When Oregon sophomore wide receiver Jaylon Redd catches a pass, 60 percent of the time this season he has also found the end zone.
Three touchdowns, five catches; that’s an insane catch to touchdown rate. Some may say it’s an unsustainable rate, but in his career at Oregon, Redd and quarterback Justin Herbert have connected eight times, four of which were touchdowns.
The obvious chemistry between the two Ducks stems from Redd gaining Herbert’s trust during Oregon’s fall camp. In UO’s scrimmages, Redd made sure that Herbert could always find him on third down and then get the yardage needed to convert the first down.
"There has to be someone (Herbert) goes to when he knows we need a play,” Redd said. “I got no problem being that man.”
From scrimmages to games, Redd has proved that Herbert can count on him. The first Oregon (2-0) touchdown of the season is the perfect example. Bowling Green led Oregon in the first quarter, 10-0, it was fourth down and 14, and Herbert found Redd on a 33-yard dime in the back of the end zone.
Junior left guard Shane Lemieux also noticed a difference in the receiver during Oregon’s fall camp.
“I really never saw any dropped balls (from Redd),” Lemieux said. “He really took it upon himself to catch every single ball that was thrown to him. It didn’t matter if it was a good or bad throw.”
Lemieux added that Redd is a leader on the offense that often gathers the team if they need to make adjustments or get on the same page. He also predicted that Redd will be All-Pac-12 and the conference’s leading receiver this season.
Redd entered his sophomore year with what he calls a “business mindset.”
“I felt like I had a lot to prove,” Redd said. “There was a lot of guys coming in and I felt that I didn’t have a stable situation coming into this year.”
Co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Keith Heyward offered Redd, thinking he would play defensive back for the Ducks.
“I wish he could play some defensive back for us but he’s doing a great job on the offensive side of the ball,” said Heyward. “He is giving the offense that speed in the slot. Catching the ball, fly sweep, however they may use him.”
He’s listed as 5-foot-8, 178-pounds, but his smaller stature doesn’t stop him from getting physical. His blocking ability has impressed his coaches and teammates.
“He’s a hard worker,” junior wide receiver Brenden Schooler said. “He’s going to go 100 percent on every play and he’s not afraid to stick his nose in there and block somebody.”
There is no doubt Redd is a playmaker, so get used to hearing his name, especially on third down.