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ATQ's "20 in 20" - No. 12 - Jeff Maehl

ATQ continues the rundown of the best 20 Ducks of the last 20 years. Checking in at No. 12 is the Maehlman, wide receiver Jeff Maehl.

Kevin C. Cox

Jeff Maehl made some of the biggest catches in Oregon football history (see: 2009 Arizona OT, 2011 BCS title game), so it's no surprise he finds a spot on our list of the 20 greatest Oregon football players in the last 20 years.

Maehl joined the Ducks in 2007 originally as a reserve in the secondary. By seasons end, he found his way into the starting lineup on the other side of the ball as a wide receiver, starting Oregon’s final three games. Maehl would haul in nine passes for 118 yards. His first touchdown came that year against Oregon State in a game where Maehl had four catches for 86 yards.

In 2008, Maehl started all 13 games for the Ducks and tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions with five, including one in three of the last four games. Maehl finished the year with 39 catches for 421 yards.

Maehl had a breakout year during his junior season in 2009, leading the team with 53 catches for 696 yards and six touchdowns. Five of those six touchdown receptions came in the final month of the season. One of the biggest catches of his career came against Arizona in the first overtime, hauling in a touchdown pass on 3rd and goal, helping Oregon avoid another disastrous upset in the desert. That season, Maehl was named 3rd Team All-Pac-10, All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention as well as winning the Cargill Award for Team Impact Player.

Maehl capped off his collegiate career in 2010 by racking up 1,076 receiving yards on 77 catches, hauling in 12 touchdown passes. His 77 receptions tied Samie Parker for the most catches in a single season at Oregon. Maehl also set a new school record with a touchdown catch in nine straight games. Against USC in 2010, Maehl had a career day with eight catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns against the Trojans. Without a doubt the biggest catch of his career was also his last. With Oregon trailing Auburn by two points in the BCS National Championship, Darron Thomas found Maehl in the end zone to keep the Ducks alive. From a fan’s point of view, that play was a moment I’ll never forget. Myself along with about 15 or 20 of my fraternity brothers were watching the game, and when Maehl made that catch, we mobbed each other in the middle of the living room like we had just won the World Series or something. What happened next was the biggest emotional crash I’ve ever experienced, but I’ll always remember Maehl for sending Eugene into a brief state of pandemonium. In 2010, Maehl was an Honorable Mention All-American (, 1st Team All-Pac-10 and participated in the East-West Shrine Game.

Maehl’s 178 career catches equaled Sammie Parker’s for most in school history. His 24 career touchdown catches also tied a school record. His 81-yard reception in the BCS Championship Game was the longest in the history of the game. His senior season with 1,076 yards ranks third all-time in school history and was just the eighth time a receiver had gone over the 1,000-yard mark.

Maehl had a shaky start to his NFL career in 2011. After going undrafted, Maehl was signed by the Houston Texas as an undrafted free agent. He was waived by the Texans on September 3 and signed on with the practice squad the following day. When Derrick Mason was released in December, Maehl was signed to the active roster. In 2013, Maehl was reunited with Chip Kelly when he was traded to the Eagles. Maehl has yet to make much of an impact in the NFL. Last season, Maehl made four catches for 67 yards and one touchdown with the Eagles. This year, he’ll be in the mix but its unlikely he’ll make much of an impact , but mayble ol’ Chip can work some of his magic on Maehl.