2 Minute Drill with Wendell Octave

Fifth year senior WENDELL OCTAVE, Idaho's starting split end and the team's top receiver through the first 10 games, spoke with VandalVenue.com for an exclusive interview as the team prepares for this weekend's road battle with Fresno State. The senior left no doubts about his goals for himself, and for this team, as Idaho embarks on the last two games of the schedule.

Wendell Octave joined the Vandal program in 2002 as part of former Idaho head coach Tom Cable's third recruiting class. He redshirted the 2002 season, and has been an active member of the Vandal wide receiver rotation ever since. During his five years in the program, he's learned three different offensive philosophies, and has managed to be one of Idaho's primary targets throughout.

This season has easily been Wendell's most explosive as an offensive weapon.

2004 vs. Oregon
It isn't so much that he has wicked speed, or go-to hands, or any of the measures by which a good receiver is typically evaluated. It's more about what he's doing AFTER he catches the ball this year where he is showing his maturity. His yards after catch are impressive this season, and are a direct result to his effort on the practice field, and in the weightroom, in the regular season and off-season. Everything, as they say, is "coming together" for the fifth year senior.

This season Octave leads the Vandal receiving unit with 370 yards on 30 receptions, averaging 12.3 yards per reception. And many of those yards this year are gained after the catch, often in the flat, as he has learned to shed, and avoid, tacklers. He has four touchdowns on the season, his longest reception is 35 yards, and he's averaging 41.1 yards per game (Idaho has three receivers averaging 40+ yards per game this year).

These are likely the last two games of a long and solid career at Idaho for Octave. With two wins Idaho can make themselves bowl-eligible for the first time in years, and Wendell will do everything he can to get two more wins for himself and his teammates.

VandalVenue.com's GAYLEN WOOD caught up with Octave after this Wednesday's practice, and below is their conversation.

Senior Wide Receiver Wendell Octave

VV: Wendell, you've played a dominant role in the Idaho offense through the years you've been here. You've had a solid senior campaign. Can you describe for us how your game has improved over the years, what you're doing better now than you were doing earlier in your career?

WO: "I think that as each year goes by, and as new guys come in, you seem to pick up different things to add to your arsenal in beating pressure and things like that. As I just grow, and as I started to mature, I just took it upon myself to try to make plays to help this team out so we could be successful."

VV: How has the offense changed in the years you've been here?

WO: "Well, the first two years we had one coach [Tom Cable], and the next two we had this coach [Nick Holt], and now this one we have coach Erickson. The offense, it's basically just execute. That's all it's about. No matter what you put in, you just have to execute...no matter what kind of offense you're in. Execution is key in offense."

VV: What do you think is your best attribute as a wide receiver here at Idaho? In other words, what do you do very well...your best attribute as a receiver?

WO: "I'd say I like to go get the ball. I just like it when Steve steps back and just throws it and lets me go get it. I mean, that's the type of player that I've always been. As far as running routes and everything, I like to do that. But I really love just going to get a ball that's just up in the air, like fades and verts and everything like that."

2006 vs. Idaho State
VV: Going back to the question we had a second ago, since you've played for three different offensive coaches can you describe what it's been like playing for each of the staffs, in particular what it's been like playing for coach Erickson and what he does differently than the other coaches you've had?

WO: "Coach Erickson, he's just a perfectionist. He comes from the professional level; so you just have to basically execute and be a professional in coach Erickson's offense. As far as coach Holt, the thing with coach Holt was execution and try to pick, and pick, and pick until we were able to throw a big play and break it – until the defense breaks. With coach Cable it was big plays. We were just going to chuck it and everything. That's what I like."

VV: Now, since your career here is winding down, you've got two games left. What are your goals for the next two weeks, personally and for the team?

WO: "Personally, my goal is to help this team reach a bowl game and try to win these last two games. That's my goal. The team goal, we just want to get to a bowl game and win. I think that's every team's goal at the beginning of the year, but that's how I see it."

VV: It's a lot closer now than it has been.

WO: "Oh yeah, yes sir. It really is, because I think with coach Erickson you could really see guys buying in and really wanting to come to practice and wanting to go hard and play hard; so as long as you have that, I mean, it's going to be really good."

2006 vs. Washington State

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