OSU oddities, all the unusual tidbits about the OSU football team

By Zbigniew Sikora Orange Media Network
Wide receiver Jordan Villamin runs a flag route during the game against Boise State University on Sept. 14. As a middle school student, Villamin ran into several issues with his dental retainer—issues which landed him in trouble with his mother. 
Chef Bolden
 
Senior wide receiver Victor Bolden has gotten plenty of support from his parents, Victor Sr. and Zelda, who come up from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. for every home game.
Victor Sr., however, leaves every game at halftime.
Why? To go cook. According to Victor Jr., his father likes to have dinner ready for his son once the game is over, so he goes to Victor’s apartment and puts the game on TV.
“He’s been the cook in the house since I was little and he does a good job,” Victor said.
The elder Bolden’s best meals: pasta salad and potato salad— using his “famous recipes,” according to his hungry son.
Luckily, Victor Sr. has still seen plenty of his son’s highlight plays in person despite missing half of each game. Victor Jr. has 303 receiving yards in first halves this year, compared to 174 in second halves.
As for the cooking, Victor Jr. and his girlfriend Devin Collins — a sprinter on the OSU track team — get to enjoy Victor Sr.’s culinary efforts throughout the football season.
“He’s a really good cook,” Collins said. “Every time I’m like, ‘what are you making this week?’”
After each home game, however, the team provides all players with a meal to take home. So, Victor Jr. devised a plan to eat his dad’s cooking while not letting the free meal go to waste.
“I take it and eat it the next day,” he said.
 
 
 
Short but sweet
 
Junior Kieran Yancy is far down the depth chart at running back and hasn’t logged a rushing attempt for OSU, but that doesn’t prevent him from standing out. In fact, it’s his height that makes him most noticeable.
At 5-foot-5 and 164 pounds, Yancy is the shortest player on the team by three inches. The Pacoima, Calif. native is completely fine with his stature, though, and even points out the similarity between him and former OSU running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who is 5-foot-6. Shorter running backs, after all, can be hard to spot when running behind their offensive linemen.
“Being 5-foot-5, it’s actually an advantage in my opinion,” Yancy said. “Especially since you could see the success Jacquizz Rodgers had. People couldn’t see him. I find that an advantage. When you’re running behind people who are 6-foot-8, 6-foot-9, it’s really easy to find the holes.”
Yancy has taken some ribbing from opposing players — and teasing from teammates, too — but even that doesn’t bother him.
“I’ve been 5-foot-5 my whole life and people’s smack talk doesn’t phase me anymore,” Yancy said. “I learn to live with it and I take it as a positive.”
Yancy was a sprinter at Chaminade Prep High School, specializing in the 100-meter dash. Yancy learned to adjust his technique compared to lengthier counterparts who often were a half foot or more taller than him.
“For every one step he takes, I take three,” Yancy said. “My track coach told me that the only way to be faster is to take more steps.
“It makes me burn more calories.”
Does Yancy wish he was 6-foot-3? Not really. He’s grown accustomed to being shorter and he’s found silver linings as well.
“Sometimes I do, but at the end of the day I realize what I have and what I’m blessed with, and there’s nothing I would change about it,” he said.
 
 
 
How do you say that?
 
Redshirt sophomore center Yanni Demogerontas has a unique name, and that’s even considering the shortened first name he uses to make the pronunciation easier.
His full name is Ioannis Demogerontas (pronounced ee-oh-ah-niece deemo-jer-ahn-tus). His first name is the Greek form of John; his parents immigrated from Greece before Demogerontas was born and he grew up in Orland Park, Ill. He started going by Yanni when he was young, and his parents put his nickname on his school roster because it was easier to pronounce for teachers and classmates.
“At school during attendance, when there’s a long pause, you know it’s me,” Demogerontas said. “I just say, ‘Here.’”
 
 
 
Good Hill Punting
 
Many Division-I football players handled multiple different football positions in high school, often playing on offense and defense every game. It’s less common, though, to a also hold specialist positions like placekicker or punter. 
That’s not the case for OSU redshirt junior safety Kendall Hill, who was a punter at La Marque High School in Texas in addition to his duties at wide receiver and defensive back.
By his own admission, Hill wasn’t a standout punter. He didn’t need to be, of course, since he got multiple scholarship offers as a defensive back, but he still liked his unique position.
“I just did it to be cool,” Hill said. “I felt like it was cool to be versatile and be an African American punting the ball, then also go play receiver and defensive back. It was just something to be cool and different. If you want to be the best, you got to stand out.”
Hill won’t have to punt at OSU even if starting punter Nick Porebski was injured, but Hill likes imagining the possibility of head coach Gary Andersen calling his name if Porebski needed a replacement.
“I’m gonna swag it out,” Hill said. “I’m gonna be like, ‘You good, Nick?’ If he tells me he’s good I’ll let him kick, because he’s got the deadliest leg on the team. But if coach says ‘Kendall, we need you to be an athlete and punt,’ I’ll say ‘Yes sir.’ Anything he wants me to do, I’ll do. That’s what type of player I am for him.”
 
 
 
Receiver and Retainer Don’t Mix
 
Junior wide receiver Jordan Villamin, like many middle schoolers, was not particularly excited about wearing a dental retainer to keep his teeth in place. He grudgingly wore it at school for a few days until he threw it in the trash — on accident, he says — and never was able to find it afterwards.
“I’m not going to lie, I lost my retainer the week I got it,” he said. “I put it in a little lunch box. I was eating, and then some classmates said ‘let’s go play basketball,’ and I was like ‘cool,’ so I threw it away.”
He went home that day and told his mom, who wasn’t happy about his carelessness.
“She freaked out,” Villamin said. “She was hella mad.”
“She was like, ‘We’re done with braces.’ I was like, ‘Fine. Great. I did what I needed to. I won.”
Not only did Villamin get his way, the lack of wearing a retainer after getting braces never came back to bite him. Even today, Villamin’s pearly whites look as good as they did the day he chucked his retainer in the garbage, at least by his own assessment.
“I think I got good teeth,” he said with a toothy grin.
 
 
 
Decoud’s Debacle
 
Senior cornerback Treston Decoud has a raised, discolored patch of skin just to the left of his adam’s apple. He says it came from a childhood fireworks accident, which led to Keloids — an excessive buildup of scar tissue — leaving the permanent mark on his neck.
“I was like 11, at home playing with a firecracker,” Decoud said. “I had it in a bottle. It flew up, got in my skin and this is how my skin healed.
“It definitely did  hurt. It still hurts sometimes if I try to bang somebody with my helmet. But you got to deal with it. I deal with it now.”
 
 
 
Something up his sleeve
 
Before Darell Garretson’s ankle injury forced him to miss the rest of the season, the junior quarterback made a switch in his accessory apparel. He’s been wearing a compression sleeve on his right arm and compression tights on his legs, but he says they’re not just for stylistic purposes.
“Honestly, I’m doing it more because of turf burns,” Garretson said. “I hate turf burns.
“I had one that was all down the side of my leg one time, and that’s when I switched it up and went to tights.”
 
 
WorldStar’s Watching
 
Oregon State takes on Arizona this Saturday in Reser Stadium; OSU’s junior wide receiver Jordan Villamin was the recipient of a big hit in last year’s Arizona game that got featured in video sharing site WorldStar.
“I try to forget about the bad ones,” Villamin said of hits he’s taken in his career. “That one was kind’ve funny because a lot of my friends sent me the WorldStar video when I was on the plane ride home. They were just like, ‘Dude, you made it to WorldStar!’”
Villamin took a while to get up but didn’t sustain a major injury.
“It didn’t hurt that bad, it was just more shocking that I had gotten hit that hard in a game,” the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder said. “And it hurt because my momma was there at the time, and I was like, ‘What is my mom thinking right now?’ as I was laying on the ground. But it was all good. It’s football.”
Arizona defensive back Will Parks made the hit, but he graduated after the season so Villamin won’t have a chance to get revenge. If he did have the chance, though, Villamin would be watching.
“I’d know where he is,” he said.

 

 

Was this article helpful?
YesNo