When will the Beaver’s Receivers break through? That particular question has been asked consistently in the past 3 seasons. Inconsistency at the QB position and protecting the QB have factored into the notion of this group not playing to their full potential. In addition, Beaver Receivers and Tight Ends had problems with dropped passes and not gaining separation from the defense.
Fortunately, for Beaver Nation, this group finished the 2016 season strong. They showed glimpses of how good they could be. The good news is the Receivers and Tight Ends return with experience. In addition, this will be their second year in a row with the same Offensive Coordinator (Kevin McGiven), which benefits this group because they are more familiar with the playbook.
After the season ending injury to talented Sophomore TE Noah Togiai, the Beaver Quarterbacks threw less frequently to the Tight Ends. Sophomore TE Tuli Wili-Matagi stepped into Togiai’s starting role last season. Wili-Matagi was a solid run blocker last season. The coaches feel that they have a star player in Noah Togiai. TE coach Dave Baldwin believes that Togiai is one of the best athletes in the conference.
Arguably, Wide Receiver will be one of Oregon State’s deepest positions this Spring. Last season, Victor Bolden was arguably the Beaver’s best Wide Receiver last season (46 receptions, 542 yds., 2 TD’s). Seth Collins did a solid job converting from a QB to WR last season (36 receptions, 418 yards, 1 TD). Collins’s season was cut short due to a serious illness. Jordan Villamin had a disappointing Junior season (21 receptions, 253 yds. 1 TD). Similar to his teammates, Villamin played arguably his best during the last two games of the season. Villamin has the size (6-4, 245 lbs.) and athletic ability to be an all Pac-12 performer and he could potentially play on Sundays. Timmy Hernandez did a solid job in his debut season for the Beavers (19 receptions, 241 yds. 1 TD).
Senior Receiver Xavier Hawkins has displayed flashes of potential, and he has experience. He could push for more playing time in his Senior Season. Senior Hunter Jarmon (5 rec. 44 yds. 1 TD) has experience as a starter. Coaches are excited about the potential of Sophomore Trevon Bradford (5 rec. 60 yds. 1 TD). Bradford has great speed and quickness and could be used on fly sweeps. Sophomore Andre Bodden played very well on Special Teams last season, and he is hoping to make a push for playing time.
Beavers welcome highly recruited 4 star Receiver Isaiah Hodgins. Hodgins graduated early to join the Beavs in the spring. Hodgins has great size (6-4, 187 lbs), and he has great explosiveness for his size. Incoming Freshman Kolby Taylor also graduated early, but he will not play in the spring due to injury. Coach Baldwin praised Hodgins for his strong hands. Look for Hodgins to push for early playing time. The Beaver staff focused heavily on Receivers in the 2017 recruiting class. The other incoming recruits coming in the fall include, speedy Arex Flemmings, Quantino Allen, and JC Transfers Aaron Short and Dionte Sykes.
The Beavers are deep at the Wide Receiver position, and Noah Togiai has a chance to be an All-Pac 12 Tight End. Similar to Victor Bolden’s Senior season, it is expected that Jordan Villamin will have a huge season in his last year as a Beaver. The Beavers are going to rest Seth Collins this spring so he can get healthy for the Fall. Collins showed flashes of being a big time play-maker. Can he take that next step this season? With talent like Villamin, Collins, and veterans such as Hunter Jarmon and Xavier Hawkins look for this group to do great things. Also, add in talented youngsters such as Trevon Bradford and Isaiah Hodgins among others, and this group can be strong for the next couple of seasons. Rather than underachievers, look for this group to be a strength.