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Devon Allen has a chance to be crowned the best hurdler in the world this weekend, but if he does it, he won’t have long to celebrate, as he’ll be heading to Philadelphia in a week and trying to make the Eagles’ roster.
Allen, a wide receiver who played at Oregon but has never played in the NFL, begins his quest to win the 110-meter hurdles world championship with heats today. The final is tomorrow night, and Allen is one of the favorites to win.
Win or lose, he’ll be there for the start of Eagles camp in July 26, and he says he’ll have no trouble putting all his focus on the hurdles this weekend and then shifting his focus to football.
“I try not to think too far ahead,” Allen said, via the Oregonian. “I think my goal, this weekend goes great, I win the gold medal, break the world record — great. I got a week off. During that week, I’ve got to study the playbook because I got camp coming up and then once we get into football, get back 5-6 days before camp starts, I get back into cleats. I’ve been doing a little bit of football stuff now, but I’ll get back into cleats and start running routes and feeling comfortable.
“Then once camp starts, just compete; do what I do best and compete and give full effort and try to get an opportunity to play. I don’t stress too much about it because I know me not giving effort is not going to be the reason I don’t play in the NFL. It’s going to be because I’m not good enough. If I’m not good enough, I shouldn’t play.”
Allen said that after Sunday night, his focus will be on football for the years ahead, although he isn’t totally closing the door on track.
“I’ll see if I can make it work,” Allen said. “I believe in myself wholeheartedly in my athletic ability and that’s where I’m going to start. Then if everything else falls into place it’s going to be a great career. Hopefully I have a good, long 5-6 year NFL career and the rest of my track career.”
It’s been a long layoff from football for Allen, who last played at Oregon in 2016, and there’s no guarantee he’ll make the Eagles roster. But it would be an incredible story if he could win the world championship on the track on Sunday night, and then play for the Eagles in two months.