Does anyone remember who Devon Allen is? That lighting-fast University of Oregon wide receiver?
If you don’t remember him from the football field, you may be able to recall him from his track accolades for the Ducks.
If that doesn’t jog your memory, how about the man who represented the U.S. in the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing 5th in the 110m hurdles?
This article is going to examine where in the world Allen is today.
Allen was a dynamic receiver … and then he wasn’t.
In his 2014 campaign, Allen had a standout year with 41 Rec, 684 Yds and seven touchdowns. He also averaged a blistering 19.1 yards per catch during the first seven games of the season.
Throughout his stellar sophomore campaign, Allen accomplished a variety of individual feats. Against Washington State, he caught an 80-yard pass; he also ended up with 142 receiving Yds in the game. When playing a solid defense in the Michigan State Spartans, he displayed dominance finishing the game with 110 receiving yards.
The most impressive stat may be that 31 of his 41 receptions resulted in first downs or six points.
However, Allen did more than just play receiver for the Ducks; he contributed to the team in a number of different ways. He played the role of kick returner in four games averaging over 26 yards per attempt.
Allen even got to pretend he was Le’Veon Bell for one play; he rushed the ball one time for 21 yards against the University of Colorado.
Allen’s efforts resulted in honorable mention all-conference honors at the end of the season.
Sadly, for football fans, this turned out to be his best season due to a string of different injuries; he never returned to the profound form of his sophomore year.
With that being said, don’t rule out an NFL career just yet. In an interview via ESPN, Allen said, “My scenario is to run track for the next couple of years and then in 2020 Olympics win a gold medal.” He then added, “And then put that to the side and try to play football.”
One thing’s for sure: Betting against an athlete his caliber could be a risky decision. Maybe one day he’ll be a starting wide out for the Seattle Seahawks.
Track and Field
One reason to not bet against Allen can be demonstrated by a race he had at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships. He was seemingly all but defeated, and suddenly he displayed a cheetah-like burst of speed and pulled out the victory, all while hitting the last hurdle.
It took a lot of courage to step away from the gridiron. Track is not glorified in the same light as football; statistically speaking, it will hurt his pockets as well, as track athletes do not make nearly the amount of money that NFL players make. Nevertheless, he did what he felt was right for him all while representing our country, and it seems to be working out.
According to the IAAF, in the last five races he has participated in, he has finished in 1st place four times and has one 2nd place marking. Most people are not experts in the area of track times, but needless to say, winning first place consistently is generally considered a favorable outcome.
Allen is currently ranked 13th in the world in Men’s 110mH with a score of 1291. His highest ever world rankings in the same event is 6th place where he remained for 18 weeks.
While at the University of Oregon, his accomplishments on the track were stupid doo doo dumb.
Let’s just say he did really good and leave it at that.
The next step for him will be to continue competing in the IAAF circuit. Based off of his past results, there is no reason to conclude that he won’t continue to dominate hurdles-based events.
However, let’s get ahead of ourselves here for a second.
Tokyo 2020 is just around the corner, and winning gold in these games is his short-term and most prominent athletic goal. I don’t know how realistic this achievement is, but if he believes in himself, half the battle is already won.
Before the Olympics, he will have to qualify. And according to flotrack.org, the 2020 games have the most difficult qualifying standards in outdoor world championship history.
There are two avenues in which athletes can qualify for the Olympics: The first is “Achieve the entry standard within the respective qualification period.” The second is: “Qualify by virtue of his IAAF World Ranking position in the selected event at the end of the respective qualification period.”
This strategy is designed to have 50 percent of athletes qualify via target numbers and the other half through the IAAF world ranking system.
Bottom line is, Allen wins almost every race he participates in. It may be safe to say that he can book his ticket for Tokyo.
Athletes like Allen don’t come around every day. He does nothing but win everywhere he goes, and he truly has been around the world.
While at Oregon he was a positive influence in the classroom as well as in the athletic community; it seems that’s he’s universally loved throughout the campus. Director of the Warsaw Center (Lundquist College of Business UO) Whitney Wagoner said “He’s a real impressive young man.” She then added, “His get it done attitude, work ethic and dedication will serve him well in whatever he decides to do.”
He decided to do track, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll bring a gold medal home to Eugene.