Ore­gon’s Allen to turn pro in track

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Anne M. Peter­son

Olympic hur­dler and Ore­gon wide re­ceiver Devon Allen says he will forgo his re­main­ing el­i­gi­bil­ity with the Ducks and pur­sue a pro­fes­sional track ca­reer.

Allen, a two-time NCAA cham­pion in the 110-me­ter hur­dles who placed fifth in the event at the Rio Olympics this sum­mer, said Wed­nes­day he does not yet have an agent. He is re­cov­er­ing from surgery to re­pair a torn ACL in his left knee.

Allen said his aim is to win the gold medal in the 2020 Games, and then per­haps re­turn to play­ing foot­ball pro­fes­sion­ally. He feels that turn­ing pro and train­ing full time gives him the best chance to medal.

Allen ap­peared in the Ducks’ first three games this sea­son be­fore in­jur­ing his left knee and be­ing ruled out for the rest of the sea­son. Allen tore his an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment dur­ing the fourth quar­ter of Ore­gon’s 35-32 loss at Ne­braska on Sept. 17.

The 21-year-old, who said he will re­main in Eugene to train, has two years of el­i­gi­bil­ity left in track at Ore­gon, and one year left for foot­ball.

After com­pet­ing in Rio, Allen was a late ar­rival for the Ducks’ fall camp but jumped right back into ac­tion. He ap­peared in the opener against UC Davis and started Week 2 against Vir­ginia, catch­ing a 77-yard touch­down pass.

Allen first made a splash as a red­shirt fresh­man, fin­ish­ing as the team’s thirdbest re­ceiver with 41 catches for 684 yards and seven touch­downs — in­clud­ing an 80-yard TD against Wash­ing­ton State.

But his sea­son ended when he in­jured his knee on the open­ing kick­off of Ore­gon’s Rose Bowl vic­tory that year over Florida State. He re­quired surgery and missed that sea­son’s na­tional cham­pi­onship game against Ohio State.

He spent much of last sea­son try­ing to re­turn to form on the foot­ball field and the track — while eye­ing the ul­ti­mate prize of an Olympic bid. He ap­peared in 12 games, but caught just nine passes for 94 yards.

Allen earned a spot on the Olympic team for Rio by win­ning the 110-me­ter hur­dles in the Olympic Tri­als last July at Ore­gon’s Hay­ward Field. He also won the NCAA ti­tle in the event.

It was his sec­ond NCAA ti­tle — he won the cham­pi­onship as a fresh­man in 2014. He also won that year’s U.S. na­tional cham­pi­onships in the 110-me­ter hur­dles.

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