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  College Player Notes by Position: OLB
Previous 25 OLB Notes Next 25 OLB Notes

12/05/18- Josh Allen, Sr, Kentucky, 6-4, 258
2018 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY AWARD WINNER: Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen was named the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club on Monday night. Allen became the first Kentucky player to win the award, which goes to the nation's top defensive player. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Allen received the honor over the following finalists: LSU safety Grant Delpit, Alabama nose guard Quinnen Williams, Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. The award was won last year by former North Carolina State star Bradley Chubb, who was selected with the fifth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.

Allen, who was also named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, recorded 14 of his 28.5 career sacks in 2018. His 11 career forced fumbles are even with former Wildcat and current Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan. Allen led Kentucky with 84 tackles and paces the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss (18.5) and forced fumbles (five). He is the fourth SEC representative to win the award, joining Georgia's Champ Bailey (1998), LSU's Glenn Dorsey (2007) and Alabama's Jonathan Allen (2016). Allen is a finalist for five other major awards: the Walter Camp National Player of the Year, the Butkus Award (nation's best linebacker), the Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), Lott IMPACT Trophy (defensive player of the year) and Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end of the year). - The Sports Xchange

12/04/18- Josh Allen, Sr, Kentucky, 6-4, 258
LB Josh Allen was named the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club on Monday night. Allen became the first Kentucky player to win the award, which goes to the nation's top defensive player.

11/27/18- Germaine Pratt, rSr, North Carolina State, 6-2, 240
2018 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): LB Germaine Pratt, Gr., NC State, 125 Votes,...Pratt, in his first season as a starter at linebacker, leads the ACC in tackles per game with 9.8, a mark that is 10th nationally among the Power-5. He also leads the Pack with 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. - NC State Football

11/27/18- Jachai Polite, Jr, Florida, 6-2, 242
NOV 26 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JACHAI POLITE, FLORIDA, Junior, Defensive End, Daytona Beach, FL/Mainland,...Jachai Polite recorded six tackles (4 solo), including 3.5 for losses and 2.5 quarterback sacks as Florida defeated Florida State, 41-14. Polite added one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry as the Gators improved to 9-3. Notes: Jachai Polite is the ninth Florida player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, and the second this season, joining defensive teammate Vosean Joseph (LB, Oct. 7). - The Walter Camp Football Foundation

11/20/18- Dontavious Jackson, Jr, Florida State, 6-2, 228
NOV 19 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Dontavious Jackson, Florida State, Jr., LB; Alief, Texas,...Jackson led Florida State with 14 tackles in Saturday's 22-21 win over No. 20 Boston College, including his first sack of the season ... Jackson's 14 tackles tied his season and career highs and were one shy of the FSU team high in 2018 ... Spearheaded a defense that held the Eagles' prolific rushing attack to 2.6 yards per carry, 1.7 yards less than BC's average yards per carry coming into the game. - ACC Football

11/20/18- Josh Allen, Sr, Kentucky, 6-4, 258
Josh Allen of Kentucky and Devin Bush of Michigan are among the five finalists for the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation's best linebacker. The other finalists announced Monday were Tre Lamar of Clemson, Dylan Moses of Alabama and Devin White of LSU. The winner will be announced Dec. 6. Allen and Bush were also last week named finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy that goes to the country's best defensive player. Allen leads the Southeastern Conference and is third in the country with 13 sacks. Bush is the leading tackler on the nation's No. 1 defense. Moses is the top tackler for No. 1 Alabama. White is fifth in the SEC in tackles with 98 and Lamar an interception, two sacks and 60 tackles for Clemson. - AP College Football

11/19/18- Jameon Gaskin, Fr, Valdosta State, 5-11, 219
2018 GULF SOUTH CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Jameon Gaskin, Valdosta State,...Gaskin ranked third on the conference champions in tackles with 55, 25 of which were solo efforts. He also contributed 2.5 sacks on the season in 10 appearances. He is the second VSU defensive player to earn the league's top freshman award (Malcolm McClenton, 2015). - Gulf South Conference Football

11/14/18- Cardell Rawlings, rSr, Wingate, 6-1, 240
2018 SOUTH ATLANTIC CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cardell Rawlings, Wingate,...Rawlings was a force on the defensive line this season. The senior from Smithfield, N.C., racked up 75 total tackles, including 20 tackles for loss and a conference leading 14.5 sacks. He forced three fumbles, had two fumble recoveries and broke up two passes during the year as well. Rawlings is ranked third in NCAA Division II in sacks per game, averaging 1.32 per contest. He is also ranked No. 6 in tackles for loss per game, with an average of 1.80 per game. He was named SAC AstroTurf Defensive Player of the Year once for his efforts this season. - South Atlantic Conference Football

11/14/18- James Prater Jr., Sr, Ashland, 6-0, 244
2018 GLIAC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: James Prater Jr. - Ashland,...Ashland senior defensive end James Prater Jr. is the 2018 GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year. Prater Jr. joins former Cleveland Brown Jamie Meder (2012-13) as Ashland's GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year winners. In 2018, Prater Jr. was second in the GLIAC in sacks (9) and tied for third in tackles for loss (15), and finished runner-up on the team with 65 total tackles (27 solo). Prater Jr. also broke up four passes. Prater Jr. is Ashland's all-time leader in tackles for loss (46), and is tied for ninth all-time on the Eagles' sack list (22). In his final two seasons alone, Prater Jr. racked up 19 sacks, 38 tackles for loss, 128 total stops and 12 pass breakups. - Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Football

11/14/18- Taj Conway, So, Virginia Union, 5-11, 210
2018 ALL-CIAA SECOND TEAM: Linebacker - Taj Conway, Virginia Union,...Virginia Union's Khari Johnson, Tyrone Glanton, Quantaye Battle, Taj Conway and Jaiden Reavis were named Second Team All-CIAA. Conway, a sophomore linebacker from Richmond, Va., had 64 tackles this season. - Virginia Union Football

11/12/18- Darrell Taylor, rJr, Tennessee, 6-3, 247
NOV 12 SEC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Darrell Taylor, LB, Tennessee,...Totaled four sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and seven tackles...Led Tennessee to 24-7 upset over No. 11/12 Kentucky as Vols held the Wildcats to a season low in points and the second-lowest totals in rushing yards (77) and total yards (262)...Taylor's four sacks are tied for the most by any player in the FBS in 2018...He is only the third Vol ever to have four sacks in a game...It marked the second three-sack game for Taylor this season. - SEC Football

11/12/18- Sutton Smith, rJr, Northern Illinois, 6-0, 237
NOV 12 MAC WEST DIVISION SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Northern Illinois DE Sutton Smith,...Northern Illinois junior defensive end Sutton Smith (St. Charles, Mo.) made a key special teams play in a 38-15 win over Toledo on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Smith changed the game when he blocked Toledo punter Bailey Flint's third punt of the game late in the second quarter, picked up the block and ran it in for a touchdown. The block and 27-yard return turned a 10-9 NIU lead into a 17-9 margin going into halftime. More amazing is the fact that the block came when NIU was in "punt safe" mode, not going for a block, and was an instinct play by Smith. He earned 38 total punt return yards on the play, and added a sack, a tackle for loss and forced his fourth fumble of the year on defense. Smith's punt block was his second of the year; he ranks third in the nation in blocked kicks and in punt return touchdowns. - MAC Football

11/12/18- Darrell Taylor, rJr, Tennessee, 6-3, 247
NOV 12 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DARRELL TAYLOR, TENNESSEE, Junior, Outside Linebacker, Hopewell, VA/Hopewell,...Darrell Taylor recorded 7 tackles, four quarterback sacks and forced one fumble as Tennessee defeated #11 Kentucky, 24-7. With the victory, the Volunteers improved to 5-5, 2-4 in the SEC. Notes: Darrell Taylor is sixth Tennessee player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, and the first since quarterback two-time recipient Joshua Dobbs (Nov. 20, 2016). - Walter Camp Football Foundation

11/06/18- Kaulana Apelu, rSr, Oregon, 5-10, 208
LB Kaulana Apelu will miss the rest of the regular season with a fracture of his lower leg, Ducks coach Mario Cristobal confirmed this week. Apelu, the Ducks' second-leading tackler, suffered the injury during Saturday's victory over UCLA. This is the second straight season an injury has caused Apelu to miss multiple games. He missed the final eight games of the 2017 season with a broken ankle. However, Apelu is expected to be ready to return for Oregon's bowl game this season.

11/05/18- Josh Allen, Sr, Kentucky, 6-4, 258
LB Josh Allen had only three tackles, but got the first fumble recovery of his career -- actually, two, which were Kentucky's only takeaways of the game. The Wildcats cashed in on one with a field goal, and the other kept Georgia from trying a long field goal in the closing seconds of the first half. "I saw a loose ball and I had to go get it for my team," Allen said. "It just happened to be me."

11/05/18- Jachai Polite, Jr, Florida, 6-2, 242
DL Jachai Polite hasn't decided whether he will come back for his senior season, but the 6-foot-2, 242-pound Daytona Beach native has certainly improved his stock during a breakout junior season. Polite's seven sacks is the most for a Gator player through the first nine games of the season since Dante Fowler had 8.5 sacks through nine games in 2014, and Polite's four forced fumbles are tied for the FBS lead among defensive linemen.

11/05/18- Merlin Robertson, Fr, Arizona State, 6-2, 235
NOV 5 PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Merlin Robertson, Fr., LB, Arizona State (Gardena, Calif.),...Led ASU with nine tackles, including one TFL, and recorded his first career interception in ASU's 38-20 upset of No. 16 Utah...Led a Sun Devil defensive effort that held the Utes, who came in averaging 41 points in their past four games, to only 325 yards for the game and only three points in the second half...After the Utes scored on three straight possessions, Robertson picked up his first career interception on Utah's first possession of the second half...Also nominated: Colin Schooler, LB, ARIZ; Bobby Okereke, LB, STAN; Christian Rector, LB, USC: Corrion Ballard, DB, UTAH; Skyler Thomas, S, WSU. - Pac-12 Football

11/05/18- Clay Johnston, rJr, Baylor, 6-1, 226
NOV 5 BIG 12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Clay Johnston, LB, Jr., Baylor,...The junior linebacker Johnston led the Bears with a career-high 17 tackles, including 14 solo stops, in Baylor's 35-31 win over Oklahoma State. Johnston's 17 tackles were the most for a Baylor defender since 2013. - Big 12 Football

11/05/18- Kyahva Tezino, rJr, San Diego State, 6-0, 230
NOV 5 MOUNTAIN WEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: KYAHVA TEZINO, SAN DIEGO STATE, Junior, Linebacker, Los Angeles, California/Salesian HS,...Helped lead San Diego State to a 31-23 victory over New Mexico, keeping the Aztecs within one-game of West Division leaders Fresno State...Recorded a team-high 12 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks...The 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks were both career highs...Led a defensive unit that limited New Mexico to just 142 yards of total offense, including 41 passing yards. The 142 yards were the Lobos' fewest since Sept. 15, 2012 (TCU 130 yards). - Mountain West Football

11/05/18- Jordan Fehr, Jr, Appalachian State, 6-2, 226
NOV 5 SUN BELT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jordan Fehr, Appalachian State (Jr, LB, Charlotte, N.C.)...Jordan Fehr led a dominant defensive effort with a team-high eight tackles and a career-high three sacks, while also forcing a safety, in a 23-7 road win at Coastal Carolina. He was the lead tackler on the safety that gave App State a two-possession lead in the fourth quarter. He just missed a fourth sack with a QB hurry on the play right after his third sack. The Mountaineers' defense did not allow a point to the Coastal offense and held the Chanticleers to 178 total yards, 72 rushing yards and 11 first downs. - Sun Belt Football

11/05/18- Cole Holcomb, rSr, North Carolina, 6-1, 235
NOV 5 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Cole Holcomb, North Carolina, Sr., LB, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.,...Holcomb registered a career-high 22 tackles in Saturday's 38-28 loss to Georgia Tech ... Holcomb, who was the first Tar Heel since 2007 to top the 20-tackle mark, also forced three fumbles on the day, two of which were recovered by UNC. - ACC Football

11/05/18- Kyran Mitchell, rSr, Southern Methodist, 6-0, 225
NOV 5 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kyran Mitchell, SMU, Sr., LB, Houston, Texas,...Mitchell led an SMU defense that held No. 17 Houston to 172 yards below its nation-leading average as the Mustangs took a 45-31 win. Mitchell had seven tackles to go with 2.0 sacks, 3.0 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries to help SMU become the first team to hold Houston to fewer than 41 points in 2018. - American Athletic Conference Football

11/05/18- Patrick Johnson, So, Tulane, 6-2, 255
NOV 5 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE HONOR ROLL: Patrick Johnson, Tulane, So., LB,...Had five tackles with 1.5 sacks to lead a defense that had five sacks in a 41-15 win at USF. - American Athletic Conference Football

11/05/18- Cole Holcomb, rSr, North Carolina, 6-1, 235
North Carolina linebacker Cole Holcomb's 22 tackles against Georgia Tech were the most by a Tar Heel player since 2007. That raised Holcomb's season total to 81, 33 more than Carolina's No. 2 tackler. Also, Holcomb forced a national season-high three fumbles against Tech, the first forced fumbles in his 33 career games. - AP College Football

11/03/18- Darian Yancey, rSr, Southern Miss, 6-0, 250
Tate Whatley had a touchdown pass and ran for a score, Darian Yancey scored on a fumble return and Southern Mississippi held off Marshall 26-24 on Saturday. Whatley's rushing touchdown, a 1-yard keeper with 7:13 to play, capped a 13-play, 94-yard drive that chewed up 6 minutes, 23 seconds, proved to be the difference. A missed extra point made it 26-17. Marshall scored on a 15-yard pass from Isaiah Green to Artie Henry with 1:11 left but the Golden Eagles (4-4, 3-2 Conference USA) recovered the onside kick. After both teams managed first-quarter field goals, Brenden Knox picked up a Zac Everett fumble and returned it 8 yards for a touchdown to give Marshall a 10-3 lead with 5:04 left in the second quarter. Whatley connected with Quez Watkins for a 4-yard score to tie the game with 48 seconds left before halftime. The Golden Eagles added another touchdown 15 seconds later when Jacques Turner forced a fumble when he sacked Isaiah Green allowing Yancey to pick it up and race 17 yards to the end zone to put Southern Miss up 17-10 at the break. - AP College Football

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