University of Kentucky football
UK football beats Murray State 48-10. Photo by Eddie Justice | UK Athletics

University of Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen has been named one of 15 “Players to Watch” for the 2018 Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year award, the fourth-oldest college football award in the nation. Allen is one of just five defensive players named a semifinalist.

Allen, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound linebacker from Montclair, New Jersey, has been a terror on defense the entire season as he leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks third nationally in sacks (11.0) and leads the league and ranks 11th nationally in tackles for loss (15.5). He also ranks second nationally in forced fumbles (five).

Interesting Allen notes:

·        On verge of UK career records for sacks with 25.5 … Needs just a half sack (.5) to tie Oliver Barnett as UK’s sack leader (26 from 1986-89)

University of Kentucky football
Courtesy UK athletics

·        On verge of UK single-season sacks record with 11.0 … Needs one sack to tie Dennis Johnson (12 in 2001)

·        Helped lead UK to (as this was written) its best record in 34 years

·        First-Team Mid-Season All-America by The Associated Press, ESPN.com, Pro Football Focus and The Athletic

·        Four-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week this season, including two wins he clinched with a sack, fumble, and UK recovery on the final possession

·        Current semifinalist for the Bednarik Award (National Defensive Player of the Year) and Butkus Award (National Linebacker of the Year); current quarterfinalist for Lott IMPACT Trophy as National Defensive Player of the Year

University of Kentucky football
Courtesy UK athletics

·        65 total tackles, five QB hurries, four pass breakups and two fumble recoveries

·        Needs 3.5 more sacks to break into the SEC top 10 list for career sacks

·        Nine of his 11 sacks have come in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter and three in the third

The Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors.   A list of five finalists will be announced on Wednesday, November 28 and the winner broadcast live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, December 6.  The 2018 Player of the Year will be recognized along with the Walter Camp All-America team at the Foundation’s national awards dinner on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at Yale University’s Lanman Center.

The 2017 Walter Camp Player of the Year was former University of Oklahoma and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

2018 Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalists: Josh Allen, Senior, Linebacker, Kentucky; Deandre Baker, Senior, Defensive Back, Georgia; Devin Bush, Junior, Linebacker, Michigan; Travis Etienne, Sophomore, Running Back, Clemson; Will Grier, Senior, Quarterback, West Virginia; Dwayne Haskins, Junior, Quarterback, Ohio State; Darrell Henderson, Junior, Running Back, Memphis; Trace McSorley, Senior, Quarterback, Penn State; McKenzie Milton, Junior, Quarterback, UCF; Gardner Minshew, Senior, Quarterback, Washington State; Kyler Murray, Junior, Quarterback, Oklahoma; Tua Tagovailoa, Sophomore, Quarterback, Alabama; Jonathan Taylor, Sophomore, Running Back, Wisconsin; Jerry Tillery, Senior, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame; Quinnen Williams, Sophomore, Nose Guard, Alabama

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side.

University of Kentucky football
Courtesy UK athletics

The Walter Camp Football Foundation– a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.  The Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s website, www.ncfaa.org.

For more information on the Kentucky football team, follow @UKFootball on Twitter and Instagram, or like Kentucky Football on Facebook.

‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact:
Susan Lax (slax0@uky.edu), Tony Neely (tneel@uky.edu), Matt May (matt.may@uky.edu) – (859) 257-3838

Susan Lax / Director of Athletics Communications and Public Relations / Primary Football Contact 

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