Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen named KY Sports Figure of the Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — University of Kentucky football player Josh Allen, who led the Wildcats to their best season in 41 years with a 10-3 finish and Citrus Bowl championship, has been chosen the 2018 Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year.

Allen received the award from votes of media members around Kentucky. He is the third Kentucky football player to win in the award’s 38-year history, joining tight end James Whalen Jr. (1999) and quarterback Tim Couch (1997). A record 176 votes were cast this year.

The senior outside linebacker/end set a school single-season record for quarterback sacks (17) and career (31.5) last season. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder from Montclair, New Jersey, led the Southeastern Conference in sacks, tackles for loss (21.5) and forced fumbles (five).

Allen collected a bevy of postseason awards including the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy and Jack Lambert Award. He was also chosen SEC Defensive Player of the Year by both the Associated Press and the league’s coaches.

Runner-up in the voting was Allen’s teammate, Benny Snell. The junior running back from Westerville, Ohio, became the Wildcats’ all-time leading rusher in 2018 with 3,873 yards. Snell has entered the 2019 NFL Draft.

Rounding out the top five in the voting were Triple Crown-winning thoroughbred Justify; Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops; and University of Louisville women’s basketball star Asia Durr.