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Allen's speed gives him an edge at WR for Oregon

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm •  Published: August 28, 2014
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Devon Allen has quite a tale to tell about what he did over summer break.

In June, Allen won the NCAA championship in the 110-meter hurdles. Two months later, he's won a starter's job at receiver for the No. 3 Ducks.

Allen, a redshirt freshman, will start along with senior receiver Keanon Lowe when Oregon hosts South Dakota in the opener on Saturday night.

"What I did over my summer vacation?" he laughed when posed the question in fall camp. "A lot of sports. I ran fast. I enjoyed myself. And I got to travel a little bit."

Allen's track talent ultimately helped him move up the depth chart. And that's saying a lot, because the Ducks are all about fast.

"He used his speed, " Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota said. "He was able to beat his guy, his matchup, all fall camp. We're going to have to be able to use that guy. He's a special talent for us and he's going to make big plays for us."

His time of 13.16 seconds in the hurdles at the NCAA Championships set a meet record, besting Olympic gold medalist Aries Merritt's mark of 13.21 set in 2006 for Tennessee. Allen is the first freshman to win the national title in the event since San Jose State's Dedy Cooper in 1976.

He leaned in to finish two-hundredths of a second in front of USC senior Aleec Harris, then thrust his hands into the air in victory — prompting a standing ovation from the home crowd at Oregon's Hayward Field.

It was the fastest collegiate time since Renaldo Nehemiah set the NCAA record of 13.0 in 1979 while running for Maryland.

On top of that, Allen's victory in the event propelled the Ducks to the team's first national championship since 1984. Top-ranked Oregon finished with 88 points, 18 ahead of runner-up Florida.

At the time, Ducks track coach Robert Johnson was as surprised as everyone else at Allen's victory. All the Ducks needed at that point to win the team title was a point — which Allen would earn just by finishing.

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