Posted on December 23, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
As expected, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen will forgo his senior season and enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Allen made it official after helping his team to a win over Central Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Friday. With many expecting Allen to be one of the first quarterback selected, leaving for the NFL was an easy choice. Allen announced his intentions to leave while the Cowboys were on stage after the game accepting their trophy as Famous Idaho Potato Bowl champions.
“It was a good way to announce it,” explained Allen. “I was hoping to kind of wait and at least spend a day or two thinking about it. But I think the players, my teammates knew. And they were chanting, ‘Do it,’ so I had to go with what they were saying, of course.”
Against Central Michigan, Allen was 11 for 19 for 154 yards. The Cowboys won the game easily, 37-14, so Allen wasn’t asked to do too much. But his impressive arm strength and raw talent were definitely on display, especially on his three touchdown passes. Allen closed out the season with over 1,800 yards passing with 16 touchdowns and six touchdowns.
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He considered leaving for the NFL after last season. But coming back for one more year and earning his degree before going to the NFL was always part of Allen’s plan.
“I mean, this was kind of the idea about it the whole time,” Allen explained, “just coming back for another year and trusting what Coach Bohl is doing, learning some more things on the offensive side of the football. So it was kind of — I don’t want to say it was pre-planned before the season, but I had a pretty good feeling. I think Coach had a pretty good feeling what we were going to do coming into this year.”
Of course, the fact that Allen played in the bowl game bucks the recent trend of top prospects sitting out bowl season. Allen actually battled a shoulder injury late in the year that caused him to miss Wyoming’s final two regular season games. But he was intent on getting back for the bowl game, not just to showcase himself for NFL teams, but out of respect for the Wyoming coaches and players.
“Coming all the way from one scholarship offer, you know, Coach Bohl and Coach Vigen, they believed in me when I came out of junior college,” Allen said. “I felt like I owed them at least one more game here. Football’s a part of me. If I’m not playing, then I’m not me. So I’ve gotta be on the field at all the times because I love this team, I love this game and I love the Cowboys.”
Allen’s attitude and approach to playing in his team’s bowl game certainly won’t hurt him with NFL teams looking for a quarterback in next year’s draft. Cowboys head coach Craig Bohl was also appreciative of Allen’s desire to play against Central Michigan.
“In today’s world where players are making all kinds of decisions about bowl games, Josh chose to play, and I applaud him for that,” Bohl said. “If there’s any NFL team looking for a player out there, you’re never going to find a bigger competitor and a better leader than him.”
Of course, exactly where Allen falls in the draft remains to be seen. At the moment, most talent evaluators view him as behind USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen as the third best draft-eligible quarterback. In any event, Allen is almost a lock to be a first-round pick. At least one NFL team is likely to view him as their quarterback of the future.