PULLMAN – Lincoln Victor will be a first-year Washington State football starter this year, but he’s already become one of the most respected voices in the Cougs’ locker room.
“He has that special ‘it.’ I think he really gets it,” WSU coach Jake Dickert said Tuesday of Victor, a junior slot receiver. “He really verbalizes those things. We need that leadership on offense … leading when times are tough.
“We’re still looking for some of those voices, but Lincoln has really been a reliable one for the last year and a half.
“We’ll continue to lean on him as we go throughout the season.”
Victor played sporadically last year in his first season with the Cougars but had his share of bright moments in a reserve role – behind All-Pac-12 talents Calvin Jackson Jr. and Travell Harris – and solidified himself behind the scenes as a motivational leader and cohesion cog.
Victor is primed for a starring role in the Cougars’ new Air Raid offense. He’ll be an on-field captain and one of the first looks for sophomore quarterback Cameron Ward.
“I’m excited to be in that position, where I can be that guy to spark us up,” Victor said, “the guy that, when we need a play, No. 5 is always going to be open.
“It’s crazy – with the amount of experience I have, still having two years left coming into this role, still being able to lead the guys in the right way. I’ve been able to learn from people in a lot of different rooms, especially coming from Hawaii and being in the room with two veteran guys last year in Calvin and Travell.
“I’m piggy-backing off of everything those guys have taught me and applying it to my game. It’s been an amazing ride and I can’t wait to show people what it’s about Sept. 3 (when WSU hosts Idaho).”
A native of Maui, Hawaii, who played his prep ball in Washington, Victor was the Associated Press’ state player of the year as a senior quarterback at Union High in Camas. His background as a signal-caller helps Victor communicate fluently with WSU’s QBs.
“I usually try to give them some tips on what I see as a receiver, just from my experience of playing quarterback my whole life,” Victor said. “It’s nice to have that respect from the quarterbacks and everyone in that room, just being able to give them tips or reminders, keeping them level-headed. There’s too much game in my head that I get headaches, so I can’t keep quiet on the field.”
Victor returned to the Aloha State for his college ball, switched positions and played sparingly out of a veteran-laden receiver room at Hawaii between 2019-20 before transferring to WSU.
The 5-foot-9, 177-pound Victor has developed steadily since arriving in Pullman in January 2021.
A rhythmic route-runner with reliable hands and noticeably keen spatial awareness, Victor has been a consistent target for Ward since spring camp and is often the young QB’s first look. Victor has impressed this month and produced his fair share of highlights, though he’s been held out of some full-team periods to limit his workload and wears a yellow no-contact jersey during practices.
In any case, he is one of the most involved and influential players at Rogers Field on a daily basis.
“I’m just gaining the respect from my teammates and becoming that voice for the team, stepping out of my comfort zone,” Victor said Monday morning. “Not just being the leader of the receivers, but being the leader for the team, and leading by example, sacrificing for the team – doing things for the team,” Victor said. “That’s what’s important.
“Being able to step into that role and having the trust from my teammates and that respect, it’s just been an amazing opportunity for me to be able to see guys every day looking up to me and following me. It holds me to a standard and that’s what I want to be held to – a high standard.”