CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) – Kentucky linebacker
Josh Allen was named the recipient of the
2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Monday night before
a sold-out banquet crowd of 1,200 at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Allen, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound linebacker from Montclair, N.J., accepted
the award given to the best defensive player in college football
and becomes Kentucky's first major award winner since Bob Gain won
the Outland Trophy in 1950.
The FWAA All-America Committee made Allen the selection as this
year's Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner. Allen was selected from a
list of finalists that included Michigan linebacker Devin Bush,
LSU safety Grant Delpit, Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins
and Alabama nose guard Quinnen Williams.
The senior has been one of the nation's top pass rushers all
season with 14 sacks in the 2018 season that led the Southeastern
Conference and are third in the nation, to go with SEC-best marks
of 18.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles. His 14 sacks are
the single-season record at Kentucky, as are his 28.5 career sacks
heading into the Wildcats' VRBO Citrus Bowl appearance on Jan. 1.
Allen has 11 career forced fumbles, which ties former Wildcat
and current Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan for the Wildcats'
career mark. His defensive numbers improved as the games wore on
– 12 of his 14 sacks have come in the second half, with eight of
those 12 in the fourth quarter. He clinched two of Kentucky's nine
wins this season with a sack that caused a fumble that the Wildcats
recovered on their opponents' final possession.
In addition, those 14 sacks have been drive-breakers for opponents.
Of the 14 drives in which Allen registered a sack, opponents ran
81 plays for just 211 yards of total offense, or 2.6 yards per play.
The 14 drives combined resulted in no points, eight punts and four
Allen was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week four times this
season and posted double-figure tackles in three games. On the season,
Allen has 84 total tackles, six quarterback hurries, four pass breakups
and two fumble recoveries.
"Just the way he impacts the game being a big guy, he's
really remarkable," Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said following
a Nov. 17 win over Middle Tennessee. "He's so unselfish. You
see players so often in situations like that (trying to make a play),
and he won't blink an eye if we're not rushing him. He doesn't even
think about it. When he gets his opportunities, he's going to go.
He wanted the (school sack) record, but not at the expense of our
defense and what we're doing and game planning."
Allen was an all-state wide receiver for Abbeville (Ala.) High
School as a junior before moving back to his hometown of Montclair,
N.J., and switching to linebacker for his senior season. He bulked
up by 40 pounds upon arriving at Kentucky. He has a fraternal twin
brother Isaiah, and a sister, Myisha Hines-Allen, who played college
basketball at Louisville and is currently a forward for the WNBA's
"The stars didn't matter," Allen said of being lightly
recruited out of New Jersey. "I just learned you had to work
harder than the person in front of you and the one behind you because
they are going to be doing the same things you did."
In addition to the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner's announcement,
the banquet Monday night celebrated the recipient of the Bronko
Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by the Rolle Oral & Facial
Surgery. Tom Cousineau, a 1977 FWAA All-American linebacker at Ohio
State and now a College Football Hall of Fame member, was the 2018
Legends Award recipient. The banquet's keynote speaker was Michigan
head coach Jim Harbaugh.
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since
1993. In 1995, the FWAA joined with the Charlotte Touchdown Club
and named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from
the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football
then became a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in
the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter member of both
the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National
College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses
college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the
NCFAA and its 24 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to
1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
The Football Writers Association of America,
founded in 1941, consists of 1,300 men and women who cover college
football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and
publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve
the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations,
major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information
about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson
THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS SPONSORS
Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 for
the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional
football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club's activities and
services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship,
scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and
coaches. Since 1991, the club has raised more than $2,000,000 to
benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information,
contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The
official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.
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ACN operates in 25 countries with offices located throughout North
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visit myacn.com. For information on ACN's home-based business opportunity,
About Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery
Richard R. Rolle Jr. is a leading oral & maxillofacial surgeon,
with strong ties to athletics and delivering excellence. Rolle Oral &
Facial Surgery offers expertise in: dental implants, wisdom tooth
extraction, youth-capturing, cosmetic injectables, oral surgery
and cleft lip reconstruction in his Lake Norman, North Carolina
practice. Dr. Rolle holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame
where he played varsity football under legendary Coach Lou Holtz.
He completed his oral surgery internship at Harvard's Massachusetts
General Hospital and holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Meharry
Medical College. Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery is the official
surgeon for the Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Checkers and Charlotte
All-time Bronko Nagurski
Trophy winners and finalists