This week the Pac-12 blog will finish looking around the conference at several players who really stood out during spring ball. It’s only 15 practices, but it’s enough time to catch the eyes of coaches and gain momentum going into the season.
We start this week off with the Oregon State Beavers.
Breakout player: WR Victor Bolden
2013 statistics: Receiving: Six receptions, 62 yards. Rushing: 12 carries, 95 yards, one touchdown.
The case for Bolden: If Oregon State wants any kind of success this season, someone needs to step up in the receiving game and make up for the yards lost by Brandin Cooks' absence. Well, this is where Bolden steps in and takes on a major role in his sophomore season. He and Cooks became close last year and still talk pretty often, so if the coaches need someone who has the Cooks-esque insight into the game, they don't have to look too much further than Bolden.
As a freshman, Bolden saw most of his game time on special teams. He returned 58 kicks for 1,198 yards, including one for a touchdown. So he isn't exactly a complete fresh face for the Beavers, but he's far from an experienced receiver, especially a receiver in an offense that has a quarterback like Sean Mannion. This season is going to be a big jump up in how much the team relies on Bolden, but after his performance this spring it doesn't seem like one he can't make.
His name kept popping up in conversations with coaches throughout the spring, and though he didn't have the most impressive spring game performance, he did have the first big play of the day -- a 20-yard pass from Mannion in the 7-on-7 portion. It would be pretty spectacular if the Beavers were able to find a single player who could make up for most of what Cooks did. The coaches will turn to several players, and after this spring it's almost certain one of those guys will be Bolden.
Other spring breakout players: