TrackTown Tuesday: Two-sport athletes are a win-win at Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. - Football and track may seem like they sit on opposite ends of the sports spectrum, but not at the University of Oregon.
Ducks' Head Football Coach Mark Helfrich says his team benefits from the athletes that split their time between the two sports.
"I would say we try to find the tough track guys. I think there are track guys who are track guys and there are athletes that are football players and track athletes," Helfrich said.
When Oregon uses speed as one of its most powerful weapons, it's no surprise the team seeks out the talented athletes on the track.
"It is a win-win. Those guys -- their college experience is that much better. Both of our programs benefit from it," Helfrich said.
Helfrich said the first player to sign after he became head coach was two-sport star Devon Allen. He and Head Track and Field Coach Robert Johnson will work together occasionally to bring specific athletes to the school.
"I was banging on his door every day talking about, you got to get this guy. I don't know what you guys are thinking, but you have to get this guy. I don't care if you don't take him; we are going to take him 100 percent," Johnson said.
The Ducks will receive more exposure when the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials come to Eugene. That's when the nation's elite athletes will see not what Oregon has to offer, but they will also learn just how valued two-sport athletes are at the school.
"I can't tell you how many times in recruiting our guys have said - they met "Sue Trackfan" and she knows their PR. Those things are odd and unique to Eugene," Helfrich said.
Some would argue Devon Allen is the best two-sport athlete in the country and the world.
Watch #LiveonKMTR Thursday for a closer look at his remarkable recovery from an injury he suffered at the Rose Bowl about 15 months ago. He's bounced back to become a contender to make history at the Olympic games in Rio.