Gary Bryant Jr. started seven games for USC in 2021 and appeared in 10 overall. When Drake London went down, he stepped up in a major way for his teammates.

Then, last season, Bryant was passed over. With Lincoln Riley landing in Los Angeles and a bevy of new receivers flocking to the Trojan offense, Bryant found himself on the outside looking in. So he decided to take a redshirt after three games, preserve the year, and seek a fresh start.

At Oregon on Saturday, Bryant reminded everyone of the talent.

“It feels great to go out and compete with this team and see where we’re at as a team,” Bryant said after Oregon’s 81-7 win over Portland State. “It’s Week 1. It’ll be an uphill battle from here, but it feels great to go out there and get back on the field.”

Bryant started opposite Troy Franklin on the perimeter. He finished his Duck debut with seven catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

There were questions about how the Oregon receiver rotation would shake out behind Franklin. Bryant, Traeshon Holden, and Tez Walker were all transfer additions this offseason.

What would the pecking order look like? And who would have early chemistry with senior quarterback Bo Nix?

Bryant seems to be in a good spot. His first touchdown came early in the third quarter, when Nix hit him with a back-shoulder throw.

“I never had any doubt,” said Bryant. “I’ve just been excited and hungry to get back out there on the field. It felt good being out there with these guys. They’ve welcomed me in like a brother. … It’s been just an amazing experience for me.”

The Oregon quarterbacks — Nix, then Ty Thompson, then Austin Novosad — combined to complete 33 of their 38 pass attempts for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Eleven different Ducks caught a pass. Franklin and Bryant stood out, but the Ducks showcased speed all over the field.

“We can be great,” Bryant said.

Next stop: Lubbock. Oregon (1-0) faces Texas Tech on Saturday at 4 p.m. PT on FOX.