In what has become an ancient University of Kentucky soccer season, Josh Allen appeared continually to supply when the Wildcats wished it most.
The dynamic skip rusher clinched UK’s streak-busting victory at Florida whilst he forced Gators’ quarterback Feleipe Franks to fumble on the sport’s very last play from scrimmage.
Four other instances in what have become handiest the 1/3 10-win football season in Kentucky history, a past due Allen hit at the opposing quarterback became the clinching second in a UK victory.
After the Cats (10-three) beat Penn State within the VRBO Citrus Bowl, Allen had set Kentucky statistics for quarterback sacks in a season (17) and for a career (31.Five) and had amassed a bevvy of the countrywide protecting participant of the year awards.
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For the one’s reasons, Josh Allen has been elected the 2018 Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year in a vote by means of media members from around the commonwealth.
Thank you @heraldleader for choosing me to be the Kentucky sports figure of the year I can’t provide enough credit to anyone around me which include my teammates and educate and my family.
Thank you and Go Cats
7:30 AM – Jan 31, 2019
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“Josh took the Wildcats’ defence to every other degree this season,” wrote Lee K. Howard of Lexington’s WKYT-TV. “He affected almost every defensive play, although he wasn’t in on the address.”
Added Gene Abell, the previous Herald-Leader sports editor: “(Allen) now not most effective made the big plays, he made them whilst it was maximum needed. It’s staggering whilst the playmaker on a ten-win, SEC team is on defence.”
UK football ruled the 2018 Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year voting. Allen prevailed in a tight race over his Wildcats teammate, walking again Benny Snell, who finished second. It is the primary time inside the 38-yr records of the award that teammates completed one-.
Wildcats Coach Mark Stoops became fourth, narrowly in the back of Triple Crown-prevailing racehorse Justify in 0.33. Asia Durr, the big name of the University of Louisville’s ladies basketball NCAA Tournament Final Four crew, became fifth.
From a record 176 votes cast by using Kentucky media participants, gift and past, Snell became named on one extra ballot (167) than Allen (166). However, the linebacker held a decisive sixty seven-37 benefit in first-region votes, and voting is weighted to offer those more points. Fifty-three ballots had the UK football stars 1-2.
Media individuals in Lexington and Louisville located Allen first, at the same time as Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky desired Snell.
“I never take into account having a more difficult time selecting a winner,” wrote Larry Vaught of vaughtsviews.Com. “I went with Josh Allen just because his dominating season that made him consensus countrywide protective player of the yr is the sort of year one seldom sees.”
Turning seasoned after three seasons, Snell will leave the UK because of the school’s all-time main rusher (three,873 yards). Voters saluted the Westerville, Ohio, a product for each the physicality and the pizzazz he injected into Kentucky soccer.
Snell “changed into the first-rate pound-for-pound running again in the nation,” wrote Neal Bradley, the radio play-by way of-play voice of Murray State soccer and guys’ basketball. “He had Kentucky fans speak me soccer in December. That in itself is a miracle.”
Added Terry Meiners of Louisville’s WHAS-AM 840: “(Snell is a) as soon as-in-a-lifetime skills who performs for the enthusiasts in the nosebleed seats.”
Kentucky jogging back Benny Snell talks approximately putting the college’s career speeding report throughout UK’s 27-24 win over Penn State within the Citrus Bowl on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. Snell finished with 144 yards on 26 includes.
By John Clay
Yet, in the end, Allen’s on-area excellence in 2018 — and the compelling underdog story below it — carried the day.
Overlooked in recruiting after shifting from Alabama to New Jersey before his senior yr of high college, Allen becomes dedicated to FCS software Monmouth until a prep football train within the Garden State tipped off Kentucky about him.
Arriving in Lexington as a two-big name prospect, Allen transformed himself in 4 years from an undersized ex-wideout into a pass-speeding force. Eschewing the NFL Draft following his junior season, Allen got here back to Kentucky as a senior and produced havoc in 2018.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound product of Montclair, N.J., led the SEC in tackles for loss (21.Five), quarterback sacks (17) and forced fumbles (five) and led the UK in tackles (88). Not a one-trick act, Allen additionally broke up 4 passes.
Allen received the Bronko Nagurski Award, the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy, all connoting the national protecting player of the year.
A consensus First-Team All-American, Allen additionally obtained the Jack Lambert Award, recognizing the country’s pinnacle linebacker, and turned into chosen SEC Defensive Player of the Year by means of both the Associated Press and the league’s coaches.
“Some human beings laughed once I voted (Allen) third on my Heisman (Trophy) ballot, and then he gained every essential shielding award,” wrote Kent Taylor of Louisville’s WAVE-TV. “Maybe I must have had him better.”
Added Joe Mathis of Harrodsburg’s WHBN-AM: “Typically, football fanatics love watching a thrilling offence. This year, I couldn’t watch for the Cats’ defence to get on the sector because I wanted to look what Josh Allen turned into going to do subsequent.”
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