Former Wildcat Josh Allen credits mentor Calais Campbell for breakout rookie season

"That's my big brother."

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LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ) – The day after Former Cat Josh Allen was drafted, he was wheels up from Nashville to Jacksonville to begin his career with the Jaguars.
On day one he met the man who would be there every step of the way during his rookie season, former first team all-pro, 12-year veteran Calais Campbell.

“Calais definitely took me under his wings you know my first year,” Allen said. “Not a lot of players coming into the league can have a mentor like that, can have a big brother that will that can lead them, that’s been through everything, that’s really experienced this firsthand.”

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During games and practice you can often see the two talking. Allen was always seeking knowledge and Campbell was an open book.
Allen would go on to lead rookies in sacks, but he says it’s what Campbell taught him about life off the field that he will hold on to the most.

“He taught me so much on the field, but what he taught me off the field is going to carry way longer and I’m going to get to teach and mentor other people what he taught me about,” Allen said

On the field, Allen would be voted to his first Pro Bowl. His mentor is still pretty good at football, too. Campbell would be voted to his third-straight, fifth overall pro bowl. Once again, he’d be there to guide Allen through uncharted territory.

“Calais took me under his wing there. Got me talking to different people, different players around and different coaches,” Allen said. “Not only talking about football, but talking about business, life and family and getting acclimated with top players like that because I do consider myself as one so he was really showing me how to conversate and how to hang back. I was glad I got to experience my first year with him.”

Allen knows the NFL is a business and that business led to Campbell being traded to the Baltimore Ravens. That’s not stopping Allen from seeking knowledge though.

“We still have a connection, we still stay in contact. We will get in contact with each other once or twice a week just to see how each of us are doing and how we’re still growing. I want to see him succeed in life and he wants to see me succeed in my career so you know that’s a connection right there that’s always going to be there. That’s my big brother man, I miss him.”

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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