Ducks' Allen balances track & (football) field

It’s pretty surprising to hear redshirt freshman wide receiver Devon Allen say that he’s only organized when it comes to keeping his room clean.

Because for any person, let alone a teenager, to be able to balance two varsity sports at Oregon, a full class load and still find time to be a normal college kid, it seems there must be a secretary or at least a color-coordinated day planner behind the scenes.

But he has none of that.

At this point, it’s all routine. The football schedule during the spring doesn’t change at all, so it has practically become muscle memory to be when and where he needs to be for coach Mark Helfrich. But Allen does admit that his academic advisors and track coaches text him regularly to check in on when he plans to do study table, tutoring or track workouts.

None of that changes the fact that he seems to be handling an overwhelming amount of activities incredibly well for someone his age. Take last week for example just when looking at his athletic schedule:

    Monday: Football practice. Interviews. Treatment. Meetings.

    Tuesday: Fourteen repetitions of a 100-meter dash at 13-second pace. Cardio. Endurance training. Treatment.

    Wednesday: Football. Treatment. Meetings.

    Thursday: Hurdle drills. Treatment.

    Friday: Football practice. Oregon Relays -- 400-meter hurdles (which he won).

    Saturday: Oregon Relays -- 100-meter dash (which he won) and 110-meter hurdles (which he also won).

Ask Allen to describe that six-day stretch and what word does he come up with?


He has been on this grind with both sports since the winter. He said that he thinks he’s getting stronger in both sports and as long as that’s happening, there’s no reason to stop.

“I think my body is starting to get used to it,” Allen said. “I’m getting able to recover a bit quicker. Our athletic trainers do a great job to help me do whatever I need to do to stay healthy.”

And the trainers have been incredibly important as he has gone through quite the transformation in just one year in Eugene.

When Allen enrolled at Oregon, he was coming off an injury that kept him from training too much the previous spring and summer season for track. Because of that, he came in at 205 pounds. Neither the football coaches nor the track coaches were too happy with Allen at that weight.

In fall football camp, he couldn’t move around nearly as well as he knew he could so after last season Allen went on a diet that helped him drop to 190 pounds, which helped him play -- and run -- at a much leaner weight.

He’s seeing the dividends pay off as he’s becoming a target for quarterback Marcus Mariota this spring. With Bralon Addison out, there will certainly be receptions to take and with how much Allen’s name has been brought up this spring season, there’s no reason to think he won’t be fighting for a top spot in the receiver rotation next fall.

But as the clock ticks down on his remaining football practices, Allen isn’t feeling any kind of relief. He said for the month following the spring game on May 3, he’ll enjoy having a less busy schedule, but by June, he’ll be itching to get back out on the field with his coaches and teammates in full pads.

Allen said that no one on the football team ever complains about being sore or having so many commitments, but they often ask him how he does what they do, considering he basically does it twice.

“It’s funny,” Allen said. “They say, ‘I don’t know how you do this.’”

But there’s nothing funny about that. Because the truth is, no one really knows how he’s able to do it.