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.”
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.”