Josh Allen
Allen in 2019
No. 41 – Jacksonville Jaguars
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1997-07-13) July 13, 1997 (age 23)
Cumberland County, Virginia
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:262 lb (119 kg)
Career information
High school:Montclair (Montclair, New Jersey)
College:Kentucky
NFL Draft:2019 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2020
Tackles:57
Sacks:13.0
Pass deflections:1
Forced fumbles:2
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Joshua Allen (born July 13, 1997) is an American football defensive end for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Kentucky Wildcats, where he won several defensive player of the year awards as a senior in 2018. He was drafted by the Jaguars seventh overall in the 2019 NFL Draft and made the 2020 Pro Bowl as a rookie.

Early life

Allen was born on July 13, 1997 to Kim and Robert Allen in Cumberland County, Virginia.[1] He has a twin brother, Isaiah, and four older sisters. Due to a stutter, he spent part of his studies in New Jersey's special education system. Allen then went to live with his relatives in Alabama, attending Abbeville High School. He was later diagnosed with ADHD.[2]

High school career

Although Allen grew up playing basketball, his uncle convinced him to try out for the high school football team. In his freshman year, he did not play a single snap in a game. In his sophomore year, he started as a varsity receiver, and in his junior year, he was an all-state receiver with 1,150 yards and 11 touchdowns. Allen decided to return to New Jersey for his senior year, attending Montclair High School. He switched position from receiver to defensive end, affecting his recruiting opportunities. During his sole season with the Mounties, Allen led the state in sacks that year and recorded a touchdown catch, as the team finished 11-1 and won the 2014 state title (after losing their first and only game of the season to Pascack Valley).[2] After high school, Allen first committed to Monmouth, a Division I FCS school not far from Montclair, but later received an offer from Kentucky.[3]

Recruitment

Despite Allen leading New Jersey in sacks as a senior, he was still very much under the recruiting radar. Four highly rated recruits who went on to become NFL players—Jabrill Peppers, Quenton Nelson, David Njoku, and Mike Gesicki—were fellow high school seniors in the Montclair area. The recruiting website 247Sports rated Allen as a two-star prospect (out of a possible five), and ranked more than 2,000 players in the 2015 recruiting class ahead of him. John Fiore, at the time head coach at Montclair High, actively tried to get Rutgers to evaluate Allen, but the coaching staff there showed no interest. In a 2019 ESPN story on Allen, Fiore said about Rutgers' lack of interest, "Some people just couldn't see the potential in him. Kentucky did, and they won big. I told Rutgers, 'You guys are going to look foolish when he's drafted in the first round.'" In fact, when Allen made his verbal commitment to Monmouth, no Division I FBS school had offered him a scholarship, and no other NCAA Division I school, whether FBS or FCS, had made him an offer.[4]

Allen's journey to Kentucky began with West Orange High School head coach Jim Matsakis, whose team had faced Montclair High in Allen's senior year. Matsakis made a phone call to his brother Louie, who was then on the Wildcats coaching staff. Louie first contacted D. J. Eliot, then Kentucky's outside linebackers coach, who in turn contacted the then-defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley while the latter was on a recruiting trip in the Washington metropolitan area. Eliot told Ansley to detour to New Jersey to meet with Allen, and arrange for an immediate campus visit if he was at least 6'4". While Allen had verbally committed to Monmouth, he was still available for recruitment as he had yet to sign a letter of intent. Allen visited Kentucky and signed with the Wildcats three days later.[4]

College career

Following his junior season in which he had 7 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss, Allen was named to the AP Second team and the All-SEC team.[5] After this season, Allen considered forgoing his senior year and declaring for the 2018 NFL draft.[6] He later decided to return to Kentucky for his senior season.[7] He also dropped into coverage on 141 snaps and allowed just 130 yards on 19 targets without allowing a touchdown. Allen won the Chuck Bednarik Award,[8] the Bronko Nagurski Trophy,[9] and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year.[10][11] Allen finished his career as Kentucky's all-time sack leader with 31.5.[12]

Statistics

Kentucky Wildcats
Year Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Solo Ast Total Loss Sack Int Yards Avg TD PD FR Yards TD FF
2015 3 1 3 4 1.5 0.5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
2016 13 32 30 62 8.5 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
2017 13 32 34 66 10.5 7 1 14 14 0 3 0 0 0 2
2018 13 56 32 88 21.5 17 0 0 0 0 4 2 0 0 5

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Broad jump Bench press Wonderlic
6 ft 4+78 in
(1.95 m)
262 lb
(119 kg)
33+12 in
(0.85 m)
8+34 in
(0.22 m)
4.63 s 4.23 s 7.15 s 9 ft 10 in
(3.00 m)
28 reps 15
All values from NFL Combine[13]

2019 season

Allen alongside Jurrell Casey and Geno Atkins at the 2020 Pro Bowl
Allen alongside Jurrell Casey and Geno Atkins at the 2020 Pro Bowl

Allen was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.[14]

During Week 3 against the Tennessee Titans, Allen recorded his first two career sacks on Marcus Mariota as the Jaguars won 20–7.[15] Two weeks later against the Carolina Panthers, he sacked Kyle Allen once in the 34–27 road loss.[16] During Week 8 against the New York Jets, Allen sacked Sam Darnold twice in the 29–15 win.[17]

Allen finished the season with a team-leading (and franchise rookie record-setting) 10.5 sacks, 44 tackles, and two forced fumbles. Following the AFC Championship Game, he was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate for defensive end Frank Clark. As a result, Allen became the first Jaguars player in history to be selected to the Pro Bowl in their rookie season.

2020 season

In Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football, Allen recorded his first sack of the season during the 31–13 loss. [18] On November 24, 2020, Allen was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.[19]

NFL statistics

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sack Sfty Int Yds Lng TD PD FF FR Yds TD
2019 JAX 16 4 44 31 13 10.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
2020 JAX 8 7 13 7 6 2.5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Career 24 11 57 38 19 13.0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0

Jaguars franchise records

Personal life

One of his sisters, Myisha Hines-Allen, is a professional basketball player for the Washington Mystics.[21] Another sister, LaTorri Hines-Allen, played Division I basketball at Towson, and still another sister, Kyra Hines-Allen, played NCAA Division II basketball at Cheyney. An uncle, Gregory Hines, was a legendary basketball player at Hampton when the Pirates were still in Division II and was chosen in the fifth round of the 1983 NBA draft; although he never played in the league, he did play professionally for over a decade.[4]

On January 4, 2018, Allen proposed to Kaitlyn Morrison "Allen." Days before being selected in the NFL Draft, the two married.[22] The birth of his son Wesley in January 2018 influenced his decision to return to Kentucky for his senior year.[23][4]

References

  1. ^ "Happy Birthday @JoshAllen41_ 🎂! #WeAreUK". Twitter. July 13, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Smith, Jennifer (July 13, 2018). "'Nothing ever comes easy.' That lesson has forged a potential UK superstar". Lexington Herald-Leader.
  3. ^ Roberts, Ben (January 31, 2015). "Under-the-radar New Jersey defensive end Josh Allen commits to Kentucky". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Cimini, Rich (April 8, 2019). "Two-star to potential superstar: Josh Allen wants to be next Khalil Mack". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  5. ^ Chisenhall, Jeremy (December 4, 2017). "Benny Snell, Josh Allen make AP All-SEC teams". aseaofblue.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  6. ^ Hale, Jon (December 9, 2017). "Josh Allen, Mike Edwards considering leaving Kentucky football program for NFL draft". Courier Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  7. ^ Hale, Jon (January 9, 2018). "Kentucky football linebacker Josh Allen returning to UK for senior season, not entering NFL draft". Courier Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "Kentucky's Josh Allen Wins 2018 Bednarik Award as Top Defensive Player". Bleacher Report. December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  9. ^ "Josh Allen wins Bronko Nagurski Award". wkyt.com. December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  10. ^ Conway, Tyler. "Kentucky's Josh Allen Wins 2018 Bednarik Award as Top Defensive Player". Bleacher Report. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Pilgram, Jack (December 3, 2018). "Josh Allen wins Bronko Nagurski Trophy for Defensive Player of the Year". Kentucky Sports Radio.
  12. ^ "Josh Allen sets new Kentucky record with 27.5 career sacks". WKYT. November 17, 2018.
  13. ^ "Joshua Allen Combine Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  14. ^ Bergman, Jeremy. "Jaguars select pass rusher Josh Allen with No. 7 pick". NFL.com. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  15. ^ "Minshew, defense shine as Jaguars thump Titans 20-7". www.espn.com. September 19, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  16. ^ "McCaffrey scores 3 TDs, Panthers hold off Jaguars 34-27". www.espn.com. October 6, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  17. ^ "Jets' Darnold throws 3 more picks in 29-15 loss at Jaguars". www.espn.com. October 27, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  18. ^ "Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars - September 24th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  19. ^ "Josh Allen among three Jaguars defenders placed on IR". Big Cat Country. SB Nation. November 25, 2020.
  20. ^ Reid, John. "Jaguars rookie DE Josh Allen enjoying first Pro Bowl experience". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  21. ^ Lerner, Danielle (March 22, 2018). "Kentucky football's Josh Allen enjoying sister Myisha's Sweet 16 run with Louisville". Courier Journal. Louisville, KY. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  22. ^ https://www.kentucky.com/sports/college/kentucky-sports/ex-cats/article229656404.html
  23. ^ Mussatto, Joe (January 11, 2018). "Kentucky football: Birth of his son made Josh Allen's decision to stay for senior season". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.