Williams.