Wed Dec 05 06:37pm EST
BERKELEY -- California junior wide receiver/punt returner Keenan Allen announced on Wednesday that he intends to forego his senior season in Berkeley and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Allen did not play the final three games of the 2012 season due to an injury to his posterior cruciate ligament, suffered in the waning moments of the loss to Utah.
Allen finishes his Cal career as the program's all-time receptions leader (205), and ranks third in Bears history with 2.570 receiving yards. He is also seventh all-time with 17 touchdown grabs.
"I am grateful for all of the opportunities the University of California has provided me over the past three seasons," Allen said in a statement. "The experience and friendships I have gained at Cal will help me throughout my life both on and off the field. I have always dreamed of having an opportunity to play in the NFL, and my time at Cal has helped me get to the point in my career where I believe I am ready to take that next step. I am thankful for my experience at Cal and am excited about what the future holds."
Allen is also in the career record books along with his brother and quarterback Zach Maynard -- who did not play in the final two games due to a lower leg injury suffered against Washington -- for the longest pass play in school history when the pair connected for a 90-yard score at Washington in 2011.
Allen's 13 catches against USC in 2011 is tied for third on Cal's all-time single-game reception list, while his 197 receiving yards at Washington the same season is fifth. In addition, he equaled DeSean Jackson as the fastest player in Cal history to reach both 1,000 career receiving yards in his 16th career game vs. Utah and 100 career receptions in his 18th contest against Washington State, both in 2011, as Jackson reached both respective marks in 2006 in the same number of total games in his career.
Allen also totaled 3,458 all purpose yards to rank just outside the school's all-time top 10, adding 30 rushes for 258 yards (7.7 ypr) and two touchdowns on the ground. Allen also returned 21 punt returns for a total of 252 yards, and 18 kick returns for 406 yards. He caught a pass in each of the 33 games (29 starts) he played in at Cal from 2010-12, scoring 120 points on 17 touchdown receptions, two scoring runs and one punt return TD -- which came this season against Southern Utah.
Allen's career was highlighted by his 2011 sophomore season when he posted career highs of 98 receptions and 1,343 receiving yards that were both second on Cal's all-time single-season lists, while adding a career-high-tying six touchdown catches. Allen earned first-teamed All-Pac-12 honors and was one of 10 national semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award in 2011. His averages of 7.54 receptions and 103.31 receiving yards per game ranked second and fourth nationally, while respectively checking in at 11th and 10th nationally. He briefly led the nation in receiving yards per game for two weeks midway through the campaign and also got to the 1,000-yard single-season receiving mark faster than anyone else in school history in the ninth game of the campaign against Washington State.
Despite his shortened junior season, Allen earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 recognition and lead the team with 61 receptions, 737 receiving yards and a career-high-tying six touchdown catches, with five of the scoring grabs coming over his final five contests. At the end of the 2012 regular season, Allen ranked third in the Pac-12 and 22nd nationally in receptions (6.78 rpg), as well as sixth in the league and 36th nationally in receiving yards (81.89). He also was the team's top punt returner for the first time in his career and led the Pac-12 in punt returns, averaging 14.13 yards per return with 252 yards and a touchdown on 21 returns.
Allen posted one of the top seasons by a true freshman wide receiver in school history at Cal in 2010 after coming to Berkeley as a five-star recruit that was one of the most heralded in the nation in the 2010 signing class. Allen was afourth-team Freshman All-American selection by Phil Steele and an honorable mention Freshman All-American according to College Football News when he broke Cal's record for receptions by a true freshman with 46 for 490 receiving yards, surpassing Jackson's previous mark of 38. He also added a team-high five touchdown grabs and led the squad with a kick return average of 22.56 yards per return on a team-high 18 returns. He had one of the most memorable debuts in Cal football history in the season opener against UC Davis when he caught four passes for a season-high 120 yards, including a season-long 48-yard touchdown reception, while totaling 176 all purpose yards by adding 38 yards rushing and a touchdown on three carries, as well as one kick return for 18 yards.