One of the most pleasant surprises for the Oregon State offense this season is the emergence of redshirt freshman wide receiver Jordan Villamin. His performance has been a long time coming — not because he has underachieved or anything, but because he’s finally lining up for the Beavers.
A partial qualifier out of high school, Villamin, a tantalizing 6-4, 240 pound combination of size, speed, and athleticism, was deemed ineligible last year by the NCAA and wasn’t allowed to even practice with the team. He was finally cleared this summer and drew rave reviews during fall camp.
But it wasn’t until OSU’s sixth game of the season against Utah that Villamin broke out — and he did so in a big way. His 72-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 13:49 in the 4th quarter gave the Beavers a 13-9 lead. He then tied the game at 25 in overtime by hauling in a 2-yard TD pass. He finished the game with three catches for 83 yards.
Villamin followed that up by leading the Beavers in receiving the following week at Stanford with five catches. And last weekend, he again led the way, hauling in nine catches for 140 yards and a TD. On the season, he has 20 receptions, 300 yards, and a team-high three TD catches.
Like any freshman, Villamin has ups and downs, but there’s no doubt he could be OSU’s next big thing at wide receiver, which is no small feat. With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to compare Villamin’s stats so far with Sammie Stroughter’s and Brandin Cooks’ first seasons.
- 11 games
- 5 receptions
- 58 yards
- 0 TDS
- 11.6 yards per catch
- Long of 34 yards
* These are Stroughter’s sophomore season stats. He appeared in all 12 games as a freshman, but didn’t record any offensive stats, as he was used mainly on special teams.
- 12 games
- 31 receptions
- 391 yards
- 3 TDs
- 12.6 yards per catch
- Long of 59 yards
- 8 games
- 20 receptions
- 300 yards
- 3 TDs
- 15 yards per catch
- Long of 72 yards
Based on stats alone, Villamin is well on pace to having a better first season than either Stroughter or Cooks. Of course, there are different variables that have to be considered such as playing time, their quarterback, the other receivers alongside them, and how effective was the offense in general. Still, Villamin’s numbers are impressive, and hopefully that means he can enjoy the same future success that Stroughter and Cooks did.
The bottom line is that Villamin is displaying the big-playmaking ability that fans were excited about when he originally signed with the Beavers. He’s living up to the hype, and he will only get better. And with his intangibles, that’s downright scary. Looking ahead to the 2015 season, Villamin will be counted on to help a new QB ease into the system. If the offensive line is healthy and the new QB is solid, Villamin could have a monster season.
What do you think of Villamin’s season so far? Do you think he could become the next in a long line of OSU wide receiver standouts? (RW)