Josh Allen Beats the Odds Again; Highest Cowboy Ever in NFL Draft
Josh Allen hoped to walk-on at Fresno State when he came out of high school, but Fresno State wasn't interested. Allen sent out somehwere around 100 emails with videos from his year at Reedley College, and one school responded -- Wyoming.
Three years later, here Allen is, the highest NFL drafted player out of the University of Wyoming. Bufflao traded up to acquire the seventh selection in the draft, and used it to select Allen.
He went seven selections higher than defensive tackle Ron "Pedro" Billingsley, the 14th overall selection by the San Diego Chargers in 1967. There were two Cowboys selected in the first round in 1976 -- running back Lawrence Gaines went No. 16 to the Detroit Lions, and defensive back Aaron Kyle was selected 27th overall by the Cowboys.
And now there is Allen, who raised the ball to No. 7.
“Josh (Allen) has really been a special player for our program, and personally a special player for me,” said Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl. “Head coaches and quarterbacks have a special relationship, and it’s been exciting to see Josh’s growth. He has had an exponential impact on our program that has helped redefine Cowboy Football. Josh is going to have a great and long career in the NFL.”
Allen was draft amid a bit of a controversy over tweets he made in his early teens, in which he quoted lyrics from rap songs. The Bills, however, remained believers in Allen as a person and a player. Buffalo was the one team that talked to him directly before the draft.
“It’s been a pleasure to have a young man of Josh’s work ethic and competitiveness in our athletics program,” said UW Athletics Director Tom Burman. “It has been gratifying to see how Josh and his family have embraced our state throughout his career here, and I know he will always be a fan favorite in the state of Wyoming.”
In his two seasons as the starting quarterback for the University of Wyoming, Allen led the Wyoming Cowboys to two consecutive eight-win seasons, two consecutive bowl appearances and he concluded his college career with a 37-14 victory over Central Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, earning Most Valuable Player honors for the bowl win. He was named the North Team Most Outstanding Player in the 2018 Senior Bowl, and participated in the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.
Wyoming was 8-6 in 2016 with Allen as the starter. He led the Cowboys to the Mountain Division title in the Mountain West Conference and helped Wyoming earn the right to host the 2016 MW Championship Game. Along the way, the Cowboys defeated No. 13 ranked Boise State, were named the National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) for that victory and also defeated No. 24 ranked San Diego State.
In 2017, Wyoming was 8-3 in the 11 games Allen started. The junior missed the final two regular-season games of 2017 due to a right shoulder injury, but he returned to play an outstanding game in Wyoming’s bowl victory.
Over his Wyoming career, Allen accounted for 5,833 yards of total offense, including 5,066 passing yards and 767 rushing yards. He was responsible for 57 touchdowns for his career (44 passing, 12 rushing and 1 receiving). He threw 44 touchdown passes vs. only 21 interceptions. His combined record as a starter in 2016 and ‘17 was 16-9 for a 64.0 winning percentage. Allen graduated in December 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in social science.