April 1, 2014
A position change and new number has given sophomore Dontre Wilson the additional momentum needed to propel him to the next level within the Ohio State offense. Coming off of freshman season where the DeSoto, Texas, native collected three touchdowns and 460 yards of total offense, it was not what Wilson expected going into his freshman season. The most versatile player and arguably the fastest player on the Buckeye offense has added 10 pounds of muscle and now considers himself more of a receiver, or H-back if you will. With a year of valuable game experience under his belt, Wilson is eager to play the H-back and show what he is capable of. Wilson took some time after a recent spring practice to discuss why he switched to jersey No. 2 and his eagerness to contribute much more on offense in 2014.
When I first arrived at Ohio State I wanted to be No. 2, but Jordan Hall already had the number. I told Coach Meyer I wanted to get back to me, No. 2. I feel like myself again.
Now I am a receiver. Coming out of high school I played running back. Being a receiver is totally different for me and it is a game changer, but I am used to it now. I am more comfortable with the position and I’ve picked up a lot of weight. I have also improved on my blocking skills and spring is going great for me.
I still run the ball a little bit, but we have not implemented running into my game. We are still trying to get me focused on being a receiver and an all-around better player.
I never allowed any of the attention I received before I began playing at Ohio State to change me as a player. I just wanted to come in and play football. Even though the year did not turn out how I wanted it to, now I am starting at the H position and I am getting a lot more touches and involved in the game.
I am 190 pounds right now, so hopefully I will get a lot of backfield action at the slot. I was constantly 178-180 pounds last year. I have been through the winter workouts and have picked up more weight. I was able to pick up more weight by eating right and from great weight lifting program we have here at Ohio State.
After the Orange Bowl I spent a lot of time watching film and watching other receivers in the NFL run routes. I watched my teammates, Corey “Philly” Brown and Devin Smith, run routes and I have learned a lot from my (WR) Coach Zach Smith. I have spent a lot of time working on my craft as a receiver.
Carlos Hyde was a big loss for our team and as well as our offensive line because they carried us a lot throughout last season. There is going to be a big switch in our offense but we are confident we have players who are ready to step into those positions.
Once you catch a pass in the open field you are already in the open field. Sometimes when you get the ball in the backfield you have to make space and find open space. But when you catch the ball down field you are already in the open space so you can make your move easier.
I was the backup punt returner last year but this year, hopefully, I can be the primary. Hopefully I will get a lot of reps this spring and summer and will be ready when the season starts. Having the opportunity to maybe be the kickoff and punt returner and staring H-back will be very exciting and gives me a lot of opportunities to make plays for our team.
This is the position I feel I was recruited to play. Seeing Carlos’ size and Jordan Halls’ size compared to my size, it would have been hard for me to be a running back. I thought I was going to the hybrid Coach Meyer wanted me to be. Playing running back in high school and to switch to hybrid was difficult because the game speed is faster and I personally needed an entire year to learn how to play this position.