Binjimen Victor’s current opportunity is further proof that if an Ohio State player perseveres, his time will come.
It’s called the “next man up” ethos. With starting receiver Austin Mack suffering a broken foot bone a week ago in the loss at Purdue, Victor — one of the standouts from the rally at Penn State a month ago — is that next man.
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“Ben’s going to step up,” offensive coordinator Ryan Day predicted during this week off from competition for the Buckeyes. “He’s now going to mature into a role where he’s going to be the starter over there.”
A junior from Coconut Creek, Florida, Victor long has been known as the 6-foot-4, 200-pound, long-armed leaper who “we haven’t even seen near the ceiling of what he has, ability-wise,” coach Urban Meyer said a year ago when it appeared Victor was about to assume a bigger role then.
But as Meyer noted at the time, “He’s a great young man that’s just working at learning how to work all the time and go all the time. He’s a very talented guy.”
The same challenge has been tossed down again. Victor — coming off a leaping, dazzling 47-yard touchdown catch that got the Buckeyes back into the Penn State game and five catches for 67 yards last week — has a chance not only to start but to nail down the “X” receiver job headed toward the next game Nov. 3 against Nebraska.
“He’s definitely shown the ability to do it. He’s shown flashes, and this year he’s really shown in big spots,” Day said. “But in terms of consistency, that’s something he’s going to have to show if he wants to be a starter for the rest of the season.”
The receiver positions are by committee anyway.
“We also have a lot of depth there, a lot of older guys — Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell, Johnnie (Dixon) — who can go over and play there as well,” Day said. “And then Jaylen Harris is a young guy who is going to have to step up as well, and when his number is called, he’s got to be ready.”