Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen was named the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club on Monday night.
Allen became the first Kentucky player to win the award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive player.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Allen received the honor over the following finalists: LSU safety Grant Delpit, Alabama nose guard Quinnen Williams, Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. The award was won last year by former North Carolina State star Bradley Chubb, who was selected with the fifth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.
Allen, who was also named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, recorded 14 of his 28.5 career sacks in 2018. His 11 career forced fumbles are even with former Wildcat and current Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan.
Allen led Kentucky with 84 tackles and paces the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss (18.5) and forced fumbles (five).
He is the fourth SEC representative to win the award, joining Georgia’s Champ Bailey (1998), LSU’s Glenn Dorsey (2007) and Alabama’s Jonathan Allen (2016).
Allen is a finalist for five other major awards: the Walter Camp National Player of the Year, the Butkus Award (nation’s best linebacker), the Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), Lott IMPACT Trophy (defensive player of the year) and Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end of the year).