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After Learning Experience of 2016, Binjimen Victor Preparing for Larger Role in 2017
By Tony Gerdeman

On the outside, it's difficult to take too much from Binjimen Victor's freshman season at Ohio State. After all, the rookie wide receiver from Florida played in just five games, so projecting that out into a sophomore season isn't something that can really be done with any accuracy.

As the season went on, however, Victor's name began getting mentioned more and more by Urban Meyer. Victor's redshirt was eventually burned in the fourth game of the season, and while he only played four more times the rest of the season, he never looked out of place when he was on the field.

He finished the season with four receptions for 64 yards with a touchdown, improving every step of the way. That improvement was noticeable as the season went on, which is one of the reasons he got so much playing time in the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson.

Like that game for the Buckeyes, Victor's freshman season had its hits and misses.

"It was an up-and-down season for me, but I made the best out of every chance that I got," he said recently. "When I went into a game I tried to make plays for my team and help us win."

Young players can often benefit the most from bowl practices due to the uptick in opportunities, and that was the case for Victor.

"In camp, everybody gets reps so that’s when you have to really work your game and try to get better as an individual and make the best of your reps," he said.

One person who saw growth in Victor throughout bowl practices and the regular season is receivers coach Zach Smith.

"Yeah, he’s a different kid right now from when the season started," Smith said during bowl prep. "I’m excited. It’s going to be fun to watch him. He’s a talented kid."

Every season is a learning process for players -- or at least it should be. It was certainly that way for Victor, who had his struggles early on. The transition from high school dynamo to polished college wide receiver is not an easy one.

For Victor, as a 6-foot-4 receiver, he had to learn better how to use his height, as well how to get in and out of his breaks better. Then came everything else involved with route running, which was an entirely new world for him.

"It’s way different in high school than college," he said. "I had to learn coverages that defenses run and when to break off my routes for particular coverages and still have timing with my quarterback. So there’s a lot of moving parts but I’m getting the hang of it now and getting better every day."

The good news for Victor and the Buckeyes is that he no longer feels like a freshman.

"No, not anymore," he said. "I'm processing things much faster. I’m very comfortable. At first I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know how I was supposed to act, but as the year went on I have gotten better as an individual learning all of the plays and getting the concepts down."

He does also want to get stronger and faster, and according to Zach Smith, the increased speed is only a matter of time.

"It’s all about leg strength," he said. "He was a skinny kid when he got here. He’s already put on weight. It’s really about him getting in the weight room and developing the leg strength so he can produce the torque to get faster."

With Victor's comfort level growing, he has begun to set goals for next season, and they are remarkably simple.

"Just to make plays for my team," he said, before adding what sounds like a receiver's mantra.

"Catch balls and score touchdowns."

Player profiles relevant to story:
9 - Victor, Binjimen
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