devon allen

Devon Allen turns professional in track and field

Devon Allen turns professional in track and field

Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen, lost for the season with a knee injury, today announced that he will forgo his college eligibility in football and track and field to become a professional hurdler and focus on preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

"My plans are to forgo the next track season and turn professional here in the next couple of weeks to a month and then compete professionally this spring once I'm healthy," Allen said during a press conference at the Hatfield-Dowlin complex. "It's a big decision. I talked to my teammates, my coaches, my family. And, I just thought that this was the best for me as an athlete to kind of move on in my career as a professional athlete. And I felt that it will give me the best opportunity to accomplish what I want to accomplish in the future, and that's winning a gold medal, and holding the world record in the 110-hurdles." 

[WATCH: Facebook Live video from the press conference]

Allen, who placed fifth in the 110-hurdles at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, returned to the Oregon football team this fall before three games into the season at Nebraska he tore the ACL in his left knee, ending his season. 

Allen injured his knee while covering a punt in the fourth quarter. He suffered the same injury in his right knee during the 2015 Rose bowl. 

Allen ends his football career at Oregon with 919 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. His best season came in 2014 when as a redshirt freshman he caught 41 passes for 684 yards and seven touchdowns.

Allen didn't rule out returning to football down the line and pursuing a career in the NFL. 

Allen said he considered turning pro in track and field following the Olympics but his love of football led him to play one more year at Oregon. Once he decided to play football he knew that this would be his final season at UO, and that he would either enter the 2017 NFL Draft or focus on track. 

The choice now is track with an eye toward maybe chasing his NFL dreams in the future. 

"I think my ideal scenario is to run track for the next couple of years, win the 2020 gold medal, have the world record and then I can put that aside and try to play football," Allen said. 

Allen struggled last season with the Ducks football team while still recovering from his first knee injury. Early this season he appeared to finally return to form when he caught four passes for 141 yards and scored on a 77-yard touchdown during a 46-28 win over Virginia on Sept. 10.  That was his best game since going for 142 yards and an 80-yard score at Washington State on Sept. 20, 2014.

The following week at Nebraska his 2016 football season ended. 

Allen said he plans to remain in school through spring term and train in Eugene. 

Allen, about six weeks out from surgery, said that he should be able to start jogging next month and sprinting again by early January. 

United States championships are in June, about nine months out from when he got injured. It's about the same amount of time he took to rehab his Rose Bowl injury before the start of the 2014 season. 

Allen said he plans to hire an agent in the next couple of weeks and then pursue some endorsements as a professional track athlete. 

Oregon's injuries not an excuse, but a serious reality

Oregon's injuries not an excuse, but a serious reality

When a player goes down for Oregon the team emits the battle cry of "next man up."

It's a valuable mindset that means the following: Nobody is going to feel sorry for you because of injuries. Don't allow injuries to be an excuse. Someone must fill the void. 

That's all well and good but every team has its breaking point and Oregon's rash of injuries cannot be ignored as having played a factor in the Ducks' 2-3 start that could easily move to 2-4 after UO faces No. 5 Washington at home on Saturday.

The loss of left tackle Tyrell Crosby for the season hurt the offensive line. The speed of wide receiver Devon Allen, out for the year with a knee injury, is also missed. 

The pass rush has been decimated by the five missed starts from freshman linebacker Troy Dye and redshirt sophomore defensive end Jalen Jelks (knee). They share the lead for sacks with two each in just five combined starts. Let that sink in for a moment. Both missed the loss at Washington State and its quarterback Luke Falk had all night in the pocket. 

Super star running back Royce Freeman missed seven quarters of action between the Nebraska and Colorado losses. 

And so on, and so on. 

To Oregon's credit, nobody on the team has blamed injuries for the team's poor start. Nevertheless, this is one of the more injury-plagued seasons the Ducks have experienced in recent memory.

Here is a look at some of the key injuries Oregon has suffered this season:

Tyrell Crosby, junior left tackle: Out for the season with a foot injury and being replaced by promising redshirt freshman Brady Aiello. The Ducks are starting four redshirt freshmen along the offensive line. 

Devon Allen, redshirt junior wide receiver: The Olympian and team's fastest receiver had a breakthrough game against Virginia (141 yards and a touchdown) only to suffer a season-ending knee injury the following week at Nebraska. 

Johnny Ragin III, senior linebacker: He was lost for the season when he suffered a leg injury at Washington State. He leads the team with 29 tackles. 

Royce Freeman, junior running back: Injured his right leg during the first quarter at Nebraska then missed the following week's loss at home to Colorado. The Ducks likely wouldn't have called a fade pass to Darren Carrington II from the seven-yard line that was intercepted in the final minute against the Buffaloes had Freeman been in the backfield. 

Troy Dye, freshman linebacker: Already the team's best defensive playmaker, Dye was limited to special teams play at Nebraska due to an illness and missed the team's trip to Washington State because of a concussion. He is expected to return this week against Washington. Despite missing so much time, Dye is tied for third on the team with 27 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two sacks. 

Jalen Jelks, redshirt sophomore defensive end: Jelks had two sacks in the teams' win over Virginia but has not seen the field since due to a knee injury. He is likely out again this week against Washington.

Johnny Mundt, senior tight end: Injured his leg in season opener and hasn't played since. Could return this week.  

Jake Pisarcik, offensive lineman: The backup lineman has missed four games because of injury.

A.J. Hotchkins, junior middle linebacker: He missed the Nebraska loss with a lower leg or foot injury (undisclosed) after being seen wearing a walking boot and limping days before the game. 

Pharaoh Brown, senior tight end: He missed the team's loss against Colorado with a leg injury. 

Drayton Carlberg, redshirt freshman defensive tackle: Carlberg became a starter at Nebraska, got injured and has missed the last two games.  

Dwayne Stanford, senior wide receiver: He left the WSU game after getting injured and fumbling in the third quarter. He is likely out this week against Washington. 

Kani Benoit, redshirt junior running back: Injured his right shoulder when being hit after catching the first ever completion for freshman quarterback Justin Herbert. Benoit is likely out this week against Washington, according to sources. 

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Oregon entered the season with holes that have been magnified by youth and injuries. Yes, all teams suffer from injuries, but not many teams could survive this list of afflictions and still remain a contender. 

 

VIDEO: Fentress on the mounting injuries for the Ducks

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VIDEO: Fentress on the mounting injuries for the Ducks

The Ducks left Lincoln wounded, and news has come out this morning OL Tyrell Crosby and WR Devon Allen have both been lost for the remainder of the season. Our Aaron Fentress took to Facebook Live to break it all down, and to discuss how these mounting injuries will impact the Ducks moving forward. Check out the video below.

Oregon WR Devon Allen out for the season with knee injury

Oregon WR Devon Allen out for the season with knee injury

Oregon junior wide receiver Devon Allen will miss the remainder of the 2016 season after he suffered a non-contact injury to his left knee during the Ducks' 35-32 loss at Nebraska, according to a source. 

"Barring a miracle he won't play again this season," said the source. 

Ducks Territory first reported the story. 

Running back Royce Freeman, who left Saturday's game with a leg injury, is expected to return this season but could sit out Saturday's game against Colorado at Autzen Stadium. However, junior left tackle Tyrell Crosby will miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury

Allen's injury is believed to be a torn ACL, according to the source, but that is unconfirmed. Allen injured his knee during a punt coverage play in the fourth quarter. Allen injured his right knee during the 2015 Rose bowl. 

This recent injury could spell the end of Allen's football career, at least at Oregon. Although he has one year of eligibility remaining, Allen is a world-class hurdler who placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles during the Rio Summer Olympics last month.

Many speculated that Allen would not return to the football team this season in order to pursue a full-time track & field career. But his love for the game brought him back to the team despite having already suffered a devastating injury on the field.  

Allen tore the ACL in his right knee returning the opening kick off against Florida State in the 2015 Rose Bowl. He returned to action in 2015 but had just nine receptions for 94 yards as he struggled to regain full confidence in his knee and the ability to move well laterally. 

Allen appeared to finally return to his old self when he caught four passes for 141 yards and scored on a 77-yard touchdown during a 46-28 win over Virginia on Sept. 10.  It was his best game since going for 142 yards and an 80-yard score at Washington State on Sept. 20, 2014.

Allen did not have a reception against Nebraska on Saturday or during the 2016 opener against UC Davis. 

Mistake-prone Ducks cannot overcome Huskers -- or basic math problem

Mistake-prone Ducks cannot overcome Huskers -- or basic math problem

Yes, there were problems all day with basic mathematics. One times five is always greater than two times one. Everytime you do that little exercise it comes out the same.

Oregon scored five touchdowns and chose to go for two-point conversions every time. And only once did it get the two. Had it merely kicked the PAT for one point after each touchdown, it would have scored 35 points, which would have looked better than the 35-32 loss it suffered to Nebraska Saturday afternoon. And forget about what the score would have been had the Ducks just taken the two points it got on the first TD of the day, called it good and just settled for one after that. I wasn't a math major but I think there's a possibility Oregon could have then finished with 36 points.

Discussion about that will go on for years. So let's focus on what happened at a critical juncture of the game -- near the end of the first half when the Ducks had a 20-7 lead and the ball with a little more than a minute to play. At their own 17, the Ducks called two running plays and an incomplete pass even though it appeared it might be a time to continue to put the pressure on a discombobulated Nebraska defense. Or just call three running plays, keep the ball in bounds and run the clock out.

But Oregon did neither and punted with 50 seconds to go and the roof caved in. First, Oregon's Charles Nelson rammed De'Mornay Pierson-El before he caught the ball, but didn't seem to affect Pierson-El at all, who returned the kick 45 yards to the Duck 19. If you are going to interfere with a punt reception, at least tackle the man so he can't return it down your throat. The Cornhuskers went on to score a late touchdown and had all the momentum at halftime. By the time Oregon got the ball back in the third quarter, it trailed by a point.

After dominating most of the first half.

All in all this game was a dumpster fire for Oregon, which was penalized 13 times for 126 yards. Many of those penalties kept drives alive for Nebraska or killed Oregon drives. This was a mess, including an early leg injury to Royce Freeman and a possible serious knee injury to Devon Allen, who for some reason was covering a punt on special teams. An Olympic hurdler on the punt team? Why? I don't know.

And please, at some point for my own sanity, could we please not run play-action passes on fourth-and-whatever with the game on the line? Drives me crazy to see everything slow down for a run fake that nobody is buying. But don't worry about it, I'm sure it doesn't bother anyone but me.

Oregon, at some point, is going to have to realize it can't rely on its defense to win against good teams. It is going to have to focus on staying aggressive on offense and not squandering scoring chances or even possessions. This very likely could be the most difficult environment the Ducks will face all season, but I'm not sure it's the toughest team they will face. The offense is going to have to carry this team, like it or not.

And at some point, some homework will have to be done on basic math: 1x5=5, but 1x2=2 and 5>2.

Oregon WR Devon Allen back to being Devon Allen

Oregon WR Devon Allen back to being Devon Allen

EUGENE - Oregon quarterback Dakota Prukop couldn't believe his eyes. 

The Ducks needed 36 yards for a first down during a drive in the second quarter on Saturday night at Autzen Stadium and Virginia's defense had just one defender lined up six yards off if Allen, aligned far right, with a safety in the middle of the field. At the snap, that safety disappeared. 

"I remember thinking like, 'okay, there's got to be someone deep,'" Prukop said. 

Nope. Clearly the Cavaliers' defensive backs hadn't watched the 110-meter hurdles during the Rio Summer Olympics. Had they done so, they would have watched Allen, the United States champion, place fifth on the planet in the event and deduced that he has superior foot speed. 

Maybe then they wouldn't have allowed Allen, who appears to be back to his former self since undergoing ACL surgery on his right knee in early 2015, to run a post pattern right past a doomed cornerback while the deep safety chased Darren Carrington II, who had aligned next to Allen before running a 10-yard crossing route.

Oops. 

The result: Allen hauled in the slightly underthrown pass as he fell to the ground with the cornerback on top of him for a 55-yard gain that gave the Ducks a first down at the Cavaliers' six-yard line. The play set up a two-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Stanford that made the score 20-6 in what would end up being a 44-26 UO victory. 

“That was a phenomenal play on the third-down conversion," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. 

It was Allen's first play that could be described as such in nearly two years. The play was Allen's longest since scoring Oct. 20, 2014 when he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota at Washington State where he had a career-high 142 receiving yards on seven receptions.

But Allen wasn't done on Saturday. He got loose again in the third quarter when he hauled in a 77-yard touchdown pass from Prukop to give the Ducks a 37-13 lead in the third quarter. 

His 141 yards on four catches against Virginia composed by far his best outing since at WSU. 

"It's been a year since I really felt good playing football with my knee," Allen said. "My knee feels great now."

Following the touchdown, Allen ran along the back of the end zone while twice pretending to leap over a hurdle. He said the celebration had been planned for about a week.  

"It was pretty funny," he said. "My teammates got a kick out of it."

Allen said he didn't expect to receive a penalty for simply running and jumping. 

"Maybe for excessive running and jumping?" he quipped. "I hope not."

Having Allen back in top form could change the dynamic of Oregon's entire offense. 

Allen became one of the more dangerous deep threats in the nation as a redshirt freshman in 2014 when he caught 41 receptions for 684 yards and seven touchdowns. His season ended during a College Football Playoff game played at the Rose Bowl against Florida State when he blew out a knee ligament while returning the opening kick off. 

Allen worked his way back onto the field for the 2015 season but never regained his previous form while he struggled to regain full comfort in his right knee. Consequently, he caught just nine passes for 94 yards on the season with a long of 23 and never found the end zone. 

Those days appear to be a distant bad memory.

“Devon has practiced well and is getting into the rhythm of football again,” Helfrich said.

Allen's world-class speed will force opponents to respect him deep and help open up underneath routes for other receivers, and it will keep defenders from crowding the box to defend running back Royce Freeman. 

To fully return to his 2014 levels, Allen said he still must work on getting his lungs and legs in shape for playing football at Oregon's pace. Running one 110-meter hurdle event once is tough, but running 60 20-to-50 yard sprints in one game requires more endurance. 

Plus, Allen said he is continuously working on developing timing with Oregon's new quarterbacks, including backup, freshman Justin Herbert. 

"Running is something I'm good at but I still need to get better at catching, need to get better at blocking, knowing my assignment," Allen said. 

For now, he's shown he still knows how to get deep. That alone will help Oregon win games. 

Oregon WR Devon Allen swaps hurdles for helmet

Oregon WR Devon Allen swaps hurdles for helmet

EUGENE - Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen returned to football practice Wednesday, a week after placing fifth in the 110-meter hurdles during the Rio Summer Olympics.

The redshirt junior is scheduled to meet with the media Thursday afternoon. 

Allen's world-class speed makes him an instant vertical threat no matter what type of football shape he is in. However, he will need time to get his timing down with expected starting quarterback, senior Dakota Prukop, and recapture his ability to run precise routes. 

That shouldn't be difficult for Allen to regain given that this will be his fourth season in the program. 

"The thing about Devon, like a lot of our guys, is he's very versatile," Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick said. "We can do a lot of different things with him right now. Right now we just want to kind of get him back into the football mode. Get the rust off, which for him is not going to take too long."

Allen's return, which some believed could be in doubt should he have chosen to accept endorsements for his track & field prowess, solidified an already stacked receiving corps. 

Right now the projected starters are Dwayne Stanford, Darren Carrington II and Charles Nelson, with Jalen Brown, Dillon Mitchell and Alex Ofodile as the primary backups. 

Toss Allen into the mix and Oregon will have some serious decisions to make regarding playing time. 

"We will kind of see how it goes, but we definitely plan for him to be a focal point," Lubick said. 

As a starter in 2014, Allen caught 41 passes for 684 yards and seven touchdowns before suffering a knee injury returning the opening kickoff against Florida State in the Rose Bowl. 

Allen returned last season but never quite got back to 100 percent in terms of fully recapturing his route running ability as he battled regaining his lateral movement. 

He was limited to six games, catching nine passes for 94 yards. 

Allen must practice without pads for three days, which means he will miss Thursday's scrimmage. 

Oregon begins the season Sept. 3 at home against UC Davis. 

Oregon compliance details how Devon Allen can turn pro in track and remain football eligible

Oregon compliance details how Devon Allen can turn pro in track and remain football eligible

The Oregon football program could not be more proud of Devon Allen representing Team USA and running the 110-meter hurdles at the Summer Olympics in Rio. 

"It's awesome," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "I was tearing up that night and I get misty every time I sit down and think about it for a while because he's just such a good dude."

However, the question has been raised, will Allen return to the Oregon football team? Or will he run professionally?

Turns out, he may be able to do both. 

At a compliance meeting during Oregon's media day, chief compliance officer Jody Sykes detailed how the redshirt junior can turn professional after the Olympics in track while keeping his football eligibility.

If Allen hires a track-only agent he could accept prize money from track meets and still continue his collegiate football career with the Ducks. 

Should he turn pro, Allen can accept the $10,000 prize money from winning the 110-­meter hurdles final at July’s U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field. He also would be able to keep any payouts from the Olympics. The U.S. Olympic Committee pays Americans $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for a bronze.

The caveat is Allen cannot sign any endorsement deals or agree to any endorsement contracts until he’s concluded his football eligibility. 

[RELATED: ROSES OR ROULETTE?: DUCKS PREVIEW PART 3 - WRS AND TES HARD TO BEAT]

One Duck makes Top 20 'Freaks' in college football for 2016

One Duck makes Top 20 'Freaks' in college football for 2016

Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman has ranked his top 20 'Freaks' in college football for 2016.  The criteria for the list? "Top workout warriors in the sport or the guys who possess some rare physical abilities that wow folks inside their programs," says Feldman. 

One Duck graces the list at No.2 and it may not be who you think. In other words, it's not Royce Freeman. Can't figure out who it is? 

Devon Allen! 

From the article: In 2014, as a redshirt freshman, Allen — a legit world-class sprinter — was one of the Ducks’ most consistent wideouts as they made it to the national title game. He led Oregon in touchdown catches with seven and was third in receiving yards. Allen didn’t get to play in that title game after tearing up his knee and was limited last season, but he showed this summer that all of his speed is back. In fact, Allen qualified for the Summer Olympics in Rio with a 110-meter hurdles time of 13.03 seconds — the second-fastest time in the world this year. Allen also became the first man to win the 110 hurdles at both the NCAA Outdoor Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials in 60 years. After the Olympics, Allen plans to return to the Ducks football team, hoping to be ready for Oregon’s second game of the season.

Read more

 

Helfrich, Freeman express pride in Devon Allen's Olympic run

Helfrich, Freeman express pride in Devon Allen's Olympic run

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - One of the hot Oregon-related topics at Pac-12 media days had nothing to do with football. 

Ducks' redshirt junior wide receiver Devon Allen's victory in the 110-meter hurdles during the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene sent him to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and jolts of pride through UO football coach Mark Helfrich.

"It's awesome," Helfrich said today. "I was tearing up that night and I get misty every time I sit down and think about it for a while because he's just such a good dude."

Allen's Olympic endeavors could ultimately lead to him giving up football, although that decision remains unaddressed and very much up in the air. 

Allen started for the football team as a redshirt freshman in 2014 before injuring his knee returning a kickoff during the Rose Bowl. He returned to action last season but simply wasn't quite the same. Now nearly 20 months removed from the injury, Allen should be expected to return to his past form on the football field. 

Helfrich said Allen has been present at team development activities over the summer, and appears to be very much planning to return to football. Should Allen not return, the Ducks would be just fine at receiver, a testament to how well they have recruited the position. 

Oregon lost Bralon Addison and Byron Marshall to the NFL, and Kirk Merritt transfered. Losing Allen would compound the long list of departures at the position. Most teams would be devastated by such a loss of talent. Not Oregon. 

Senior Dwayne Stanford, redshirt junior Darren Carrington Jr. and junior Charles Nelson will likely start. Then there's redshirt sophomore Jalen Brown, who missed spring drills with injuries but Helfirch said is now back at full strength, and freshman Dillon Mitchell, who had two touchdowns in the spring game.

"We're very excited about that position," Helfrich said. "Obviously we would love to have Devon back just to solidify everything...but we're all so excited about our young guys there as well as our guys coming back."

First things first. Helfrich and the team want to see Allen win gold in Rio.

"It's crazy," UO running back Royce Freeman said of Allen's accomplishment. "I'm proud of my boy, Devon...Wishing all the best when he does go to Rio. Him qualifying and winning that race was great."

Freeman watched first hand as Allen went down against Florida State only to work his way back onto the football field and into the Olympics. 

"I'm excited for him," Freeman said. "Especially after his injury, it's well deserved. He's worked hard to accomplish that. I really couldn't think of anybody more deserving than that guy after his injury."

Freeman said he expects Allen to dazzle in Rio. 

"He's going to win it," Freeman said. "The boy is talented and he's blessed. And he's a hard worker."