BILLINGS – Former Wyoming Cowboys quarterback Josh Allen is headed to New York.
The Buffalo Bills traded up with Tampa Bay to grab Allen with the 7th overall pick in the NFL Draft Thursday night.
“Thank you to the Bills organization,” Allen said moments after the announcement. “I’m going to make them look like the smartest team out there.”
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was selected No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns. Penn State running back Saquon Barkley went second to the Giants, followed by USC quarterback Sam Darnold to the Jets, and Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward to the Browns. Denver used its fifth overall pick on Bradley Chubb, a defensive end from North Carolina State.
When UCLA’s Josh Rosen was chosen by Arizona with the 10th overall pick, it marked the first time in the modern era four quarterbacks were selected within the first 10 picks.
In Allen’s two seasons as Wyoming’s starting quarterback he accounted for 5,833 yards of total offense and was responsible for 57 touchdowns passing, rushing and receiving. He ended his Wyoming career with 5,066 passing yards and 44 TD passes. He also rushed for 767 yards during his college career and scored 12 rushing touchdowns.
However, hours before Thursday’s NFL Draft, Allen was faced with the emergence of a Yahoosports report revealing offensive and racist posts the quarterback made in 2012 and 2013 while still in high school.
On Wednesday night, Allen reportedly acknowledged the tweets to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, saying he “was young and dumb” at the time, according to ESPN.
In his post draft interview live on ESPN, Allen appeared to reference the situation.
“I’m going to work on being the best teammate possible,” he said. “I’ve never had a problem with my teammates. I love all my guys.”
University of Wyoming head football coach Craig Bohl issued a statement Thursday morning in support of his former quarterback.
“I know Josh has apologized for the Twitter comments he made while in high school,” said Bohl. “As a member of our football team, he had great relationships with his teammates and our fan base. During his time at Wyoming, he embraced diversity. We wish him all the best on his big night.”
Allen, who graduated in December after completing his junior season at Wyoming in 2017, declared for the 2018 NFL Draft immediately after leading the Cowboys to a 37-14 victory over Central Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
The Firebaugh, Calif., native led the Cowboys to an 8-5 record in 2017. As a redshirt sophomore in 2016, he guided the Cowboys to an 8-6 record, a spot in the 2016 Mountain West Conference Championship Game and a berth in the 2016 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. He also led Wyoming to wins over two Top 25 teams in the 2016 season.
The previous highest selection of a Wyoming Cowboy was back in the 1967 NFL Draft when defensive tackle Ron “Pedro” Billingsley was selected as the No. 14 overall selection by the San Diego Chargers.
Another great moment for Wyoming Football was in the 1976 NFL Draft when two Cowboys were selected in the First Round. Running back Lawrence Gaines was the No. 16 pick by the Detroit Lions and defensive back Aaron Kyle was the 27th overall selection by the Dallas Cowboys.
“Josh has really been a special player for our program, and personally a special player for me,” said 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.”
“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.”
Allen was named to numerous college football award watch lists last season, including the Davey O’Brien Award Watch List, Manning Award Watch List, Maxwell Award Watch List and Walter Camp Award Watch List. Allen was invited to and attended the Manning Passing Academy in the summer of 2017.