M-A Community Reminisces on Memories with Troy Franklin ’21 Following NFL Draft

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Photos courtesy of Adhir Ravipati, Jenna Carson, and Matt MacLeod.

Franklin, who is currently at the Rookie Mini-Camp in Denver, was unavailable for an interview. The M-A Chronicle spoke with former head football coach Adhir Ravipati, ’22 alum Matt MacLeod, and teacher Jenna Carson on their most treasured moments with Franklin––both on and off the field.

Ravipati and Franklin share a hug after the draft.

“Troy is like my little brother. He’s a very reserved kid––he’s a good kid, he’s really funny, but he’s got a quiet confidence about him,” former M-A head football coach Adhir Ravipati said.

Sometimes, you think of football stars to be loud, arrogant, and extraverted. M-A alum Troy Franklin ‘21 isn’t like that. 

“He’s a very low-key, homebody type of person. I think sometimes people think of a football star as something else, and Troy’s a little bit different in terms of personality than what you might think,” Ravipati said. Smiling, Ravipati reminisces the moments just a few weeks ago when he sat with Franklin and his family in their rented Woodside Airbnb as they watched the 2024 NFL Draft together.

The Draft

Two weeks ago, Franklin was drafted by the Denver Broncos. Despite being predicted as a late-first-round or second-round pick, Franklin had dropped to the fourth round, being picked 102nd overall. 

Sitting through the draft on Thursday night was stressful for everyone––from Franklin’s family and close friends, as well as Ravipati and teacher Jenna Carson, who were all in the Airbnb. For Ravipati, more nerve-wracking than the draft itself was “watching Troy have to go through it.”

“There were some times when we didn’t know if Troy was going to make it,” Ravipati said. 

“I can’t even imagine what Troy was going through watching the draft. I was nervous just watching him,” former quarterback Matt MacLeod ‘22 added. “I personally think he should have been a first-rounder, so I was a little shocked to see him drop to the fourth round.” 

Ravipati added, “When we saw all those receivers get drafted and when he didn’t get picked, I think that was a little frustrating for him.” 

Franklin eventually got drafted early Saturday morning––reaching this point gave everyone a sigh of relief. Franklin, who had been working day-in-day-out, patiently waiting for his time to come, had finally made it. “I think it just speaks to his growth and his desire to be the best version of himself and to make that dream a reality. I’m really proud of him,” Ravipati said.  

“I think he’ll show the league why he should have been one of the top wide receivers off the board. He’s going to do great things there and it’s going to be fun to watch him dominate with his college quarterback [Bo Nix],” MacLeod added. 

The five-star wide receiver was ranked as the number two overall wide receiver in the nation while at M-A. Franklin accumulated 1790 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 102 receptions in his 3-year varsity stint as he forgoed his senior year and elected to enroll early at Oregon. Franklin was also a vital component of M-A’s 2018 CIF State championship run, leading the team in total yards and touchdowns that year. 

Memories at M-A

Franklin and Macleod pose together at a game.

On the field and on the big screen, Franklin seems like a powerhouse, breaking past defenders and speeding down until the end zone untouched––off the field, according to M-A alum and MacLeod, Franklin is “a great friend and mentor.”

One of Ravipati’s favorite moments with Franklin was during the 2018 CCS championships in his sophomore year. While playing Wilcox, Franklin led M-A’s 21-point comeback, and had broken off in a last-minute play that, according to Ravipati, “was one of those plays where you just hope was not a costly mistake.”

“I was tossing the ball to Troy in the backfield and I tossed it very late, but he was able to make a great play, switch the field, and score the go-ahead touchdown,” MacLeod said. 

Watch Franklin’s game-winning catch from 0:00 to 0:10.

“During that run, you saw him just completely take over games in a way that many kids at the high school level aren’t capable of doing,” Ravipati added. “He’s one of the best players in M-A history and one of the best players in our area to ever play high school football. And I think that run cemented his legacy a little bit.”

Following a rainy CIF victory in Eureka, Franklin was the “only player to finish the game without grass and mud on his jersey.” Game after game, Franklin scored touchdown after touchdown, eventually helping the Bears win the 2018 CIF Championships. 

“That speaks a lot not just about his talent but also his super competitive nature. That kid hates losing, but he’s never selfish about it. He doesn’t ever complain about not getting the ball––he just wants to win.”

Final Reflections

In Franklin’s first year with the Oregon Ducks, Carson went to their game against Stanford with Franklin’s mom, DaNesha. “He hardly played his freshman year, and it just felt so weird, because you’d think that he’d go into the new team to be the next superstar, but he wasn’t,” she said. 

“He put in his time. He waited and stuck it out,” Carson continued. “Two years later––just this year, we went back to the game, and Oregon had a phenomenal second half. Troy scored two touchdowns, and at this point, we knew that he was probably going to go play in the NFL.”

“People don’t realize how hard Troy worked to get where he is now,” Carson said. From graduating a semester early to taking extra classes and advocating for himself, there were plenty of bumps in the road. Things never came immediately, but Carson is proud of the person Franklin is today––someone humble, diligent, patient, and dedicated. 

For Ravipati, coaching Franklin has taught him many things––“Troy and I had such a good relationship, and it was clear that he really wanted to be good. He allowed me to really push him as a coach. We didn’t let him cut corners or get away with just being naturally talented, and the thing is, he thrives on that.”

“I never catered to him. I always tried to make him feel like there was another level that he could get to, and he always wanted to compete for whatever that next level was, and I think that’s helped me be a better coach,” he added. 

“He represents a really special community in East Palo Alto kids that all kind of grew up together and played together. Troy’s the first one out of that specific group to get drafted, and he’s kind of a representation of what that community is capable of athletically,” Ravipati said. “The growth that he’s had off the field and I definitely don’t think he’s going to be the last one to get drafted out of that group.”

Celine Chien is a junior in her second year at the Chronicle. She is the current Editor-in-Chief, a Design Lead for the Mark, a copy editor, and reports on detracking and community news. Celine is on M-A's debate team, Leadership-ASB, and loves to cook and spend time with her family.

Mateo is a junior at M-A. This is his first year in journalism. He hopes to write about a variety of issues, ranging from athletic events to administration spending. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, hanging out with friends, and reading.

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