Devon Allen leaves Ducks


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EUGENE, Ore. — Devon Allen, the hurdler and wide receiver who became one of the most accomplished two-sport athletes in Oregon history, will forego his remaining collegiate eligibility to focus on a professional career in track and field.

After representing the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he reached the 110-meter hurdles final, Allen returned for his third season of football with the Ducks in late August. He appeared in three games before suffering a season-ending knee injury, less than two years after a similar injury ended his redshirt freshman campaign.

Allen will pass up his final two seasons of track and field eligibility and one more available season of football in order to go pro on the track. He intends to remain in Eugene and enrolled at the university while transitioning into his professional career.

"When you have a young man go all the way to the Olympic Games while still in college, that shows he is beyond ready for the next phase in his athletic career," said UO track & field coach Robert Johnson. "We will always appreciate the incredible impact he has had on our program."

A former prep all-American in track, Allen won the NCAA title in the 110 hurdles as a freshman in 2014, running 13.16 seconds. Later that summer, he became the first hurdler in 35 years to win both NCAA and U.S. titles in the same year, a double he repeated in 2016.

On the football field, Allen was a three-star recruit. The Phoenix native proved that his toughness and competitive spirit transcended track and field, catching 41 passes for 684 yards and a team-leading seven touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2014.

But in that season's College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Rose Bowl, Allen was injured while returning the opening kickoff. He made a quick recovery and returned to catch nine passes in 2015, then played in the first three games of the 2016 season before being injured on another special teams play at Nebraska.

"Devon's impact on and off the field will be felt for years to come," said UO football coach Mark Helfirch. "We look forward to supporting him and following him in this next phase."

Allen was late to join the football team for preseason practice after his summer on the track extended all the way to the Olympic Games. After winning the 60-meter hurdles title at NCAA Indoors, he won another NCAA Outdoor title in the 110 hurdles and also ran the 200 in that meet.

In the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials at Hayward Field, Allen won his second U.S. title, in a personal best of 13.03 seconds. He raced all the way to the final at the Rio Olympics, finishing fifth.