Every Sunday, the best 200 meter sprinter on USA's Junior Track and Field Team shows up for his evening shift at Honey Bear's BBQ in Phoenix, Arizona.
Devon Allen chooses to contribute, and those who know him best, like Brophy Prep football Coach Scooter Molander, know this is exactly where he wants to be
“You could tell he had talent early on, but his work ethic has allowed him to achieve tremendous goals in high school. You're not going to find a better person, and we are very proud of him,” he told me on Tuesday.
Right now, he's giving to his family in Arizona. Soon, he will do the same for his new ones in Eugene: the Oregon football and track squads.
“Devon was a three-year starter for us in football, a four-year track athlete, excellent hurdler and a very fine student," said Coach Molander. "He was also accepted to Stanford, but he's proud to be a Duck now."
Proud to be a Duck, but nearly wasn't.
Allen knew an offer from Oregon might not happen, “Coach Frost said they were only taking two receivers with scholarships because they needed linemen and defensive players, but if one opened up, then he'd give me a call.”
The day after Bryan Bennett transferred to Southeastern Louisiana, Scott Frost made good on his word.
“I wasn't really expecting it. I was all set to visit Arkansas and had just returned from my Stanford visit. But it was cool. I was excited.”
With or without a spot, he was willing to do the work.
“I may or may not have come just on a track scholarship and grey shirted my first year in football, but that would have been kind of rough. So it definitely became an easier decision.”
As part of USA's Junior Outdoor Track and Field Team, Allen has seen a world beyond the Sonoran Desert.
“Last year we were in Puerto Rico. This August I'm hoping to make it to Lima, Peru for the Pan American games. I'll be in a bunch of different countries before fall camp starts.”
Sounds glamorous, but being a dual-sport athlete is not without it's conundrums. In track and field, speed breeds success. But in football, the Oregon offense is a slightly different animal; it takes more than fleetness of foot to get on the field.
“Actually, it's my style of play. It's pretty physical. I like to block and get down and dirty. The run-and gun-offense fits perfectly with what I've been doing the last couple of years.”
Having a speed and agility trainer from NFL power facility Brett Fischer Sports at arm's length has contributed to Allen's confidence heading to Eugene. Will Sullivan, who's currently prepping with All-American corner Jordan Poyer for the combine, is also the Brophy Prep receivers coach.
“Yeah, I got pretty luck with that,” he laughs.
Something tells me luck has nothing to do with it.
*Devon Allen's Bio (From Oregon Athletics )
Wide Receiver 6-0, 187, Phoenix, AZ (Brophy Prep)
The Rivals.com four-star prospect and 16th-ranked receiver in the country by Scout.com grabbed 43 receptions for 749 yards and nine touchdowns his senior season to go along with 251 yards and five scores on the ground . . . Selected to The Sporting News Top 125 (No. 104), averaged 62.4 receiving yards per game and 17.42 yards per catch .… Also a prep track standout who is expected to compete for the Ducks after claiming the 2012 state titles in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles, claiming state records in both events of 13.52 and 36.39, respectively.