Allen’s the latest track star ‘chasing’ NFL glory. But will his blazing speed be enough to make the team?

Posted on June 13, 2022 - Last Updated on June 15, 2022

The notion is intriguing. Eagles wide receiver and track star, Devon Allen flashing down the sideline, ball tucked away, leaping over a would-be low tackler.

Devon Allen used his world-class speed for a big gain for the Eagles. In this case, world-class speed is neither an exaggeration nor a figure of speech.

  • Allen ran the third-fastest time *ever* in the 110-meter hurdles at the NYC Grand Prix on Sunday.
  • Allen won the event in 12.84 seconds.
  • Aries Merritt holds the world record of 12.80 seconds, set in 2012.

Allen, who is a two-time Olympian, signed with the Eagles in April.

The 27-year-old played football at Oregon but hasn’t played the sport since 2016. Even though he’s a proven track star, Devon Allen is considered somewhat of a long-shot to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster.

Should he make the squad, he would bring a new feature to the Eagles’ passing game.


Here is a look at some of the great track stars who went onto NFL fame.

Renaldo Nehemiah

He was a generational track athlete. Renaldo dominated the 110 hurdles heading into the 1980 Olympics. “Skeets” was the world-record holder and the first man to run the 110 hurdles in less than 13 seconds. He was the top-ranked 110 hurdler for four years.

The Moscow Games were boycotted by the United States and its allies and Nehemiah did not get a chance to compete.

Despite not playing college football, Nehemiah worked out for a bunch of teams, including the Eagles, in 1982. He signed with the 49ers.

He played wide receiver for the Niners from 1982-84. He caught 43 passes for 754 yards (a gaudy 17.5 average), and four touchdowns. He was on the Niners’ 1984 Super Bowl championship team.

Bob Hayes

“Bullet” Bob Hayes was a Hall of Fame wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys from 1965-74 and he spent his final season with San Francisco. Hayes played in two Super Bowls. He lost in 1970 to the Baltimore Colts and was on the winning team in 1971 against the Dolphins.

Hayes played 132 games and had 371 catches for 7,414 yards and 71 touchdowns.

Hayes was another generational track athlete. He was considered the “world’s fastest human” with his world records in the 60-, 100-, 220- and Olympic 100-meter dashes.

He won two Olympic gold medals — in the 100 and 4×100 relay in the 1964 Tokyo Games.

Hayes is the only man to win a gold medal and a Super Bowl championship.

Willie Gault

He won a Super Bowl ring with the 1985 Bears during his 11-year career as a wide receiver. Willie Gault was drafted in the first round, 18th overall, by Chicago in 1983.

He qualified for the 1980 boycotted Olympics but his track career wasn’t over. In 1983, he was on an American 4-by-100 relay team that set a world record of 37.86 seconds at the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki.

James Jett

Jett played 10 years for the Raiders and won an Olympic gold medal in the 4-by-100 relay team in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

The Eagles would take any of this production out of Allen.

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Chuck Bausman

Chuck Bausman is an Eagles writer for Chuck formerly was the Executive Sports Editor of the Philadelphia Daily News and the Executive Sports Editor of the Courier-Post in South Jersey. He learned how to cuss by watching Philly sports.

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