NFL: Hurdler Allen signs with the Philadelphia Eagles

5th and 4th in the 100h in the last two Olympics, the American returns to his first love: “But first I want world gold and the world record in July.” The long list of track freaks then moved on to the oval ball.

The last jump, in chronological order. Backward. Hurdler Devon Allen, coming back from a fifth and fourth place finish in the 110h at the last two Olympics, returns to his first love, football, signing a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 27-year-old hasn’t worn a helmet in three years when he left the University of Oregon team to pursue track and field full-time.

But on the Ducks’ final “pro day,” a showcase of college talent in the eyes of pro scouts ahead of the April 28 draft, Allen was shown running the 40-yard dash (standard NFL measurement distance) in 4’35, a tempone, not surprising given the background. The Eagles decided to sign him.

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His career with the oval ball in Oregon had not taken off due to a pair of knee injuries that limited him to only 9 games in the last two seasons. He fared much better on the track, where he graduated to a three-time national champion in the 110h.

However, before returning to soccer, Allen intends to compete at the US championships next June and the World Championships in Athletics to be held July 15-24 in Eugene, home of the University of Oregon, historic home of the Stars and Stripes track. and field: “For now football takes a backseat, between now and July my attention will be totally dedicated to the obstacles. I want to win gold, break the world record and then, from July 18, I will only think about the training”. camp with the Eagles,” Allen told “The Oregonian.

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Allen certainly isn’t the first to make the jump from track and field to NFL football. The most famous was the legendary Bob “Bullet” Hayes, gold in the 100 and 4×100 at the Tokyo ’64 Games, then champion with the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl VI. He closed out his career with 71 receiving touchdowns and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009.

In the 1980s it was Willie Gault’s turn, he won gold with the USA at the World Championship in Helsinki ’83 with the 4×100 (with Emmit King, Calvin Smith and Carl Lewis) that established the world record in 37’86, later chosen with the number 18 of the Chicago Bears to the draft of 83. The receiver won the Super Bowl number 20 in January of 86 in which he is considered one of the strongest teams of all time, especially for the famous “46 Defense”. Unhappy, Gault also referred to the Calgary ’88 Winter Olympics call-up with the US 4-man bobsleigh team.

Ten years in the Raiders in exchange for James Jett, also gold in the 4x100m at the Seoul ’88 Games. Another reliever then in the NFL was Ron Brown, gold in Los Angeles ’84, where he dropped a step from the podium in the 100 meters behind Lewis, Sam Graddy (two years with the Broncos and two with the Raiders for him too) and Canadian Ben Johnson. He then played for 7 years with the Rams, ending his career with the Raiders and earning a call to the Pro Bowl (the NFL All Star Game). The list is long and is not only made up of receivers but also includes discus throwers like Michael Carter, three times in the Pro Bowl with the Niners, veteran players like Bo Robertson (silver in Rome ’60, then in AFL with Chargers , Raiders, Bills and Dolphins), or the legendary decathlonist Jim Thorpe, one of the founding fathers of the NFL.

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