Not only does Devon Allen display blazing speed on the track, but Allen is known to blow by defenders as a wide receiver on the football field as well.
His hopes as a two-sport athlete hit a roadblock during the 2015 Rose Bowl against Florida State when he tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus on the opening kickoff. He gradually returned to the football field last season. Allen finished the season with nine receptions for 94 yards.
Allen had a much bigger impact in 2014 when he was fully healthy. He had 41 receptions for 684 yards and seven touchdowns as the Oregon Ducks made the title game. Allen also had eight returns for 209 yards.
His father, Louis Allen, told Sports Illustrated the multi-talented athlete could even succeed at baseball.
“I honestly believe if he had stuck with baseball he could be a pro right now. He was great at stealing bases and running down fly balls. A good friend of mine is a positional coach with the Kansas City Royals and he’s told me, ‘If you give me 30 days with Devon, I could at least get him a minor league contract,’” Louis Allen told Sports Illustrated.
Oregon recruited Allen already knowing he was planning on running track and playing football. The idea was nothing new to the Ducks, a program that specializes in pursuing athletes with speed. They have have had a history of student-athletes participating in both. According to 247 Sports, he was a four-star recruit and 36th ranked receiver in the nation coming out of high school.
His Oregon teammates have been gathering in team meeting rooms to watch his races in Rio. Allen missed the opening of fall camp as he prepared for the Olympics, but the coaching staff has said they will welcome him back after the competition with open arms.
While he is unsure of which sport he will pursue after college, Allen told Sports Illustrated he has been told he is viewed by the NFL as a third round pick heading into the season. NFL Draft analyst Lance Zierlein spoke to NFL.com about Allen’s NFL chances.
“If you’re that fast, you’re a prospect. Scouts will want to see more and know more because he didn’t play much last year. Production is important, and a big year could impact where he would get drafted, but he runs well enough that he’ll be scouted regardless,” Zierlein told NFL.com.
Here are some of Allen’s highlights from his standout 2014 season at Oregon: