HIDDEN VALLEY, Ore. --- Hidden Valley High School standout, Sam Vidlak, signed a national letter of intent to play quarterback at Oregon State University on Wednesday.
"I was just really taken back at how great of an opportunity it really was," said Vidlak. "It was something that I could not pass up."
As the quarterback for the Mustangs, Vidlak led the team to a 3A state runner-up finish in the 2019 season. Hidden Valley finished atop the Special District 2- South standings with a 12-1 record. The Mustangs eventually fell to Santiam Christian, 41-34, in the State Championship Game.
"He can throw it and make plays with his feet," Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith said.
During his time at Hidden Valley, Vidlak basically rewrote the Mustangs' record book. His 207 completions is the program's highest total. He also holds the program record for passing yards (3,404). As a junior, Vidlak led the state of Oregon in touchdown passes, completions, yards, and passer rating for all classifications. In the State Championship Game that Hidden Valley lost, Vidlak still set OSAA State Championship records with 39 completions for 479 yards. To top it all off, Vidlak is the only Hidden Valley athlete in the school's history to be named a Conference Player of the Year in multiple sports.
All of it combined caught the attention of Oregon State coaches who, once they saw Vidlak play, kept coming back to the Hidden Valley quarterback.
"Each time [we scouted him] we just kept coming back to him," Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith said on Wednesday. "At the end of the day, it's about both sides finding the right fit and Sam was the right fit for us."
Vidlak's impressive resume does not stop at football. Along with a record-setting baseball career, Vidlak had quite the academic career. In his academic career, Vidlak is a member of the National Honor Society. He finished high school with an unweighted GPA of 4.0 and a weighted GPA of 4.029. Vidlak finished 8th of 142 in his class.
According to Hidden Valley High School, Vidlak's full-ride Pac-12 scholarship is the first QB scholarship from the Grants Pass area since Tome Blanchard, Tom Sparlin, and Steve Endicott in the late 1960s.
Originally, Vidlak was committed to the University of Montana but flipped to Oregon State after looking through the lens of a Pac-12 offer.
"Honestly, just the opportunity to play so close to home and have my family come to watch me with them just three hours down the road," said Vidlak. "It is such a different lens to look through when you have that opportunity."
Vidlak says that the Oregon State coaching staff, as a collective group, did a great job recruiting him.
"It was definitely a collective group but with that being said, Coach [Brian] Lindgren, he and I have a great relationship and I can't wait to play for him."
Vidlak will join an Oregon State team that has improved steadily under the watch of head coach Jonathan Smith. In 2020, Oregon State scored a key win against its state rival Oregon in Corvallis. The improvement is something that Vidlak says he looks forward to being a part of.
"I think what Coach Smith has been able to do in his program has been pretty great and I want to help build onto that," said Vidlak.
This is a developing story. NewsWatch 12 Sports will continue to update this article with thoughts from Vidlak and Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith.