Cal’s Keenan Allen, a junior who has a chance to be the first receiver selected in next year’s NFL draft, has made it official: He’s going pro.
Allen confirmed today through the school what has been widely expected, that he is skipping his senior season and entering the 2013 draft. Allen probably would have gone to the NFL anyway, but when Cal fired coach Jeff Tedford, it virtually guaranteed Allen would leave. (Cal reportedly hired Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes as its next head coach today.)
“I have always dreamed of having an opportunity to play in the NFL, and my time at Cal has helped me get to the point in my career where I believe I am ready to take that next step,” Allen said. “I am thankful for my experience at Cal and am excited about what the future holds.”
This year’s crop of senior wide receivers is considered relatively weak, but Allen and Tennessee’s Justin Hunter are the two juniors who look like first-round picks. Hunter has so far declined to say whether he’ll enter the draft, but he is expected to. (The two most talented receivers in college football, USC’s Marqise Lee and Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, are both true sophomores who won’t be eligible for the NFL draft until 2014.)
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Allen is Cal’s all-time leader with 205 catches and is third in school history with 2,570 receiving yards and seventh with 17 touchdown catches.