Ohio State’s receivers have certainly stepped up in recent years, and that success has translated to starting roles in the NFL for some of our favorite wide outs from recent Ohio State lore. Terry McLaurin had almost 1,000 yards in his rookie season with the Washington Redskins, and, obviously, Michael Thomas had another career year with the New Orleans Saints in 2019.
The Buckeyes have three receivers entering the draft this year, led by K.J. Hill. Hill opted to come back for his fifth-year season in 2019, which was fortunate for him since Hill wound up being the career leader in receptions in program history with 201 in four seasons of play.
But Hill was not alone when it came to catching passes from JT Barrett, then Dwayne Haskins and finally Justin Fields. Introducing Binjimen (Ben) Victor, a 6-foot-4, 198-pound wide out who’s contributed to the Buckeyes’ passing attack for the past four seasons.
Victor came on the scene in Columbus in 2016 as a true freshman. The then-young, lanky receiver impressed with his height and his reach, and fans Buckeye-nation-wide had high, high hopes for what would become of the youth.
While Victor remained a solid contributor over his four seasons, those hopes of Victor becoming the next Cris Carter or David Boston never really panned out. Victor finished his freshman season with 64 yards on four receptions and that one, wonderful touchdown in a 62-3 blowout against Maryland.
With high hopes heading into his sophomore campaign, Victor finished fifth on the team with 349 yards on 23 catches for seven touchdowns - not bad, but still not quite what fans expected.
In 2018, Victor finished in the same spot, with 354 receiving yards on 21 receptions, catching four touchdowns along the way. Granted, Victor was sitting behind a trio of senior receivers in Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and the aforementioned McLaurin, as well as KJ Hill. While the numbers might not stand out, what did catch peoples’ eyes that season was Victor’s 47-yard touchdown reception against Penn State which sparked an Ohio State comeback.
This past season, Victor finished third on the team in receiving yards with 545 yards on 34 receptions. He added six touchdowns, bringing his grand total receiving touchdowns to 18 in his career - tied for 10th in program history.
What does all that mean for Victor’s NFL future? His numbers never stood out among other receivers for Ohio State, but there’s no denying Victor’s athleticism. In total, Victor earned a grade of 5.5 from NFL.com’s prospect grades. At February’s NFL Combine, Victor ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and 7.1-second three-cone drill. He also recorded a 35-inch vertical jump, 128-inch broad jump and nine bench press reps. Plus, his 82-inch wingspan means Victor has the length to catch balls other receivers can’t quite haul in.
Victor has been flying under the radar at Ohio State, but he’s got the potential to be a great receiver in the NFL. He has proven athletic ability and, at limited points, has demonstrated capacity to haul in big plays. The upside is certainly there - but the first step is getting picked up by an NFL team.