When Cal confirmed in early November that Keenan Allen was out indefinitely with a knee injury — one he suffered while on an onside kick Cal inexplicably attempted down 22 with 1:18 left in the Utah loss — it was widely thought that the star wide receiver had likely played his last game as a Golden Bear.
When head coach Jeff Tedford was fired, it further solidified that line of thought. Now, that line of thought has become an official reality.
What began with a “Decision made!” tweet last week ended with a release from Cal Wednesday of this week that Allen has decided to forego his remaining season of eligibility and jump headfirst into the 2013 NFL draft pool.
“I am grateful for all of the opportunities the University of California has provided me over the past three seasons,” Allen said in a statement. “The experience and friendships I have gained at Cal will help me throughout my life both on and off the field. 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. I am thankful for my experience at Cal and am excited about what the future holds.”
Despite missing the last three games of the season, Allen still finished as Cal’s leader in receptions (61), receiving yards (737) and receiving touchdowns (six). Last season as a true sophomore, Allen caught 98 passes for 1,343 yards.
He will leave Cal as the school’s all-time leader in receptions with 205.
As long as Allen’s knee checks out, the 6-3, 210-pound receiver could very well find himself selected in the first round of the April draft.