The Oregon Ducks may have lost 2013 speedster recruit Dontre Wilson to Urban Meyer and Ohio State, but the Ducks need not fret because the athlete that they picked up in Devon Allen should fill in nicely for Wilson.
While Wilson was a highly sought-after recruit from the closely watched state of Texas, Allen laid under the radar at Brophy Prep in Phoenix.
Hypothetically speaking, say a fan is reading online about the nation's top high school talent. When comparing Devon Allen and Dontre Wilson, they're most likely going to want Wilson to commit to their team. Wilson plays in Texas and is rated as a top-five athlete that can come into any college program and contribute early, while Allen is the No. 166 ranked receiver.
Rankings are just rankings, though. Taking a look at a player's actual skill set on tape might tell a different story about them. It may even make you think twice about that shiny gold star next to their name.
According to 247sports.com, both Allen and Wilson run the 40-yard dash in the 4.4 range. Along with being lightning fast, both players are also very shifty, dynamic threats when returning the ball on special teams.
So far, both are offensive threats and both have ridiculous speed. So why do I say that Allen may be a better pickup for Oregon than Dontre Wilson?
First of all, Allen has a bigger frame than Wilson. He stands about 6'1", 187 pounds while Wilson carries a smaller load at 5'10" and 165 pounds. College football is rough. The bigger the body, the better.
Another factor in why Allen better fits the puzzle at Oregon is because the Ducks will have plenty of depth at the running back position in 2013. Sophomore Byron Marshall, freshman Thomas Tyner and junior De'Anthony Thomas will all be receiving a significant amount of touches, which wouldn't have left much room for Dontre Wilson.
In high school, Wilson was more of a running back while Allen lined up outside as a receiver. This gives Allen an edge, as he has had time to learn crisp route-running and downfield blocking as well as gain experience catching the ball.
Who would be a better player for the Ducks?
This isn't to say that Oregon isn't deep at receiver, though, because they are. But with DAT's possible replacement (Wilson) on campus at Ohio State, Allen has the chance to fill those shoes and show that he more than deserves the spot.
De'Anthony Thomas is virtually a receiver in the Oregon offense. During the 2012 season, he only averaged about seven carries a game. Being mainly a running back in high school, Wilson would need to learn all the ins and outs of the receiving game.
I don't want to beat a dead horse with this, but Allen is a primed wide receiver who already executes on all the intangibles that coaches love to see. If the Oregon coaches give Allen the ball seven times per game and use his catching and blocking skills the rest of the time, then Mark Helfrich will find that he has struck gold.
Remember that Marcus Mariota run against Stanford that should have went to to the house for six but didn't because DAT missed an easy block? Oregon probably would have gone to the national championship game if that block was made.
In the future, Allen will make that block.