Oregon Ducks wide receiver Devon Allen suffered a right knee injury returning the opening kickoff against Florida State in the NCAA’s inaugural College Football Playoff semifinal game last New Year’s Day. Many experts speculated that Allen may not play football this year, due to the severity of the injury.
With those concerns in mind, FishDuck.com reached out to the Allen family over the phone for an update on Friday, and the news is encouraging. The doctor’s initial diagnosis was that Allen had suffered a torn meniscus and ACL in his knee. On January 16, Allen underwent corrective surgery to repair the damage, during which the doctor made a positive discovery.
“About 45 minutes into the surgery, the doctor came out into the waiting room,” his father Louis Allen said. ”It made me really nervous to see the doctor come out so soon. But, then, the doctor said that they had misdiagnosed the meniscus tear and it was fine, so they only had to repair the ACL.”
The average rehabilitation time for both a meniscus tear and ACL is 8-9 months. The good news is that since it’s only the ACL recovery, Allen has a good chance of healing and rehabbing in 5-6 months. “Devon was talking to the doctor in the recovery room and told him that he wanted to be running by May 15,” Mr. Allen said.
When I asked Mr. Allen what that meant for this football season, he said, “Well, after speaking with my son, barring any setbacks, I see no reason why Devon shouldn’t be ready by fall camp.” That’s great news for Duck fans. He led Oregon with seven receiving touchdowns this season, was second on the team with 41 catches and third with 684 receiving yards before suffering the knee injury.
It will certainly improve the Ducks’ chances for another playoff run this season, having Allen’s production and experience on the field.
Here’s the remainder of the interview with Mr. Allen:
Norm Hightower: Now that we know he will be ready for football, minus any setbacks, what does this mean for track this season?
Mr. Allen: It probably means that he will not compete during the NCAA track season. He wants to compete at the 2015 U.S. Outdoor Championships, and because he won the championship in 2014, he won’t have to go through the qualifying rounds. But if he isn’t healthy enough to compete at the top level, he won’t do it.
NH: What were your initial thoughts when your son was injured in the Rose Bowl?
Mr. Allen: I thought he would be okay. I just figured he was a little dinged up. When I found out that the injury was more serious, the Duck fans in the crowd helped me get through it.
NH: How’s his rehabilitation been going since the surgery?
Mr. Allen: It’s been going well. When I talked to him today, he said he was going bowling. And from what I’ve heard, this isn’t the first time since the injury. He also traveled with his twin sister, Carrisa, to Chicago to visit their Aunt Carmen during spring break. They were there for about five days, and from what I heard, Devon worked out 3 of those days.
NH: Devon has a twin sister?
Mr. Allen: Yes, for being opposite gender twins, they’re still pretty close. She will be playing volleyball for Northwest Christian University and will join the team in August.
NH: The play I remember the most from your son this season is when he scored a 70-yard touchdown after spinning away from defenders, against Michigan State. How did you feel after that play?
Mr. Allen: I thought it was an amazing play. I was very proud. Before the game, Devon told me that he was playing the game for me. I remember watching him before the game, searching for me in the stands. After he scored the touchdown, he pointed right at me when he was celebrating. It was a special moment.
NH: What do you think of the University of Oregon? Are you happy that your son chose the Ducks?
Mr. Allen: I couldn’t be happier that my son chose U of O. As a parent, I would much rather have my son closer to home, but I don’t think that Arizona State would have been the best choice for him. Not that there’s anything wrong with ASU, but the best choice for Devon was Oregon.
NH: How have the coaches been through all of this?
Mr. Allen: Every coach has been extremely supportive. They all have expressed their concern for getting Devon healthy, and not about a timeline. As a parent, that makes me very happy.
NH: How is Devon doing in school and what is his major?
Mr. Allen: Devon is on track to graduate after winter term of 2016. He’s been taking summer classes to help advance the timeline. When he started school, his major was in general science. But he has since changed it to business, with a concentration on sports marketing.
NH: Your son seems to have a great work ethic. Would you agree with that?
Mr. Allen: Absolutely. I’ll give you an example. After winning the championship in 110-meter hurdles, Devon came home right afterwards for five or six days. You would think it would be a nice time to take a break, but Devon still worked out five of those days.
NH: Where do you think your son got his work ethic from?
Mr. Allen: I would say that he got it from me, early in his life, but then later he was motivated on his own. Devon is very competitive. He wants to be the best at whatever he is doing, whether it’s playing a musical instrument, football, or anything else.
NH: Has he talked about the possibility of the offense changing, with Marcus Mariota moving on to the NFL?
Mr. Allen: No, not really. Before Vernon Adams’s transfer, Devon was real confident with Jeff Lockie, Morgan Mahalak and Travis Waller.
NH: How has your son handled his success with the University of Oregon?
Mr. Allen: He’s a humble kid. I told him to never feel bad about being successful, because he’s earned it. I told him to be humble and I will do the bragging on him.
Mr. Allen won’t have to brag alone, because many of us Duck fans are proud of him as well.
Top Photo Credit: Craig Strobeck