U.S. Olympian Devon Allen back at Oregon, eyes turning pro in track

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen has returned to the Oregon Ducks football program following his fifth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles at the Rio Olympics.

Allen, who will be a redshirt junior for the football team this season, said he thinks he will go pro in track.

"I think that's the case so far," Allen said. "I haven't accepted any prize money yet but I haven't had the opportunity just because I've been traveling and stuff."

He can go pro in track while maintaining NCAA football eligibility by signing with a track agent -- rather than a general sports agent -- and refusing to sign with any brands such as Nike, adidas or Puma. By going pro in track he can, however, accept any prize money from races without affecting his collegiate football eligibility.

"For me, it's just there's not really much more I can do in college track other than break the collegiate record," Allen said. "[I'm an] indoor, outdoor champion. Other than winning a team title, which we did, you can't do much more."

Going pro in track would certainly propel Allen's running career. Allen hadn't competed internationally prior to the Olympics and he knows that competing at that level more often would aid his development and push him closer to his ultimate track dream of becoming a gold medalist.

But, that's not the only dream that's still on the board for Allen. He said he still sees pro football and pro track as viable options in his future and wants to win a gold medal and a Super Bowl Championship.

"The NFL is something I've dreamed about doing, just like I dreamed about running in the Olympics," Allen said. "In four years I want to win a gold medal -- that's one more stepping stone to that dream. But my next dream is to play in the NFL."

Allen's story was one of the more popular of the Olympic games. He said that when he was recognized in Rio, it was often because people recognized him as "you're the guy that plays football and runs track."

But now, back in Eugene, Allen's attention has shifted to the football field, where he hopes to contribute as a wide receiver this fall. The Ducks have a lot of depth at the position, which means that it won't be necessary for Allen to push it and return for Oregon's season opener against UC-Davis next Saturday.

"As long as coach [Mark] Helfrich and coach [Matt] Lubick see fit, they're going to throw me in there," Allen said. "I'll kind of just go with the flow and get reps."