Social media has its good and bad vibes, but one thing it does in the sporting realm is spark competition. Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen never mentioned anything about him wanting to break Derrick Thomas’ single season sack record; in fact, all he wants is to become an every down player and be an effective communicator to his teammates against the run.
Outside linebacker Tim Williams was the vocal one concerning the potential achievement, but it’s been Allen who has taken steps toward accomplishing the feat. Despite not playing much in 2015, the 6-foot-3, 291-pound lineman still led the team in sacks (12) and tackles for loss (14.5).
He had a monster performance against Southern California at AT&T Stadium, totaling four tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks in a 52-6 blowout win. Allen’s efforts on the defensive front limited the Trojans to 64 rushing yards, 194 total yards and four third down conversions.
In Alabama’s home opener against Western Kentucky, he managed to put in three total tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack and three quarterback hurries. Allen anchored a unit that held the Hilltoppers to 23 yards rushing, 239 total yards and six third down conversions on 16 attempts (37.5 percent).
The Leesburg, Virginia native is tied with Mississippi State’s A.J. Jefferson for the most sacks in the Southeastern Conference (three) to start the season. Allen’s 12 sacks in 2015 was good enough for third all-time in season history, while his career output of 20.5 sacks is tied for sixth all-time in school history. He is 24 sacks away from Thomas’ 27—which was set back in 1988.