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Oregon WR wins NCAA track title, says focus is on football


We knew Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen was fast, and he just proved it again.

After being selected as one of the fastest players in college football by College Football 24/7, the speedster won the 110-meter hurdles title over the weekend at the NCAA track and field championships with the second-fastest time ever by an NCAA athlete.

Despite that, he's still making it known which sport he gravitates toward first.

"I had a good day today," Allen told reporters after his run. "But it's still football first for now."

Just what Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich wants to hear.

The football team wrapped up spring practices with plenty of questions at the receiver spot and Allen was one of the pleasant surprises, according to most observers. With leading returner Bralon Addison out for the year with a knee injury and Josh Huff moving on to the NFL in the offseason as a third-round pick of the Eagles, quarterback Marcus Mariota appeared to be lacking for options as far as pass-catchers go this season.

Allen redshirted last season on the football team, but the extra seasoning away from the action seems to have paid off on the track in 2014, too. Allen's time of 13.16 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles was a record for the NCAA championships and was the best by a collegian since 1979. On top of that, the team won the national title to live up to its billing as Track Town USA.

"It's just a lot of training," Allen said. "I was doing so much at the beginning of the year that I think my body was kind of tired. I had to lose about 20 pounds from football season to be able to run efficiently and as the year started going I was feeling better and getting faster."

The good news for Allen is he'll have some time to gain back those 20 pounds and get ready for football, his primary sport in Eugene. He'll probably need the extra weight, too, given the fact that Michigan State and its "No Fly Zone" secondary rolls into town the second week of the season.

At the very least, given how fast Oregon's offense operates, it looks like they'll be able to say they really do have world-class speed at wide receiver.

*Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter **@BryanDFischer.*

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