Written By: Roy Countryman @Blitzalytics
We are winding down on the last few weeks of college football and entering bowl season. First, we need to stop and recognize the standout performers from week 9.
For the second time this season, standout linebacker Josh Allen has been voted player of the week.
Allen was a terror in Missouri’s backfield; he collected 11 tackles, 2 sacks, and added 2 forced fumbles, helping his team pick up a clutch win by a close 15-14 margin. With week 9 in the books, Allen now leads the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss ranking second and third nationally. He is a monster who continually makes big plays terrorizing QB’s at the release point leading to his 5 forced fumbles. When evaluating his skill set, he is blessed with loose hips, an ability to bend the edge, the strong hands needed to slip off blocks, and the speed to win on rushing situations. Kentucky’s defensive leader can win in a variety of ways to put pressure on the quarterback. He is not only a one trick pony, as he shows a true acumen for being able to drop off from his usual outside linebacker position and carry tight ends or running backs into the flat. He also has a finisher’s mentality when he gets to the quarterback. He has demonstrated the true meaning of IMPACT utilizing leadership on the field and in the locker room.
Josh Allen wasn’t the only one up for consideration for his game-changing effort, and we will briefly look at some of his key competitors for the weekly honor.
Ben Burr-Kirven, LB: Washington
A stalwart on the player of the week voting circuit this year who has already collected the honor twice. Burr-Kirven pitched in 14 Tackles, 2 TFL, and a sack to a heartbreaking loss against Cal in a 12-10 defeat. Ben Burr-Kirven is a tackling machine, who plays like his hair is on fire. He uses great speed and acceleration combined with his quality play recognition to close on ball carriers. Not only can the linebacker quickly diagnose plays, but he shows up with authority and with tremendous tackling mechanics. The Washington linebacker can be tasked with dropping off into zone coverage and be able to carry running back’s and tight end’s downfield due to his well-rounded skill set. With a nose for the ball, he always seems to be in the area when a big play is happening. Although he lacks a prototypical build, he makes up for it with instincts and intelligence. A high-end prospect at the collegiate level who is Washington’s team leader.
Joe Dineen Jr., LB: Kansas
Joe Dineen Jr., Another former Lott IMPACT player of the week from early in the college season, was up for consideration this past week. Dineen accrued 13 tackles, and 5 tackles for loss in a demoralizing loss against the Horned Frogs by a score of 27-26. Dineen is the embodiment of a cerebral middle linebacker who is a true force in run defense. He has terrific play recognition and the instincts to flow to the ball quickly. Dineen has enough speed to cover plays sideline-to-sideline. He uses his instincts to gain good depth in his coverage drops so that he can become a pain for quarterback’s throwing lanes. With terrific tackling mechanics, the linebacker doesn’t let runners out of his grasp. He possesses a booming voice and takes great pride getting his teammates in the right spots to succeed. The true embodiment of the Lott Foundation and what the award stands for.
Colin Schooler, LB: Arizona
For the second time during the 2018 collegiate season, Colin Schooler was in contention for player of the week honors due to his quality contributions of 11 tackles, and 1.5 TFL in a statement victory over Oregon, 44-15. He is the heart and soul of Arizona’s defense responsible for play calling and alignment on the defensive side of the ball. He shows outstanding intelligence for such a young player. The Arizona product possesses the speed to cover sideline-to-sideline in run defense and has the ability to utilize his instincts to penetrate gaps and bring ball carriers down. Schooler has a tremendous feel in coverage with the talent to hang with runners or tight end’s downfield. He is a sure tackler who won’t allow many ball carriers to elude his grasp.
As always, we would like to congratulate Kentucky’s Josh Allen for winning this week’s award and the other candidates that were in consideration. Best of luck to those playing in Week 10 collegiate contests.