From UK Athletics

Junior is one of 15 candidates for nation’s top linebacker award

Josh Allen sack. Photo by Brandon Turner

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior linebacker Josh Allen has been named a Butkus Award semifinalist, it was announced Monday by the Butkus Foundation. The award is given annually to the nation’s top college linebacker.

Allen, from Montclair, New Jersey, is one of 15 semifinalists for the award. He is one of five players on the list from the Southeastern Conference, including two each from No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Georgia. Finalists will be named on Nov. 20 and a winner announced on or before Dec. 5.

Allen has garnered national attention for his play this season, already having been named a midseason All-American by both The Associated Press and Sports Illustrated. He currently ranks second in the SEC and 12th nationally in sacks per game (0.88) and third in the conference in total tackles for loss (9.5). The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder has 47 tackles, three pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles.

For his career, Allen now has 14.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 33 games. His sack total ranks him third amongst active players in the SEC.

Previous winners of the Butkus Award include stars such as Reuben Foster (Alabama, 2016), Manti Te’o (Notre Dame, 2012), Luke Kuechly (Boston College, 2011), Von Miller (Texas A&M, 2010), LaVar Arrington (Penn State, 1999) and Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma, 1985 and 1986).


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