Oregon football is bringing in one of its most talented freshman classes ever, highlighted by Ty Thompson and Kingsley Suamataia, but there were a couple of top-75 ranked receivers who were expected to have decent roles early on.
Both Troy Franklin and Dont’e Thornton enrolled early and performed well in the spring, even had monster spring game showings.
Expectations were high for the two freshman receivers but their roles heading into the 2021 season were uncertain. Would they play big snaps after joining a loaded receiving corps or would they fail to make the two-deep and eventually climb into backup roles?
If the first “organizational chart” ahead of the Fresno State game is any indication, the roles of both guys are going to be prominent.
Thornton was named a backup receiver to Johnny Johnson III and Franklin was listed as a starter ahead of Isaah Crocker and Devon Williams. Who saw that coming? I thought that Williams or Jaylon Redd would be starters, but neither cracked the starting lineup in the first depth chart.
This is a big development for Franklin.
Franklin could be in for a special season
I predicted earlier this month that Franklin would have a Freshman All-American type season with the Ducks and now that he’s a projected starter, it looks like I may not be too far off.
Many experts were also high on Franklin as 247Sports even listed him as a potential Freshman All-American candidate. I was a little hesitant to make this prediction because I didn’t think he’d start in Week 1, but I knew he had the talent.
The Ducks’ receiving corps is going to be a scary sight for defenses this season and we might just see Franklin put up 500-plus yards in year one.