Union athlete expects to change positions at the next level
College football recruiting has gone through some interesting changes in recent years, with social media and services such as Hudl helping athletes get noticed.
On Tuesday, we noted some of the changes and how those have affected how local athletes get their name out there to coaches all over the country.
Today, we take a closer look at Union quarterback Lincoln Victor who is not likely going to be a quarterback in college but instead will move to receiver.
Later this week, we will share the recruiting story of Union’s Darien Chase, one of the top players in the state.
VANCOUVER — He just could be the best slot receiver in Clark County high school football.
Don’t look for any highlight videos of him making a great third-down catch or turning a 5-yard route into a 70-yard touchdown for the Union Titans.
Those plays do not exist. Not under Friday Night Lights, at least.
In fact, in two years of varsity football with the Titans, Lincoln Victor has yet to line up as a receiver.
Still, he has five offers from Division I programs. They come from coaches who have watched his offseason 7-on-7 highlights, from coaches who have met with him, from coaches who have taken the time to research the player and the person.
Lincoln Victor is a leader. The fact that he plays a position in high school that likely will not be his position in college is just one example of the team-first attitude Victor displays.
“I’ve been playing quarterback since I was 5,” Victor said. “I’ve always been told I was too small.”
Instead of getting frustrated by something he has no control over, Victor did his best to perfect other aspects of football. He is a solid defensive back, and if he had the opportunity, he would be that scary threat from the slot, able to break a short pass into a long touchdown at any time for the Titans.
He is just too good of a high school quarterback for that to happen.
That does not bother Victor. In fact, the 5-foot-10 speedster prefers to remain the Union signal caller.
“I love playing quarterback here. I’m the one who dictates where the ball goes. I like being the leader on this team, on and off the field,” Victor said.
One does not have to play quarterback to be a leader of a football team. But a quality quarterback must be one.
“I don’t have a choice. I have to lead the team,” he said. “A true team leader makes everyone else better. Playing quarterback is kind of like being an assistant coach.”
Plus, he said, it will help him at his potential position in college.
“Playing quarterback has given me the ability to read defenses,” Victor said, adding that he uses those skills while running his routes, knowing where to go to make it easier on his quarterback.
The videos of him on social media showcase his speed and athleticism. Victor, with the ball in his hand, can make a would-be tackler tremble.
“I think he could make an argument for being the most dynamic athlete in the state, as far as the 2019s go,” said Ryland Spencer, referring to Class of 2019 recruits.
Spencer is an analyst for Cascadia Preps, and his job is to cover high school football and recruiting in the Northwest.
“When I look at him, I see a spark plug. You can line him up at so many places on the field,” Spencer said. “I think a school like Hawaii is such a great fit for him. Under-the-radar school. He can fly quietly and put up some unbelievable numbers.”
That is not to suggest Victor is going to Hawaii. That is just one of his options. As of early June, Victor had offers from Eastern Washington, Sacramento State, Northern Iowa, Portland State, and Hawaii.
“I truly believe he is a player,” Spencer said, adding that Victor has the offers he deserves.
There could be more on the way, too.
“If he has a senior season and can put together some crazy film, he’s the guy who can get some low-level Pac-12 (offers). Put him in the slot and let him wreak havoc.”
That “film” from high school games will showcase him as a quarterback, but Victor is a dual-threat. So when he gets out in the open field, look out. College coaches can easily figure out what Victor could look like in a different position. That, coupled with his 7-on-7 skills as a receiver in the summer, could bring more offers.
“I tell him I wish I had someone else who could throw him the ball as slot receiver,” Union coach Rory Rosenbach said, noting he does have talented players behind Victor on the QB depth chart but no one who can do what Victor can do.
“He just brings too much,” Rosenbach said.
One thing the video cannot show, though, is his leadership. That quality is legendary at Union High School. Recently, a coach not even associated with football noted how all the coaches at the school have heard, and witnessed, Victor on campus, doing his thing. The coach noted how every program would want a person with his character on his or her team.
Rosenbach said Victor’s leadership skills are unparalleled. Victor knows that few — or no — colleges want him at quarterback but he also knows what the Union Titans need. Rosenbach appreciates that selflessness.
All of this is why Victor thrives in the one-on-one meetings with college coaches. Yes, his videos show his game. The personal interactions, though, show a bit more.
“Shaking hands tells a lot about your character,” Victor said.
It also tells Victor that the recruiting is serious. He appreciates any college coach he has had a chance to meet.
“They could be anywhere else in the world. They took the time to come meet with you,” Victor said.
Victor does not have a timeline for making a decision. As noted, it is possible he will receive many other offers before next winter’s Signing Day.
Wherever he ends up, that school will know exactly who they are getting, even if he has not played the position.
Because they took the time to get to know Lincoln Victor.