The Ohio State Buckeyes picked up another big all-purpose back on Monday evening when 2013 DeSoto (Texas) running back Dontre Wilson selected the Buckeyes over the Oregon Ducks and Texas Longhorns in an announcement on local television.
The 5-10, 170-pound Wilson had been committed to Oregon since last May, but decided to open up his recruitment after Chip Kelly left for the NFL. The hiring of Mark Helfrich was expected to help keep him committed to the Ducks, but after official visits to Ohio State and Texas, with the persuasions of Urban Meyer helping to win out.
Wilson revealed during his announcement that Kelly's departure had played a big role in his decision.
"To me, it was wrong, it kind of hurt me a little bit," Wilson acknowledged when asked about the incident. "But I'm over it."
And what better way to prove that then to commit to Ohio State?
Wilson said that Ohio State sold him on early playing time, especially on special teams, where he was a standout in high school.
Since Meyer has only been in Columbus for one year, he doesn't have much of a track record of success with backs like Wilson, but he can point back to Florida. At least one person is skeptical about that sales pitch, though:
That Urbz can sell offensive skill talent on ancient Florida Mullen numbers is genuinely impressive. That's one relentlessly spinning dude.— The Solid Verbal (@SolidVerbal) February 4, 2013
Apparently it was enough to convince Wilson, and that's all that really matters for Ohio State, which now has two of the best all-purpose backs in the country committed in Missouri product Ezekiel Elliott and Wilson.
Wilson was sold on being filling a role similar to former Florida stars, even though Oregon offered him the opportunity to play more pure running back. The DeSoto star does have experience as the lead back for DeSoto -- to say that he's simply an all-purpose back or a fantastic athlete at running back sells short his vision, willingness to fight for tough yardage, and ability to get upfield with little wasted movement. There are some pure running back skills there for Wilson.
A track star with 10.55 100m speed, Wilson translates that ability to the football field, where is absolutely dynamic as a punt returner, kick returner, and at times as a slot receiver for DeSoto. Get him the ball in space and he can disrupt angles even for fast defenders.
As a senior, he recorded 1,895 yards on the ground on 294 carries, with 37 touchdowns. Through the air, he caught 37 balls for another 750 yards and nine touchdowns.
3rd Coast Recruiting - #2 Dontre Wilson - 2011 Junior Highlights (via 3rdCoastRecruiting)
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