Pleasant Grove native named Legacy Award winner of Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers Return Specialist Award
PROVO, Utah – Former BYU football player Paul Allen has been named the 2014 Distinguished Legacy Award winner for the Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers National College Football Return Specialist Award.
In addition to current college football players, each year the Jet Award honors players from the past who were the best return specialist of their day and would have won the award had it existed while they were playing. Allen formally received the award at the 2015 Jet Award Gala in Omaha, Nebraska, on April 2.
A native of Pleasant Grove, Utah, Allen averaged an amazing 40.1 yards per return for the Cougars in 1961 to set the NCAA record for average yards gained per kick return—a record he still holds to this day. He returned three kickoffs for touchdowns that year to go along with his 40.1 average.
During his record-setting season as a senior for BYU in 1961, Allen scored on a 92-yard return against North Texas State and had a career-long 95-yard touchdown return against Utah State. He also scored on an 88-yard kickoff against Colorado State, one of three touchdowns he had in the game against the Rams.
Allen also caught three passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 104 yards and two touchdowns as a wingback for the 1961 Cougar offense. Before playing at BYU from 1958-61, Allen prepped at Pleasant Grove High School in Pleasant Grove, Utah, where he earned Scholastic Magazine High School All-America honors and served as student body president.
A selection committee made up of Rodgers and football writers and broadcasters from around the country selected Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett as the 2014 Jet Award winner. J.J. Nelson of the University of Alabama at Birmingham was named the 2014 Most Valuable Kick Returner, and De’Mornay Pierson-El of the University of Nebraska was selected the Most Valuable Punt Returner for 2014.
Two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin of Ohio State was the keynote speaker at this year’s event, which benefits The Johnny Rodgers Career and Technical Education Scholarship at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha.
Players must be a primary kick or punt returner for their team and be among the national leaders in return categories to be considered for the award. They must also show leadership, courage, desire and respect for authority and discipline.