NFL Ambition, Track Stardom Could Force Hand For Birds' Allen
Eagles wide receiver Devon Allen, who doubles as an aspiring NFL player and renowned track star, keeps blazing in the track meets with an eye on training camp.
Can he survive in both spaces?
Coming off his recent win at the Penn Relays, Allen on Saturday clocked his fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles at the USATF NYC Grand Prix, a 13.04 that tied for the fourth-fastest in the world this year and placed him second behind Daniel Roberts (13.01), per this ESPN story.
At the Penn Relays in April, Allen clocked a 13.46 winning time, as the 28-year-old continues to compete in his main event while still hoping to crack the Eagles’ 53-man roster this summer in his second go-round with the franchise.
Allen, also a kick return specialist, spent last season on the Eagles’ practice squad.
“You know, balancing both is difficult, but I’m having a lot of fun,” he told the NBC Sports broadcast. “As long as I can stay healthy, it’s good to compete against these guys in high-quality competition.
“You know, 13.01 and 13.04 is nothing to scoff at, so we’re ready to go.”
Allen signed with the Eagles last year despite being away from football since 2016, when he played his last year for the University of Oregon. He has competed in the 110-meter hurdles in the past two Olympics.
But Allen’s two sports amibtions could interfere with each other later this summer, as he’s set to compete at the USATF Outdoor Championships July 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.
If he qualifies for the world championships from Aug. 18-27 in Budapest, Hungary, he would have to leave smack in the middle of Eagles training camp, where he’s expected to be among a handful of wide receivers competing to make the team.
In an interview with Oregon TV station KPIC before the NYC Grand Prix, Allen had said he’s uncertain what he’d do if that scenario becomes reality.
“Yeah, I still don’t have a plan of what I’m going to do with worlds being, you know, during training camp,” Allen told the station. “Obviously, it’d be nice to compete at worlds and also it would be nice to be at training camp so I can make the 53-man roster.
“So, obviously it’s going to be a little bit of a decision, but I’m not going to worry about that, like I said, until I make the world championship team. USA is a competitive meet. Just got to focus on doing that first.”
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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