Corvallis, OR. -- When Oregon State takes on Oklahoma State in week one, the Beavers will be without star receiver Trevon Bradford, who caught 56 passes for 649 yards, and six touchdowns last season. Bradford has been sidelined this offseason with a foot injury, but has returned to practice this fall.
In his place, redshirt sophomore Champ Flemings will get the start.
"He's just a spark, and he's come a long way," said offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren. "It's really a testament to his work ethic. He had an unbelievable offseason. There's so much more detail to his game... He's able to be a vertical threat on the outside. You can put him inside, he can do a lot of things. i think he, he's one of those guys that is an explosive player and he's fun to watch. he's been really consistent through camp."
Flemings appeared in all 12 games for the Beavs last year, serving most of his time as a kick returner on special teams. He returned 29 kicks for a total of 608 yards.
Flemings said, "I think that was a big help. That's one of the things a lot of people look over; a lot of people come to college thinking I'm going to start, but in reality special teams is really a big part in getting on the field."
He will start in the slot for the first time in his collegiate career. Last season he caught four passes for 68 yards, while carrying the ball four times for -13 yards. Flemings says he was challenged by receivers coach Kefense Hynson to improve his route running this offseason.
"Basically self evaluated myself, recognizing the parts of my game that needed work," He said. "So this offseason I really worked on just my footwork, my route running, reading concepts, being able to read defenses and being able to react. So those little things, working timing with the quarterback, building that trust. So that was really important. There was a few things that coach Fense really wanted me to work on and we felt like i've really made strides in those areas."
Oregon State will host Oklahoma State in week one on August 30th, at 7:30 p.m. in Reser Stadium.