At a press conference in Eugene today, Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen announced he would be foregoing his remaining college eligibility at the University of Oregon to focus on his pro track career.
Here is the statement handed out at his press conference in Eugene today:
BREAKING: @DevonAllen13 to focus attention on professional track career. pic.twitter.com/8bc44xODf6— TrackTown USA (@GoTrackTownUSA) November 16, 2016
Allen has thrived on the track in the 110 meter hurdles, placing fifth at the Rio Olympics this past summer. Allen is also the 2014 and 2016 U.S. outdoor champion in the event.
Allen was a four-star recruit as a wide receiver out of Brophy Prep in Phoenix, Arizona. Allen exploded onto the scene in 2014, catching 41 passes for 684 yards and seven touchdowns, helping lead the Ducks to the College Football Playoff.
Unfortunately, that’s where Allen’s football career derailed. On the opening kickoff of the 2015 Rose Bowl, Allen tore his ACL, which of course meant he couldn’t compete on the track that year.
The 2015 football season was a frustrating one for Allen. He appeared in six games, catching nine passes for 94 yards and no touchdowns.
When the Ducks faced Virginia in September, Allen had a huge night, catching four passes for 141 yards in a touchdown during Oregon’s 44-26 win over the Cavaliers.
However, the next week, Allen would suffer a non-contact injury that would turn out to be another torn ACL, ending his season almost as quickly as it had begun.
Through all the injuries, Allen had maintained that he would still try to pursue both a football career as well as a career on the track. It remains Allen’s goal to eventually make it to the NFL, something that seemed well within reach back in 2014.
Devon Allen still has hopes of playing in the NFL. Football career on pause. #GoDucks— Mike Skow (@MikeKEZI9) November 16, 2016
Allen said he wants to “focus on track for the next three or four years” before returning to football. He’ll face an uphill battle if he still has dreams of playing in the NFL, but putting his football career on hold for the time being looks to be a much safer bet than risking another knee injury that could put his gold medal aspirations in jeopardy.
Allen will stick around in Eugene to train for his lofty goals on the track.
Wants gold medal and world record in 110m Hurdles. Will stay in Eugene through 2017 season. Will be done with school in spring.— Adam Kopet (@AdamKopet) November 16, 2016