BERKELEY, Calif. – California wide receiver Keenan Allen will forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft, the school announced in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
"I am grateful for all of the opportunities the University of California has provided me over the past three seasons," Allen said. "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."
The decision was hardly a surprise, as Allen, who set the Golden Bears record for career receptions in just 33 games, is widely regarded as a probable first-round selection.
Allen had 205 catches for 2,570 yards, third-most in school history, with 17 touchdown receptions, seventh-most in school history, despite being saddled with largely inept quarterback play during his time at Cal.
His best season came as a sophomore in 2011, when he earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors after catching 98 passes for 1,343 yards, both second-best in school history in a single season.
However, his production regressed this past season as Cal limped to a 3-9 record, finishing with 61 receptions, 737 yards, and six touchdowns. Allen missed what would end up being the final three games of his college career with a minor left knee injury.
Allen also proved to be a dynamic return specialist, averaging 14.13 yards per punt return in 2012, leading the Pac-12 and ranking fifth nationally.
Scouting Keenan Allen
Positives: Allen has prototypical NFL size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) with surprising elusiveness in the open field; He runs a complete route tree and is effective on screens, intermediate, and deep passes; Solid blocker in the run game; Well-liked and respected by teammates and coaches.
Negatives: Despite physical gifts, Allen did not make enough game-changing plays on a regular basis; He often put up his best statistical performances in games when Cal was blown out (see: Oregon and USC 2011); Occasionally lost his temper and focus on the field, to the detriment of his team.
Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.