With the 2020 NFL Draft looming, former Ohio State wide receiver Binjimen Victor says his relationship with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has helped him prepare for the next level.
Victor, a Pompano Beach, Fla., native like Jackson, has known the reigning NFL MVP since they were kids. They went to the same elementary school, played against each other in Pop Warner and even faced each other during their time in high school.
Although Jackson has risen to stardom, he still works out in South Florida with the people he knows, including Victor, teammate Marquise Brown, former Pittsburgh Steelers standout Antonio Brown and retired receiver Chad Johnson.
“They just keep going every day and it motivates me because they’ve been in the league for so long and they did their thing,” Victor said on Glenn Clark Radio April 15. “I want to be at that level. I just want to mimic what they’re doing right to get to that stage. … I just see the grind and all the things they do to keep their body healthy. [I] ask questions so I can mold it into my game and my lifestyle so I could become a great player or play in the NFL for a very long time.”
Victor has also asked Jackson about how to improve his chemistry with quarterbacks. At Ohio State, Victor caught passes from J.T. Barrett, Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields.
“I ask him certain questions and see how I should run a route or the timing on the route,” Victor said. “So, if I’m running a route and our timing isn’t accurate, what would I need to do to get in that spot at this certain time in order for us to have that connection?”
The 6-foot-4, 198-pound wide receiver played at Ohio State from 2016-2019, with the Buckeyes winning Big Ten titles during his last three years in Columbus, Ohio. They also won the Rose Bowl in January 2019 with a 28-23 win against Washington.
Victor, a former consensus four-star recruit out of high school, finished his college career with 1,340 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 16 yards per catch. Victor said one aspect of his game that he worked on throughout his four years was his blocking, which would prove useful in a run-heavy Ravens offense.
“You have to block because if you can’t block you won’t be playing,” Victor said. “That’s something I had to put in my game throughout my four years at Ohio State and also improve each and every day.”
Now, Victor is preparing to play in the same league as his lifelong friend. In his second NFL season, Jackson threw for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns and ran for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns. Victor says he’s not surprised at how good Jackson has been and never doubted his capabilities.
“The same thing he’s doing right now, he’s been doing since high school. I’ve been seeing this stuff so it’s not really shocking to me. It’s like, ‘OK, yeah, there he goes again, doing what he does best,'” Victor said.
Victor posted a 4.6 40-yard dash and a 35-inch vertical leap at the NFL Scouting Combine. Victor said being drafted by any team would be a blessing but that he could hit the ground running in Baltimore because of his relationship with Jackson.
“If I get a chance to go join the Baltimore Ravens it would be an advantage because I’ve already been working out with [Jackson],” Victor said. “We’re already getting that connection down pat. That will definitely be a blessing.”
“Knowing him and the success he’s had in the NFL, if I do get the opportunity for him to be my quarterback, that will be a great experience,” Victor added. “Just knowing that we knew each other and already had a relationship will make it even better.”
For more from Victor, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics