Josh Allen in 2019
|No. 41 - Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Born:||July 13, 1997|
Cumberland County, Virginia
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||262 lb (119 kg)|
|High school:||Montclair (NJ)|
|NFL Draft:||2019 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2019|
|Player stats at 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 as a senior he won the Chuck Bednarik Award (awarded to the top defensive player in college football), the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (awarded to the best defensive player in the NCAA), and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Allen was born on July 13, 1997 to Kim and Robert Allen. 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.
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). After high school, Allen first committed to Monmouth, a Division I FCS school not far from Montclair, but later received an offer from Kentucky.
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.
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". According to a 2019 ESPN story, "Allen passed the eyeball test. In fact, Ansley texted a photo of himself standing next to Allen, just to show the disbelieving eyes in Lexington it wasn't fantasy football." 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.
Following his junior season in which he had 7.0 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss, Allen was named to the AP Second team and the All-SEC team. After this season, Allen considered forgoing his senior year and declaring for the 2018 NFL draft. He later decided to return to Kentucky for his senior season. On November 17, 2018, Allen set the Kentucky record in sacks at 27.5, surpassing Oliver Barnett's career record of 26 from 1986-1989. After the 2018 regular season, Allen was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for National Defensive Player of the Year, and won the 2018 Chuck Bednarik award. Allen was unstoppable on the pass-rush his senior season. Highlighted by his national-best 93.5 pass-rush grade, Allen brought in 51 total pressures that included 14 sacks, nine QB hits and an additional 28 hurries. Rounding out his game, he dropped into coverage on 141 snaps and allowed just 130 yards on 19 targets without allowing a touchdown. Pro Football Focus named Allen a First Team All-American edge defender as the highest-graded edge defender in the country. Allen was named the nation's top defensive player over Michigan's Devin Bush, LSU's Grant Delpit, Clemson's Christian Wilkins, and Alabama's Quinnen Williams. Allen accumulated a total of 31.5 career sacks.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft in
|9 ft 10 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
During Week 3 against the Tennessee Titans, Allen recorded his first two career sacks on Marcus Mariota as the Jaguars won 20-7. Two weeks later against the Carolina Panthers, he sacked Kyle Allen once in the 34-27 road loss. During Week 8 against the New York Jets, Allen sacked Sam Darnold twice in the 29-15 win.
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.
One of his sisters, Myisha Hines-Allen, is currently a professional basketball player for the Washington Mystics. 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.