TUSCALOOSA—A better understanding of teammates and a higher NFL Draft stock was why Jonathan Allen returned to Alabama this season, but the senior is starting to earn even more.
His sack of Tennessee’s quarterback Joshua Dobbs in the first quarter gave him five on the year and 23 for his career, tying him with former Tide standout Jarrett Johnson (1999-02) for third all-time in school history.
Allen, who was a linebacker at Stone Bridge High School (Virginia), has been perfecting his technique as a pass rusher since 2014. The 6-foot-3, 291-pound defensive end was an unsung hero that year, totaling 5.5 sacks.
He’s now become an effective communicator and an every down player. Both aspects did not sit well with Volunteer fans last week at Neyland Stadium. Allen led a fierce defensive front against Tennessee, limiting its offense to 11 first downs, 163 total yards and three third down conversions on 16 attempts. He aided a unit that forced its ninth defensive score of the year; a 58-yard interception return from Ronnie Harrison.
To pair with his sack, Allen had four total tackles. He’s projected a first-round pick, according to numerous NFL analysts. Allen and the Tide will host 6th-ranked Texas A&M next week at Bryant-Denny Stadium.