Wilson bolsters OSU class

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Last updated: 02/04/2013 10:54 PM
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Football Recruiting
Dontre Wilson Bolsters Ohio State’s 2013 Class
By Michael Chung

Urban Meyer finally found that last playmaker he was looking for in the 2013 class. If he turns out to be half as elusive on the field as he was in recruiting, the Buckeyes should be getting quite a player in 4-star athlete Dontre Wilson

After a surprise visit to the University of Texas over the weekend, the former Oregon commit switched his verbal pledge to Ohio State during a live broadcast on Fox 4 in Dallas-Fort Worth.

That trip to Austin apparently solidified Wilson’s decision that he needed to be in an offense that could utilize his big playmaking skills, and Chip Kelly showed Wilson he needed to be on a team where he could trust the head coach was going to be there for the long haul.

Wilson, a 5-11 back out of DeSoto, Tex., had Ohio State interest even before Kelly left Eugene for the Eagles. He also had a good relationship with Mark Helfrich, who was promoted from offensive coordinator after Kelly let.

What ultimately pushed him back onto the open market was when Kelly visited to assure him of his continued Duck tenure; then, without any prior knowledge on Wilson’s part, Kelly took the job in Philadelphia the next day.

This jilted Wilson from being a solid verbal commit to re-opening his recruitment to include both Ohio State and Texas. He was still strongly considering Oregon up until Monday, when Wilson ended all speculation by announcing he would be coming north to play for Urban Meyer and Tom Herman’s high-powered offense in Columbus.

“Wilson is not only one of the premiere play makers in the state, but he is one of the best in the country,” Greg Powers of Scout.com writes.

“He is a speed demon, who can score in an instant and in a number of different ways. He plays primarily out of the backfield in high school, but would make an excellent slot receiver in college. His speed is a real asset on special teams. The biggest problem will be finding out how to get him enough touches. He runs a legit 4.4.”

During Wilson’s junior season, he averaged around 20 yards a catch with five touchdowns while rushing for 15 touchdowns and 746 yards. As a senior last season, the diminutive back racked up 1,895 yards and 37 touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 37 passes for 750 yards and nine touchdowns as one of the premier offensive threats in the entire state of Texas.

“Wilson has incredible acceleration and top end speed,” Scott Kennedy of Scout.com wrote in his analysis.

“He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball whether it be as a return man, running back, or receiver. He has good vision and balance and is lethal in space, not so much because he's going to make a man miss as opposed to just running away from him.”

He is rated as the No. 5 all-purpose back in the country by Rivals.com and No. 7 by 247 Sports. Scout.com has Wilson rated as the 10th best running back prospect in America. 

As of Super Bowl Sunday, reports began to filter that Wilson was likely to flip from Oregon, spurning the Ducks and Nike for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.

And what kind of recruiting class would this be if Urban Meyer did not flip significant numbers of recruits from other schools? Early on, Meyer flipped Jayme Thompson from West Virginia, Gareon Conley later flipped from Michigan, Corey Smith flipped from one time Urban Meyer protégé Dan Mullen and Mississippi State to OSU and now Wilson has flipped from Oregon.

Standing 5-11, 175 pounds out of DeSoto High School just outside Dallas, Wilson has been on Ohio State’s radar for months; long before quarterback J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Tex.) committed to play for OSU in November.

Meyer and his staff also landed a verbal commitment from Mike Mitchell, a 5-star linebacker out of Plano, Tex. Now that another Texan is in the fold, will this impact current verbal commit Ezekiel Elliott? Rumors were that Elliott was upset after OSU coaches were pursuing Wilson so heavily, but Meyer and running backs coach Stan Drayton have since assured him they are not being recruited to play the same position.

Elliott is considered a true tailback, while Wilson will be used in the slotback role made famous by Percy Harvin during Meyer’s time at Florida. With Wilson now in the fold, Elliott will have a few days to make his final decision.

He recently took an official visit to Missouri and has not granted interviews since his return. He has a press conference (4 p.m. ET) scheduled for National Signing Day.

With the commitment of Wilson, Ohio State is now guaranteed a top 5 recruiting class almost regardless of what happens over the next 48 hours. Meyer will now wait for Feb. 6 when 5-star safety Vonn Bell could propel Ohio State to No. 1, at least according to some recruiting services.

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