UK’s Josh Allen Among 23 Players Invited to NFL Draft

Senior edge rusher led the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles in 2018

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Senior edge rusher Josh Allen has officially accepted an invitation to the 2019 NFL Draft to be held April 25-27 in Nashville, the league office announced Tuesday. He is one of 23 players invited to the prestigious event.

The first round will be held on April 25, followed by the second and third rounds on April 26, and will conclude with rounds 4–7 on April 27. The main NFL Draft stage will be on First and Broadway. Draft picks on the main stage will take place the evenings of April 25 and April 26 and during the afternoon of April 27. Schermerhorn Symphony Center will be host to Selection Square, which features the team tables where representatives from each club will make their draft selections.
The NFL Draft Experience, a three-day football festival, will be held in the parking lots and areas surrounding Nissan Stadium.
The NFL Draft Red Carpet will take place on April 25 at The Green at Riverfront Park.
Allen, who is a projected first-round pick, was a pass rush terror for the Wildcats the entire 2018 season. With 31.5 career sacks and 17 sacks in 2018, he broke UK’s career and single-season records and moved up to No. 9 on the Southeastern Conference’s career sacks chart. His 11 career forced fumbles tied former Wildcats and current Chicago Bear Danny Trevathan for UK’s career mark (forced fumbles stats available since 1988). He led the team with 88 tackles and paced the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss (21.5) and forced fumbles (5). He also was among the NCAA leaders in sacks, TFL and forced fumbles. Thirteen of Allen’s 17 sacks were in the second half, four in the third quarter and nine in the fourth quarter. In five of UK’s wins, Allen had a sack in the fourth quarter that was crucial to the Wildcat victory, including two sack/fumble/UK recoveries on the opponent’s final possession of one-score games.

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Allen, a native of Montclair, New Jersey, was a first-team All-America choice by Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sports Illustrated, TheAthletic.com, ESPN, AP, College Football News, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, USA Today, CBS, American Football Coaches Association, Phil Steele and Athlon. He became UK’s first consensus All-American since wide receiver/kick returner Derek Abney in 2002 and the first unanimous selection since defensive lineman Art Still in 1977.

In the Citrus Bowl vs. Penn State, Allen validated the voters who elected him winner of the Nagurski, Bednarik and Lott awards as National Defensive Player of the Year. He had three quarterback sacks and a QB hurry and he also blocked a field goal that provided the margin of victory in UK’s 27-24 win.

A summary of his accolades are:
• Bronko Nagurski Award, National Defensive Player of the Year
• Chuck Bednarik Award, National Defensive Player of the Year
• Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy, National Defensive Player of the Year
• Jack Lambert Award, National Linebacker of the Year
• Birmingham Monday Morning Quarterback Club SEC Lineman of the Year
• SEC Defensive Player of the Year (AP, Coaches, Athlon, ESPN)
• First-Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, Athlon, ESPN, Phil Steele)
• Unanimous First-Team All-American

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com