Allen, Edwards use each other to make mutual draft decision


Kentucky’s Mike Edwards and Josh Allen tackle Lamar Jackson during the Wildcats game against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John’s Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Deciding whether to enter the NFL Draft is one of the hardest decisions a talented young football player in the NCAA must make. It usually requires days, or even weeks, of dedicated thought and deliberation with loved ones.

For UK’s Josh Allen and Mike Edwards, the teammates turned to each other to make their decision to stay in Lexington for their senior season.

“Once I told him what I was going to do, and once he told me what he was going to do, I said ‘Let’s do it,’” Allen said. “Me and Mike [Edwards] talked a couple days prior [to his announcement to stay] for hours, discussing what we’d do.”

Allen and Edwards are coming off career seasons, as Edwards led the Cats in tackling and Allen placed himself only 12 sacks away from the school record, a feat he hopes to accomplish in his senior season.

The edge rusher, Allen, was also slated to be a potential first-round choice in the draft after his extremely productive games over the first half of the season.

He’ll be a key piece for the UK defense next season, and he’s excited to return next to Edwards.

Edwards said that Allen had made his decision to return for his senior season first, but that he knew he wasn’t ready to face the NFL Draft alone.

“He told me about two or three agents before he decided and told me what he was going to do,” Edwards said.

Edwards also said the advantage of having a teammate in the same position as him was extremely beneficial and made his decision easier.

“Me and him [Allen] both butt heads and combined our thoughts and shared what we had to say,” Edwards said.

Edwards mentioned that the discussions between he and Allen took place over several sessions, both over the phone and in person as they contemplated their futures in football together.

Allen and Edwards won’t be the only Cats returning to Kroger Field next season, as they’ll be a part of a group of 10 starters slated to return to the UK defense in the fall. They’ll be two leaders on an experienced roster as they look to improve their stock for the 2019 NFL Draft.