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“It’s dramatic,” Franklin said. “I look at it the other way. I still see how good he could be. Although I think he’s going to have a big-time year, I think he’s probably a year or two away from reaching his potential.”

He’s probably put more consideration into that question than Heyward-Bey, who likely will rank at least in the top five in program history in receptions, yards and touchdown catches by season’s end if he remains healthy.

Where such a season would take him doesn’t matter. Where it takes the Terps does - even if the NFL talk is rarely far from earshot.

“I thought about it since I was 7,” Heyward-Bey said with a laugh. “You think about it, but it has nothing to do with now. Right now it’s win the ACC championship and focus on the team’s goals. My goals have nothing to do with what’s going to happen at the next level.”