The No. 6 player on this list enters his third season in the starting rotation for the Buckeyes and has put up 11 touchdown catches over the last two years.
No. 6 — Binjimen Victor, Redshirt Senior Wide Receiver
Binjimen Victor is perpetual potential, constantly on the cusp of breaking out.
Urban Meyer called him one of the most physically gifted receivers he’s ever recruited.
So far in his three years, Victor has a total of just 48 catches, but that doesn’t tell the entire story.
Ohio State rotates two receivers at each position, which means Victor has split most of his reps the previous two seasons with classmate Austin Mack at the X receiver position. Last year when Mack went down with an injury, Terry McLaurin moved over from Z to X and then Victor was splitting reps with McLaurin.
Receivers are kept fresh this way, but it also keeps the numbers down for the outside receivers.
This season will bring about Ohio State’s third starting quarterback in Victor’s three years as a starter. With this being his final season as a Buckeye, and with the NFL Draft looming, Victor will want to put all of his skills on display.
What He Does Well
Binjimen Victor is an effective red zone weapon, but has grown to become more than that.
At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Victor has the reach necessary to be a mismatch in the end zone. In fact, each of his first five touchdown receptions came from within 25 yards (25, 11, 3, 23, 8).
Of his last seven, however, only three have come from within 25 yards.
Victor is becoming more of a downfield threat. Three of his last four touchdown catches have been from at least 30 yards out. The only one that wasn’t is a 3-yarder against Maryland last season.
Something he also does well is score against the Terps, which he has done in each of his first three games against Maryland. As a freshman, he hauled in a 25-yarder, then added an 8-yard score in 2017.
In terms of his potential, Binjimen Victor pretty much showed every facet of his abilities in his touchdown catch-and-run at Penn State last year. He went up and caught a bad ball in traffic, came down, gathered himself, broke tackles, dodged defenders, and then outran them into the end zone.
And none of it was by accident.
Binjimen Victor In 2019
Austin Mack was moved to Z in the spring in order to get the best three receivers on the field together. How much that continues this season remains to be seen, but this is as prepared as Binjimen Victor has been to show what he can do.
Victor will still be splitting reps, but expect him to be on the field more than he was last season.
Quarterback Justin Fields probably won’t be as accurate as Dwayne Haskins was last season, so the Buckeyes are going to need receivers with a wide catch radius, and nobody’s radius is wider than Victor’s. He has also gotten stronger in order to deal with the hand-fighting and ball security.
Consistency has long been the question here, and maybe this is the year Victor no longer has to answer it.
This should be his best season as a Buckeye as he continues to progress from red-zone weapon to an every-zone weapon.
What They Are Saying
“It’s coming. It still needs to get better. It’s the best it’s ever been. He’s now developed into a harder critic, or a harder evaluator on himself, than me. So he’ll tell you the same thing. It can never be good enough but it’s coming and just keep getting better.” — Receivers coach Brian Hartline on seeing consistency from Binjimen Victor in the spring.
“We’re still getting better at it. I wouldn’t say at this point we’re where we want to be come fall. It’s spring, so we’re okay with that. But in the end, I think they’re doing a really good job of leading by example first. They haven’t really maybe stepped out of their comfort zone and barked at anybody and got things going that way yet. But that comes with time and I think they’ve done a great job first and foremost being leaders, showing by example. So I’m really happy with that.” — Brian Hartline on the older receiver stepping up in leadership roles this spring.
“With three fifth-year guys leaving, you know it’s up to us to be the voices, to be the leaders, and to be the energy of the offense. It’s up to us to keep that standard going.” — Senior receiver Austin Mack on the need for the senior receivers to lead.
Last year with a similar list most thought Paris Campbell was only going to be above average at best. As with Victor, he had not shown consistency and the ability to make big plays when needed. I think, the additional year under Hartline was very helpful for Campbell and I think we will see similar improvements in Victor (not 90 catches) and he will have an NFL Draft year.
Not sure how Victor is this high. While I think he can provide some depth for our WR corps, I don’t see him has a starter or in our top 3 (Hill, Olave, Wilson). This is a sheer seniority ranking. Looking at his career trajectory it just doesn’t seem realistic to expect much more than 400-500 yds
Fwiw, the top 3 WRs according to Hartline are Mack, Victor, and Hill.
Of course those are his “top 3” going into camp. What coach wouldn’t say the same? It keeps everyone motivated…makes Mack/Victor work to actually become that, and makes the young guys stay hungry and humble.
It’s called coach speak Gerd. And FWIW, can you point me to the article where Hartline said that?
The thing is, it wasn’t just coach speak because that’s why he moved Mack to Z from X.
Here’s his quote on how Mack was doing at Z in the spring.
“He’s great. Smart. He’s able to make that transition because, in the end, I need to get the best three guys on the field at all times. So to have Ben and Austin in the same position, that doesn’t help anybody. So moving Austin over there, get three guys, three seniors on the field and play ball is good.”
I won’t be surprised if Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave prove themselves capable of handling Z by themselves, allowing Mack to move back to X. As I’ve written a few times and talked about on the podcast, it may ultimately come down to who is better between Jaylen Harris at X and Wilson at Z. And the answer in August may not be the same in October or November.
This is a good problem to have.
Very good problem to have. Finally we agree on something! Lol. Ultimately, you gotta have Olave and Wilson on the field…and at the same damn time.
I would have put McCall higher on the list! He’s a veteran and explosive. All he does is make plays, and just like Curtis Samuel, I always wished they would have used him more!
If he stays healthy, he will be underranked on this list.
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