Jaguars rookie minicamp: College number is good business for Josh Allen

First-round pick made deal with Tre Herndon to wear his No. 41 jersey

By Justin Barney - Sports Editor

Josh Allen (41) and Dontavius Russell (98) run during Jaguars rookie minicamp on Friday. [Rick Wilson/Jacksonville Jaguars]

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars newcomers hit the field on Friday in as the team’s rookie minicamp and Josh Allen got the question that everyone wanted to know. 

Just how much did getting his old jersey number cost him?  

With a smile, a pause and then wiping his forehead, Allen gave a simple, non-committal answer. 

Allen was assigned his college number, 41, when the Jaguars announced their new numbers on April 29. That was worn by cornerback Tre Herndon last season, and players don’t often just give up those numbers freely, not to soon-to-be multimillionaire first-round draft picks.

“He’s real cool about it. I texted him. He hit me back. We talked business a little bit. Other than that, we’re all good here,” Allen said to laughter. 

Allen never revealed what he had to give up to Herndon, but said that playing with his college number was important to him.

“Not a lot of people wear 41 at my position, and make it look good, so maybe I thought, I ain’t want to wear 99, might as well get my number back,” he said. “I asked him. He said yeah. [We] talked business. …”

Talked "business” can be translated into Herndon making out good for the decision to switch numbers with Allen. 

The No. 7 overall pick from Kentucky was one of numerous rookies and undrafted free agents and tryout players to take the field Friday on the opening day of minicamp. Allen said he worked exclusively as a defensive lineman after playing as an outside linebacker in Kentucky’s 3-4 defense.

“I just do whatever they want me to do, to be honest with you,” Allen said. “You know, they brought me here to play multiple positions, and if so, that’s what they’ll use me as. If they want me just to rush the passer, then I’ll rush the passer. I just do my job, do what they tell me to do, and try to be great at that.”

Another highly drafted rookie, second-rounder Jawaan Taylor, said that he was grateful to be in the NFL and relished the chance to play with Allen, whom he faced in college. 

“Josh was the best I went against.  He made me better,” Taylor said. “Now I’m happy to be teammates with him. We get to get each other better every single day.  I’m happy to have Josh here.”
 

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