When Anthony Gould first arrived at Oregon State in 2019, he had to wait his turn.
The receiver from West Salem High School had to learn how to be a Pac-12 receiver, and his freshman season, he got to watch Isaiah Hodgins put up 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Beavers.
Then Gould watched Trevon Bradford the past two seasons while slowly working his way into the rotation. In 2021, Gould had 13 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown in limited time.
“He’s waited his turn. Last year, whenever he got the chance, he made big plays,” said Kefense Hynson, Oregon State’s wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. “He’s just taken it to another level in his studying off the field. Anthony is a student of the game. I think he really likes that part of football.”
But this season, Gould has made his presence felt not only on offense, but special teams.
Gould has caught 27 passes for 457 yards and three touchdowns. He’s second on the team in receptions and yards, and tied for first in receiving touchdowns.
He also has 260 punt return yards, 22 kick return yards and two punt return touchdowns.
“I’m doing my part, day in and day out. I’m doing my part to make sure everybody else can do theirs. I’m just taking advantage of every opportunity I get,” said Gould, who is majoring in business administration. “I’m cleaning up my routes and getting open to give my team the best chance to succeed.”
Gould has helped the Beavers turn their program around.
In 2018, the year before Gould arrived, Oregon State finished 2-10 in head coach Jonathan Smith’s first season.
Gould has helped Beavers’ turnaround
Last season, the Beavers finished 7-6 and played in a bowl game for the first time since the 2013 season.
This season, Oregon State is 8-3 heading into Saturday’s showdown with rival Oregon at Reser Stadium. Then they will have a bowl game.
“At the end of the day, it just comes down to execution,” said Gould, a redshirt sophomore. “We’re very optimistic. Everyone hates to lose. We have an opportunity to make this a great year.”
Gould had the game of his career in the Beavers’ 68-28 win against Montana State at Providence Park in Portland.
In that victory, Gould caught five passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. He also had an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“I think that his ceiling is really high,” Hynson said. “I think he’s an NFL player. As he keeps developing as a receiver and punt returner, I think he’ll have a chance to make money doing it.”
While at West Salem, Gould helped the Titans win the OSAA Class 6A boys track and field state championship in the spring of 2018.
In football, he helped West Salem reach the state quarterfinals his junior season, and the second round of the state playoffs his senior season.
“Really proud of him. Everything that is happening for him is because he has earned it through hard work,” West Salem football coach Shawn Stanley said. “Not many people thought he could play at the highest level of college football. I think he can play on Sundays some day.”
College: Oregon State
Position: Wide receiver / returner
Year: Redshirt sophomore
High school: West Salem