By LARRY VAUGHT
Josh Allen, a potential top five NFL draft pick, has ended the speculation about whether he will or will not play in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 1.
The senior linebacker posted this on Twitter Friday:
“I am deeply humbled by the nominations and awards I have received this week. I want thank my coaches, teammates and the BBN. I am honored to say we have unfinished business and my teammates and I plan to bring the Citrus Bowl trophy back to Lexington. BBN see you in Orlando!”
Allen won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the e Chuck Bednarik Award — both given to the nation’s top defensive player — this week. He has a team-high 84 tackles this season. His 14 quarterback sacks rank second in the country. He also set a school record with that total and broke UK’s all-time career sacks record this season.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said he told Allen is “legacy is set here” before he opted to play in the bowl game and risk an injury that could jeopardize his NFL career. Stoops said Allen want to play to “improve his stock and help us win a football game.”
Stoops said Friday that UK could have 10 or more players get drafted but Allen will be among the first players in the country drafted. The UK coach and his brother, former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, talked with Allen about traits that high draft picks always seem to have.
“These guys have a trait and its starts with being good, humble, hard-working people. Obviously very talented, but they work exceptionally hard to be in that situation,” Mark Stoops said.
Kentucky plays No. 12 Penn State (9-3) in the Citrus Bowl.