The Jaguars used the seventh overall selection in the NFL Draft on Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen. Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops joined “XL Primetime” to talk about Allen’s time in Lexington.
“He’s a fantastic young man first and foremost,” Stoops told 1010XL regarding Allen. “You will be glad to have him in your community. He will be a great teammate and he will be great in the locker room. He’s a leader and he’s just a great young man.”
What about as a player?
“On the field he is just so versatile and he can do so many things,” Stoops said. “He’s got great instincts and can do a lot of things on the field. He seems to come up with big plays in big moments, which is exactly what you are looking for out of your leader.”
Stoops was asked about the changes he’s seen in Allen during his time at Kentucky.
“Truthfully, Josh is the poster child for development,” Stoops said. “I mean he comes into Kentucky at 200 pounds and that is generous, but he put the work in and he too the medicine so to speak.
“Everything we were doing to help him develop in all aspects of his life, he sucked up like a sponge. Going back a couple years when he found out he was going to have a child, he came into my office, sat down and said, ‘coach what do I need to do because now it’s on?’
“As a coach through all the years you hope when a guy comes into your office and they talk with you that they are being truthful. Sometimes guys talk a big game, but don’t really follow through and do that.
“With Josh, from the moment he came in here and fully dedicated himself around the clock to being the best player he can be, he did it. I saw Josh here all the time. He never took any breaks and he never went home. No days off because he was constantly in here working and developing himself.
“You just have to love that story, a kid that really had nobody recruiting him out of high school, came to Kentucky and became the defensive national player of the year. He definitely is the poster child for development.”
Finally, Stoops talked about the decision Allen made to stay in school following his junior season and how that helped him become a better football player.
“It’s a perfect example of a player coming back instead of coming out as a junior,” Stoops said. “Here’s a great example of a player coming back and he did exactly what we had talked about. He wanted to come back and be a dominant player and be a first-round draft pick and that’s what he did.
“He played his way into the Defensive National Player of the Year and he played his way into being a first-round draft pick by just continuing to improve his craft.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)