LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior linebacker Josh Allen, the dynamic pass-rushing linebacker, announced he will return for his senior season, bypassing an opportunity to enter the NFL Draft. Allen had been mentioned as a potential first-round pick by various outlets during the 2017 season, but will be back in Lexington to terrorize opposing quarterbacks in 2018.
"Coming back for another year will be the best way for me to grow physically and mentally and prepare for my ultimate goal of playing in the NFL," Allen said. "This coming year will be special for the University of Kentucky football team because we have a plan, not only to win the East, but to win the SEC! Let's finish what we started."
Allen led Kentucky in both sacks (seven) and tackles for loss (9.5) in 2017. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound product of Montclair, N.J., has developed into one of the best edge rushers in the Southeastern Conference after arriving at UK as a mostly unheralded prospect. He has totaled 19.5 tackles for loss in 38 career games along with 14.5 sacks.
“Excited to get Josh Allen back for his senior season – great teams are built on senior leaders and playermakers,” head coach Mark Stoops said.
Allen was named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press and was a third-team All-SEC selection by Phil Steele. He also was named a second-team defense midseason All-American by the AP and Sports Illustrated.