This “Breaking Down the Beavers” post will take a quick look at OSU’s wide receivers and tight ends heading . Based on who is returning and their stats last season, many people have pegged the receivers to be the Beavers’ strength on offense. However, one thing to keep in mind is that a new QB means that it might take some time for everyone to get on the same page. That said, OSU’s wide receivers and tight ends have a lot of talent and play-making ability.
The Beavers return their three main starters from last season: Victor Bolden (JR): 72 catches, 798 yards, and two TDs; Jordan Villamin (SOPH): 35, 578, 6; and Hunter Jarmon 20, 334, 1. Also, in the mix for a lot of playing time are juniors Rahmel Dockery and Malik Gilmore. Youngsters Xavier Hawkins and Daniel Guyton will also fight for reps.
Caleb Smith (SR): 20, 232, 1; Kellen Clute (SR); Ricky Ortiz (JR); Ryan Nall (FR); Brent Vanderveen (JR); and Tanner Sanders (FR). (Notes: Vanderveen and Sanders switched from QB to TE in the spring; Nall will probably be used in a hybrid role)
Richard Mullaney (transfered to Alabama)
Paul Lucas (incoming freshman)
Noah Togiai and Tuli Wily-Matagi, both of whom are incoming freshmen.
The great thing about returning your top three receivers is that you don’t have to worry about them needing a lot more experience. Even better is when all three showed a lot of talent last season and put up numbers to prove it, whether it their season totals or them making a big catch during a crucial point of a game. And you know what, all those receivers will have another year under their belts.
Smith is a freakish athlete who can present matchup problems for teams, while Clute is steady in all areas (hands, blocking, etc.). Nall and Ortiz provide different skill sets that can benefit the Beavers in different situations. Keep an eye out on Vanderveen and Sanders; they are both good athletes who know the offense well due to being QBs previously.
Inconsistency plagued the Beavers receivers last year at times. There were one too many drops, missed blocking assignments. On that note, the receivers will need to step it up when it comes to blocking, because that will be key to OSU establishing the run this season, and opening up the passing lanes for them.
This unit has to stay healthy. There’s a lot of unproven talent behind Smith and Clute. With that said, there’s also opportunities for anyone to step up and earn more playing time. What seemed not too long ago to be one of the Beavers’ deepest positions, is now pretty thin in terms of game experience.
It will be interesting to see how the OSU receivers and tight ends fare this year in a new offense featuring a new starting QB. Translation: It could be an up-and-down season, as they work to get on the same page. That said, while the stats might not be as gaudy as last season, I could see the receivers and tight ends having more opportunities for big plays, as having a mobile QB can open things up (busted plays, etc.) If things go well, these units could really flourish!
Go Beavs! (RW)