CMU vs. Wyoming - Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen celebrates with teammates by tossing out potatoes from the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl trophy after the Pokes beat Central Michigan 37-14 Friday at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

Steve Conner, for the Star-Tribune

BOISE, Idaho — It’s official.

Wyoming junior quarterback Josh Allen will forgo his final season at Wyoming for the 2018 NFL Draft, he announced after Wyoming’s 37-14 Potato Bowl win against Central Michigan on Friday.

“I will be declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft,” Allen said from atop an on-field stage, at the urging of his teammates.

Allen was named the game’s MVP after completing 11-of-19 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns.

“It was a good way to announce it,” Allen said. “I was hoping to kind of wait off and at least spend a day or two thinking about it. But I think the players, my teammates knew. And they were chanting, ‘Do it,’ so I had to go with what they were saying, of course.”

Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl has said he expected Allen to leave after the season. Allen is projected as a first-round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft.

“I want to say thanks to Josh Allen,” Bohl said after the game. “I know in today’s world, where every athlete is making all kinds of different decisions as far as playing in their bowl game, Josh has made a decision to play his final game. And we applaud him for that. I think those are some good things that are going on within college football.

“So I can tell you this. If there’s any NFL team that’s looking for a competitor out there, you’re not going to find anybody more competitive and more team-oriented than Josh Allen.”

Allen was playing in his first game since Nov. 11, when he suffered a shoulder injury against Air Force. Despite the recent trend of NFL prospects sitting out lesser bowl games to avoid injury, Allen chose to return from his injury to play in his final collegiate game.

“I knew Josh was going to play no matter what,” Wyoming defensive tackle Youhanna Ghaifan said. “That’s the kind of person he is. He loves this team. He wants to get that last win before he left. So I knew he was going to play.”

Allen, who nearly declared for the draft after the 2016 season, said his mind had been made up for a while.

“I mean, this was kind of the idea about it the whole time,” he said, “just coming back for another year and trusting what Coach Bohl is doing, learning some more things on the offensive side of the football. So it was kind of — I don’t want to say it was pre-planned before the season, but I had a pretty good feeling. I think Coach had a pretty good feeling what we were going to do coming into this year.”

Added Bohl: “Josh and I sat down and talked last year. He graduated, did all the things that we asked him to do. Certainly, this was planned out on our part, and I thought he played great today.”

Allen had an explosive first quarter Friday, throwing three touchdown passes with a precision and accuracy that displayed to those watching the nationally televised game the talent that has NFL scouts considering him as a first-round pick. He attempted just six second-half passes, as Wyoming had the win more or less in hand thanks to eight forced turnovers.

The Firebaugh, California, native finished his Wyoming career with 5,066 passing yards and 44 passing touchdowns.

Follow University of Wyoming athletics reporter Brandon Foster on Twitter @BFoster91


College Sports Reporter

Brandon Foster reports on University of Wyoming athletics. He joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and covering Mizzou athletics for two years. A St. Louis native, he lives in Laramie.

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