With the return of a high-flying, entertaining offense in Eugene has come the return of the highlight play for the Oregon Ducks. While we’ve seen Bo Nix scamper downfield for an 80-yard touchdown, and Bucky Irving slip tackles and evade defenders on his way to massive gains, there’s one highlight that has stood apart so far this season.

Unshockingly, the highlight belongs to wide receiver Troy Franklin.

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Though he has made numerous enthralling plays this season, there was a TD catch that the sophomore receiver had on Saturday against Stanford that will be remembered by fans for many years. It was better than his acrobatic catch against BYU, or his game-sealing touchdown against Washington State. This toe-tapping touchdown deserves to be replayed over and over on highlight packages.

What’s most fascinating about the catch is the fact that Franklin himself, and other players on the team, are treating the highlight with some nonchalance that makes it seem this type of act is a normal thing for the sophomore.

“It was pretty much like kind of a routine catch,” Franklin told me on Tuesday after practice. “Either last week or the week before we were actually working on sideline drills. Everything kind of just comes from practice.”

A routine catch, you say?

“He makes catches like that…” Nix said when asked about the play. “You should have seen the one he made today. When the ball comes to him, he just has a knack for catching it. That’s just what he does. Every once in a while he will have close ones that you don’t always haul in but even the adjustment and the process of getting two hands on it is impressive.”

Based on the stats that he’s putting up this year, you shouldn’t be surprised if these highlights start becoming more prevalent and plentiful. Franklin has broken out early this season and established himself as the WR1 on the team, with 29 catches for 391 yards and 3 TD. We knew when he came to Oregon that the talent was there, it’s just that the Ducks’ offense was unable to highlight exactly what he brought to the table. Now we’re getting to see it in full display, and it should be a shock to see these types of plays.

“To be honest I wasn’t surprised he caught it,” Nix said. “For Troy, that’s kind of usual, and he just hasn’t had a chance to showcase that enough so far to the rest of the country.”

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