MONTCLAIR, NJ – Montclair native Josh Allen has been drafted into the NFL by the Jaguars.
After playing for Kentucky, the linebacker was the No. 7 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Allen was a two-star recruit to Kentucky and quickly rose to break the single season and career sack records by his senior year. His stellar performance earned him the Chuck Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy for best defensive player in college football. The Bendarik Award is given to the top defensive player in college football, and the Nagurski is bestowed upon the best NCAA defensive player. Allen has also received the SEC Defensive Player of the Year recognition.
Born and raised in Montclair, Allen went to live with relatives in Alabama until his senior year of high school. According to published reports, Allen struggled in school and was given special education services, due to a stutter and was later diagnosed with ADHD. That didn’t stop Allen. When he returned to Montclair in his senior year, he became a powerhouse athlete on the Montclair High School football team.
Though Allen grew up playing basketball, he stated that his uncle convinced him to try out for the high school football team. Under the leadership of Coach John Fiore, Allen switched positions from receiver to defensive end and led the state in sacks that year and helped the Mounties to win the state title.
Allen comes from a family of athletes. He is a twin and has 4 sisters. His sister is Myesha Hines-Allen, who also played in Kentucky at the University of Louisville and was drafted into the 2018 WNBA. Hines-Allen plays for the Washington Mystics. Another sister, LaTorri Hines-Allen, played Division I basketball at Towson, another sister, Kyra Hines-Allen, played Division II basketball at Cheyney. Allen’s uncle, Gregory Hines, who works in the Montclair School District, was a basketball player at Hampton when they were still in Division II, and was selected in the fifth round of the 1983 NBA draft, though he never played in the league, he did play professionally for over a decade.