Expectations for the Oregon State Beaver football team have been raised a bit in the past year. The Beavers posted four wins and gave themselves some momentum heading into the offseason by beating Arizona and Oregon in the final two weeks of the season. Jordan Villamin, wide receiver, for Oregon State likes the expectations being raised in Corvallis.
On Thursday morning, I sat down and talked with Villamin about his college football career, what the 2017 Oregon State team will be like, and even got some funny stories about running back Ryan Nall.
Jordan Villamin’s Oregon State career has been a little up and down for his liking, the fans liking, and probably even his coaches liking. There have been injuries that have slowed his production down, but through all of this the coaches at Oregon State have had his back and he certainly appreciates it.
“Coach Andersen is the type of guy that approaches practices and game in a very business like manner, but outside of football, he tells the team that we can come to him at anytime with anything. Knowing that gives me all the confidence in the world that’ll I will be able to perform for this man. Coach creates a family atmosphere and that is what I like about him the most. He’s our leader, but he’s also a mentor for me and the other guys.” Villamin said.
Jordan was even called out by his head coach about the need for Jordan to have a big senior season. I asked him if that added fuel to his fire.
“Coach told me that I needed to step it up this year if I wanted to have a big year. I told him that I know I do. I totally get it. I have no problems with him saying that about me because Coach Andersen always says that he’ll tell the truth to me no matter what.” Jordan exclaimed.
“I just want to go to a bowl game. That’s how I want to end my career here.” Villamin said with a bit of anticipation in his voice.
Jordan was here with former head coach Mike Riley, so I asked him what the differences are between the two coaches.
“I came in the back end of when Riley was here. It was getting pretty bad, the morale was bad. People were getting accustomed to losing, even I got used to losing. The whole feel of the program was down. Coach Andersen got here and things started to change. The vibe started to change the first year, but not to drastically at first. People bought in towards the end of the first year because people started realizing he knew what he was doing. This past year we showed some progress and now everybody is on the same page and has bought in.” Villamin stated.
There are Beaver fans that wonder about his knee that was injured last season.
“The knee is fine. It’s good, no problems.” Villamin said, “I still rehab a little bit, but I will be ready to go when practice starts.”
I think if the season started tomorrow, Jordan Villamin would be on that practice field giving it his all for the team.
For a young man out of the Fontana area of Southern California, Corvallis was a bit of culture shock for Villamin. I asked him why he chose Oregon State after he told me some other schools had offered him a scholarship.
“My mom made the choice for me and that was that. My Mom said ‘you should go here’ and from there it was a over. I liked the school too. She has always told me that I should get out of Southern California and experience some new, different.” Villamin said.
Beaver fans are happy that mom and her son made a good choice for her son.
Like I said earlier, the Beavers are coming off a four win season and the level of expectation has risen just a bit for the team.
What’s the difference between last year’s team and this year’s team going to be?
“Energy. The guys on the team will bring the energy every game and the games will be much better. I think there won’t be as many mental mistakes as the previous year and then we will be able to get this thing rolling and it will be hard to stop us.” Jordan stated.
Every athlete that gets into sports on a competitive level wants to play like their favorite athlete and Jordan Villamin isn’t any different. Villamin has his hero’s on the gridiron. He likes Dwayne Jarrett, formerly of USC, Larry Fitzgerald, and Calvin Johnson (Megatron) who retired from the Detroit Lions. If Jordan Villamin can scratch the surface of any one of those players then Oregon State fans will be chanting his name in Reser Stadium throughout the whole 2017 season.
Villamin has a goal of over 1,000 yards in his last season for the Beavers.
“A 1,000 yards or 1,200 yards would be great. Maybe break some records in my last season. Mainly, it is just wins. Get those conference wins, get to a bowl game, or even the Pac-12 Conference Championship game.” Villamin stated matter-of-factly.
When the subject of Ryan Nall came up, his face lit up with a smile. I asked if Nall was considered almost a folk hero around Corvallis.
He started laughing.
“We always play jokes on Ryan. We call him the ‘The Face of the Program’. Every time we are in the locker we run up to him and say ‘Is that Ryan Nall? The face of the program?’ It is payback for me for doing the same thing. There is a good vibe with these guys. It’s a family atmosphere and we want that way.” Jordan said laughing.
There are times when players can overthink things on the football field. Villamin is no different.
“I do overthink from time to time. During the play I am trying to read the defenses and sometimes the ball is snapped when I am thinking and then I start the route and the defense ends up being nothing like I thought it was going to be, so then I just try and find the soft spot.” Villamin stated.
At the end of the day, Jordan Villamin is looking forward to the 2017 season. I can tell he wants to win in the worst way, he wants to personally succeed, and he wants this program to continue its steady rise in the Pac-12 North Division and in the conference in general.
Jordan, those Beaver Believers in the stands want those type of successes for you as well. Go get it young man!