CORVALLIS, Ore.– Before emerging as a star sophomore, Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks produced as a freshman. Two years later, another first-year wideout could make the same impact. Stephen Nelson introduces us to him from fall camp.
In OSU’s deep and talented crop of young wide receivers one is standing out from the rest. He also happens to be the smallest of the group. 5-foot-9, 160-pound Victor Bolden, who is drawing comparisons to a young Brandin Cooks.
“Vic has me at a loss for words,” said running back Storm Woods, “The moves he throws–he’s so quick, so fast and so precise. He reminds me of [Cooks] when he came in. Victor is with Brandin every night, in the film room. He’s serious about playing.”
“I’m trying to be the ‘next Brandin Cooks,’” said Bolden. “We both have the same type of body style. We both like to make plays in space. I’m definitely learning as much as I can from Brandin. He’s helped me the most.”
“I like to say I see a reflection [of myself], but to be honest I’m pushing him to be better than me,” said Cooks. “He has some skill sets that a lot of people don’t have. Especially at that size–he plays like he’s 180; he plays with a lot of heart. He’s not afraid to get down and dirty.”
“He’s combination of speed and quickness makes you think about Brandin,” said wide receivers coach Brent Brennan, “But to me, the best comparison is the seriousness. [Victor] is so serious and so focused.”
“He’s got a long way to go to prove he’s a guy like Brandin Cooks,” said Mike Riley, “BUT, but, he’s fast and he’s diligent and he’s smart. So that’s a start.”
Since arriving at Oregon State, Bolden has been attached to Cooks’ hip, trying to pick the brain of a player he wants to emulate.
“After every practice, we’ll go in and look at the playbook, and he’ll test me,” said Bolden. “[Cooks] will call a play, if I get it right, he has to do five push-ups. If I get it wrong, I have five push-ups.”
“I’m not going to let him off the hook, ” said Cooks. “If he get one wrong, he’s going to drop down and give me five [push-ups] on the spot. The next day, he’ll try to quiz me with a new play set. But that’s what it’s all about–making him better. You can tell he wants it. He’s hungry.”
Mike Riley still hasn’t decided which freshmen will redshirt this season. Bolden told us he doesn’t believe he will. And those who watch him in camp would probably agree.
Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley:
Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks:
Oregon State running back Storm Woods:
Oregon State Defensive Backs Coach Rod Perry:
Oregon State Wide Receiver Victor Bolden: