LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen has been named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, it was announced today. The award recognizes college football’s top linebacker.
Allen, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound linebacker from Montclair, New Jersey, recorded 11 tackles (nine solo), including a pair of quarterback sacks, both of which caused fumbles, in No. 12 Kentucky’s 15-14 win over Missouri on Saturday. With the win, the Wildcats improved to 7-1 overall, 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference, and clinched their first winning league record since 1977.
This is the second consecutive season Allen has been one of the ten semifinalists. He is one of four players from the SEC on the list.
Allen has been a terror on defense the entire season as he leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks second nationally in sacks (10.0) and leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in tackles for loss (14.5). He also ranks second nationally in forced fumbles (five).
Interesting Allen notes:
With 10 sacks on the season, Allen has the most sacks since Dean Wells had 10 sacks in 1992 and is tied for the third-most in a season
· Nine of Allen’s 10 sacks this season have come in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter and three in the third. Allen is just the fourth player in school history to record 10 or more sacks in a season, and the first since Dennis Johnson in 2001
· Allen is the only player in the FBS since 2000 to have at least 56 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles and four passes defended in his team's first eight games of a season
· His 24.5 career sacks and 34.0 TFLs rank second on UK’s career lists
Allen has earned first-team midseason All-America honors from the Associated Press, ESPN.com, Pro Football Focus, CBS Sports and The Athletic, and been named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week three times.
Allen, the first UK player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week since 2004, also is on the watch lists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Bednarik Award.
This is the 34th season of the Butkus Award, which is voted on by a panel of 51 experts, including professional, college and high school scouts, and prominent sports journalists.