Binjimen Victor has gone through a full regular season, winter workout, and spring camp under Urban Meyer, and now he is experiencing his second summer as an Ohio State Buckeye.
The newness has become routine, and once that happens for a player, everything becomes a little bit easier.
Playing as a true freshman last year, Victor managed just four receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown. For the first time in a while, his physical abilities did not translate into production. This is normal for freshmen, and it also provides a baseline to grow from.
Watching what Victor was capable of doing last year and this spring, Urban Meyer doesn’t get hung up on the lack of production because he sees what Victor can become.
“He’s as talented as any (receiver) I’ve ever coached,” Meyer said this spring.
Meyer mentioned Victor quite a bit last season as a player who was close to seeing the field in a meaningful role. That didn’t happen until later in the season, however. And even then, he still only caught three passes in Big Ten play. So what was it that was holding him back?
“Just the go-hard, knowledge of the offense,” Meyer said. “He just wasn’t a go-hard player all the time. He really grew up and he’s a great young man. He’s fine, a very good player. Just that typical freshman stuff.”
Even with that “typical freshman stuff”, you could still see a lot to like. Now as a sophomore, he still stands 6-foot-4, but has added weight and checks in around 195 pounds. He still has to get stronger, but he is definitely on the proper path.
What is he capable of when he is going right?
“Anything he wants,” Meyer said. “That’s how good he is. That’s how talented he is. He’s not good yet, but that’s how talented he is.”
Victor also put last year’s bowl preparation to good use, and he brought that momentum with him into spring camp. His position coach Zach Smith says that Victor has “all of the talent in the world,” and was showing it this spring before he was dinged up with a couple of minor injuries.
Despite the nagging injury issues, Victor powered through and never missed a practice. It slowed him down, but it was also a positive to see him keep fighting despite the setback.
What are his teammates saying?
Even while getting dinged up, Victor still had his moments in the spring. When it comes to what he is capable of doing, however, he won’t truly take that next step until he finds the consistency that is needed on every snap.
“He’s kind of like a little brother to me,” said receiver Terry McLaurin. “He roomed with me in camp, so I’ve seen him when he first came in to now and it’s just maturation. The biggest thing he needs to keep working on is the ebs and flows of practice, the ebs and flows of a game. You can’t get too high, you can’t get too low. Just take it play by play, step by step. But his future is very bright and I’m excited for him to take that next step.”
The coaches — and the quarterbacks — are hoping that Victor is going to be ready for a much larger role in 2017. The Buckeyes have not had a consistent receiving threat out wide since Michael Thomas left after the 2015 season. Thomas wasn’t ready for that responsibility until his third year, however, so even the great ones can take some time to blossom.
Whenever Victor does eventually come into his own, you might want to prepare yourself for something pretty special.
“Bin is a freak,” said receiver K.J. Hill. “He’s 6-4, 190 or 200 pounds, can run, so he’s a freak. You’re going to see Bin going deep, you’re going to see him coming back. Just like he came on at the end of the year last year, I expect a big year out of Bin.”