Two days after Devon Allen participated in three events at the Pepsi Dual meet at Hayward Field, the redshirt freshman appeared in pads for the second week of Oregon’s spring football practice. The dual-sport athlete scored six points on Saturday and also won the 110 meter hurdles in a personal record time of 13.96 seconds. Allen, who came to Oregon as the 16th-ranked wide receiver prospect according to Scout.com, will continue the transition between sports for the remainder of spring football, working out with the football team three days a week and with the track and field team twice a week.
After practice on Monday, Allen talked with the Emerald about the preparation geared towards performing in both sports, his bond with other dual-sport athlete Dior Mathis and his aspiration to compete in the Olympics and be drafted into the NFL.
How would you assess your first week with both football and track workouts and then the meet you competed in over the weekend, both physically and mentally?
“I think it went pretty well just because I came out healthy. I knew most of the plays that we were doing so I felt a lot better than I did in Fall camp.”
How did it go in terms of transitioning yourself form track workouts to football workouts? Have you done that before?
“I’ve done it a little bit, not to the extent of this as much hard work because I have hard track days and hard football days back to back. But it wasn’t too bad. I got into the treatment room on Friday night and then Saturday morning try to get my legs back, so that felt pretty good.”
Is the treatment something you’re going to have to get consistently?
“Yeah, even if my legs don’t really hurt a couple extra thirty minutes of stuff will not hurt.”
Last week you said you wanted to see how the week would go and see how you would perform in the upcoming meet. How would you assess your performance then?
“I think I did pretty good. I PR’d in the 110 and then we ran a fast 4×100 time again, did okay in the 400 hurdles but you know by that time I was a little tired. But I think it is definitely something I can do in the future.”
What’s your approach at track practice — anything unconventional considering you’re doing these football and track workouts?
“Not a lot of running. You’d think with track that I’d do a lot of running, but it’s mostly just technique stuff with hurdles, block starts for the sprints and that’s about it — just keeping my legs fresh.”
Three events. Did that seem like too much of a task?
“No, that was fine. I usually do four, coach gave me an event off, I usually end off with the 4×400, but coach gave me an event off so it was nice.”
You and Dior Mathis are both participating in both football and track and field. Do you have a bond from doing that?
“Yeah definitely. We see each other out there, and he’s excited to get on the 4×100 relay team and we’ll have a fast one this year. If we can make it to nationals that would be a big statement if we had two out of four guys that play on the football team.”
Where have you been working at this spring with the football team?
“Pretty much everywhere. Today, I worked a little bit at inside receiver so I can learn it. I’ve been working inside and outside at pretty much all the positions.”
Is that what the group has been doing since you guys have a young group?
“I feel like that’s what we’re doing actually. There’s a lot of guys that learn all the positions you know if we need someone to jump in they can jump in, that’s really good. You know in the game when guys get tired or get hurt we can jump and fill that role.”
With track and football, is that something where your goal is to do that for four years?
“Yeah it is. My goal is the Olympics and NFL. That’s a lot of kids’ dreams. So I feel like the longer I can do this the more of a chance I have. A couple of years the Olympics come by and if I am up to that level you know I’ll do that and you know come back and the NFL draft or whatever. We’ll just take it one year at a time for now, you know get on the field first.”
It’s never going to be a focus where say it’s your senior year, and you’re like “I should start focusing more on that sport?”
“You know actually, I am not going to lie it might come down to that, but I haven’t decided yet. I still want to do both as of now.”
Follow Justin Wise on Twitter @JWISE25