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Oregon WR Troy Franklin Ready to Contribute Heading Into Freshman Season

One of the best wide receivers to ever sign with Oregon is ready to make a name for himself.
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Bryan McClendon came to Oregon in the midst of a global pandemic. 

And what did he do? Just sign arguably the top group of wide receivers the Ducks have seen. The team added three All-Americans in Troy Franklin, Dont'e Thornton and Isaiah Brevard this offseason and the trio is bursting with talent. I caught up with Franklin at Oregon football media day to learn about his transition to the college level and progress with the team.

The fanbase is excited to see him play in a real game after announcing his arrival with a dominant showing in the spring game. With that come pressure and expectations, but he's keeping his head down and putting in the work.

"I kind of pretty much just stay down, play with my head down, and just continue to work," Franklin told Ducks Digest. 

He's had the support of the coaching staff as well as a number of players to ease the transition to the next level.

"I got a lot older guys on the team that helped me with stuff when I first got here: Devon Williams, Tevin (Jeannis), Jaylon Redd all these veteran guys they were helping me. When I got here, it was comfortable for me. Everything was kind of similar to high school in a way. I just feel like I just gotta keep doing me, working hard for the team, just doing whatever, so I can just be ready when it's time to play."

The East Palo Alto (Calif.) native put on a show in the spring game in his first live action since the pandemic took away a traditional senior season.

"That was actually cool, not having to played a real game in over a year," Franklin said.  "Getting back out there, getting my feet wet and just running routes, making plays with my guys and stuff. That was pretty cool."

A growing trend we've seen across college football is recruits enrolling early with the hope of getting a leg up on the competition and learning the playbook. For Franklin, who arrived in Eugene in early January, the uncertainty of 2020 played a role in his decision to get things off to a fast start.

"What went into my decision was kind of me not knowing, well COVID obviously, and me not knowing if my senior season was going to be in the first half of the school year or the second half," he said. "I just made my decision, decided to get up here early."'

He's already starting to see some of the benefits that have come with that extra time.

"That had a lot of benefits. I got to learn the system in and out easily. I feel like I'm kind of like an older guy now. I know the ropes and everything so it helps in that aspect a lot."

What goals does he have for his first year at the college level?

"Some goals I have is to help the team any way I can," Franklin said. "I'm a freshman, so any opportunity I have, I'm just willing to help the team out and do whatever."

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A major part of Oregon's recruiting pitch to All-American recruits such as Franklin is playing in big-time games and testing them against the best the sports has to offer. With the team heading to Columbus in just over a month to national runner up Ohio State, the 6-foot-2 playmaker and his teammates are locked in.

"We're just all locked in. Our coaches and trainers just make sure they do a good job of pushing 'do simple better' on us, making sure our culture is great, just making sure everybody's all on the same page," Franklin said of the team's preparations. "Have a good mentality about going into playing these big games. I think we're gonna be good."

Franklin came to Eugene as an early enrollee alongside Baltimore native Dont'e Thornton and has seen big things out of his roommate so far during their time as Ducks.

"It's been crazy. Dont'e's been going crazy-- making plays, so it's all good. When we came in, we were both on the same page we had to learn plays with each other," Franklin said of his early days as a Duck. "So it was kind of a good thing that me and him both came in so we could help each other out and stuff. We were both comfortable with that. We're doing pretty good."

One of the dominant storylines heading into the college football season has been conference realignment, and Franklin believes the Pac-12 still has a strong standing nationally.

"I think people are kind of sleep on us, but we just have to see when the season comes," he said. "I feel like we're a top dog and we definitely up there. We just have to see."

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