In a season of rewriting history for the Kentucky Football team a little more was made on Thursday night. Senior linebacker Josh Allen wins the Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defensive player.
Josh Allen Wins The Bednarik Award
Allen won the award over Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. The award was given out as part of the the Home Depot Awards show in Atlanta. The formal presentation happens on March 8, 2019 in Atlantic City.
The awards just keep coming and we are loving every minute of it!
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) December 7, 2018
A Monclair, New Jersey native, Allen capped off an historic season with the Bednarik Award. With 28.5 career sacks he broke the record set by Oliver Barnett. In addition his 14 sacks in 2018 broke Dennis Johnson’s single season mark of 12. Furthermore, 12 of his 14 sacks came in the second half with an astounding eight in the fourth quarter.
The award is named after Chuck Bednarik , a former standout in college at Penn and in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles. Allen is the first Kentucky player to ever win the honor and sixth in the SEC. Previous winners include Aaron Donald, Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson.
“I knew I was destined for something good.”
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 7, 2018
Allen already took home one trophy this week winning the Bronko Nagurski Award for the nation’s best defensive player, given by the Football Writers Association of America. He is the first Kentucky player to win a national award since Bob Gain won the Outland Trophy in 1950.
Only The Beginning?
As it stands right now Allen’s trophy case is getting big. However it soon could get even bigger. The senior is nominated for two more awards, the Ted Hendricks Award and the Lott Impact Trophy. As he gets ready for his final game in the Citrus Bowl against Penn State Allen is projected as a possible top three pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Since he played in the 1970’s Art Still has been the standard bearer for defensive players at Kentucky. However Allen has taken taken that honor much like he took the football away from the offense. His six forced fumbles tied him with six other players for tops in the country. In addition he ties former Cat Danny Trevathan in forced fumbles with 11. That didn’t become a stat until 1988.
Again Josh Allen wins the Bednarik Award as the top defensive player in the nation. It caps off the best season in history for a Kentucky Wildcats football player.
First Team All-American ✅
Nagurski Trophy Winner ✅
Chuck Bednarik Award ✅
SEC top Defensive Player ✅
First team All-SEC ✅
Awesome & humble person ✅#BBN @vaughtsviews @gbbcountry @UKFootball @KySportsRadio pic.twitter.com/9oaXoHMz7k
— Michael Rains (@RuppArenaMike) December 7, 2018
Not a bad career for a former two star player from the recruiting services. Allen was heading to Monmouth to play before Coach Mark Stoops and the staff saw something in him offering him a scholarship.
As it stands now they couldn’t have been more correct as he turned out to be a true diamond in the rough. In addition it gives more credence the recruiting services aren’t always correct. Congratulations again to Josh Allen on becoming the 24th winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award. Stay with Last Word On College Football as we get you ready for the Wildcat’s game against Penn State.