Allen uses family to accomplish something never done before


Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen runs out of the tunnel carrying the American flag prior to the game against Tennessee at Kroger Field on Saturday, October 28, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 29 to 26. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Josh Allen is having a breakout season, and according to the 6-5, 230-pound linebacker, the timing couldn’t be better.

“I just feel like junior year is the best year for everybody to break out, and I feel like this is my year,” Allen said.

Allen is definitely using his junior season to have his breakout year, as he is one of UK’s top defenders. He has led the Cats all season long in sacks alongside his fellow “Blitz Bro” Denzil Ware, and is one of the top tacklers on the team.

But what has motivated Allen to have this break out year? The usual sources of motivation for a football player are present in Allen, such as dreams of making it to the NFL and the desire to perform well for the team.

On top of that, Allen wants to make the most of his opportunities for his family.

“I’ve worked hard for it, my family motivates me every day,” Allen said. “I think about them when I wake up, think about them when I go to sleep, I pray for them every day and it’s just like I got to get it for them and myself.”

Allen comes from a background of athletic family members, as three of his relatives have played college or professional basketball.

Allen’s uncle, Gregory Hines, played professional basketball for 12 years after playing his college ball at Hampton. One of Allen’s sisters, Myisha Hines-Allen, currently plays basketball at Louisville.

Having family members who have experience in college athletics allows Allen to get advice on certain situations he’s going through, and whether times are tough or not, Allen makes sure to talk with his family often.

“I talk to my mom every other day, talk with my aunt every other day. My uncles, my brothers and sisters, I talk to them on a daily basis,” Allen said.

However, Allen has a chance to do something no one in his athletic family has done, make it to the NFL. As his breakout junior season has gone on, more and more scouts have attended UK’s games, while reports have said Allen is being considered as a first or second round pick in the next NFL draft.

Allen is aware of the potential he has, and uses his family as motivation to accomplish a goal he’s had since he was a kid.

“When I was young, you always dreamed about this happening, and now, it’s right here,” Allen said. “You just got to make the best of it because this is my opportunity to make history in my family.”

Before he can try to make a career in the NFL, Allen still has a season to finish up at UK. Despite the stellar statistics Allen has posted, he knows the best is yet to come.

With two of UK’s biggest games still left on the schedule, expect to see Allen’s best appear soon.