Ohio State Football: Why Dontre Wilson Is Urban Meyer's Biggest Flip Yet

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Ohio State Football: Why Dontre Wilson Is Urban Meyer's Biggest Flip Yet
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
In his short time at Ohio State, Urban Meyer has made a habit of flipping recruits.

In Urban Meyer’s first three months at Ohio State, he made waves by flipping several recruits. Meyer was able to obtain commitments from seven recruits that were verbally committed to other schools when Meyer took the Ohio State job.

In 2013 Meyer continued to show success flipping recruits by getting Trey Johnson from Auburn, Corey Smith from Mississippi State and Gareon Conley from Michigan.

But on Monday night Meyer received the most important flip of his Ohio State career when Dontre Wilson picked Ohio State over Oregon and Texas.

 

Meyer Smells Blood in the Water

As with Wilson—who was upset about Chip Kelly leaving Oregon—many of the flips can be attributed to coaching changes.

Four of the seven flips in the 2012 class—Camren Williams, Armani Reeves, Tommy Schutt and Joey O’Connor—flipped from Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

The other three—Taylor Decker, Kyle Dodson and Se’Von Pittman—are Ohio natives that decided to stay home. Decker, who flipped from Notre Dame, followed former Notre Dame offensive line coach Ed Warinner to Ohio State.

 

Wilson Could Make Instant Impact

The Buckeyes had the highest scoring offense in the Big Ten in 2012, but still struggled with consistency at times.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
In 2012 Ohio State's offense relied on Braxton Miller and Devin Smith to make big plays, but help is on the way.

While the recruits that flipped in 2012 were all highly rated coming out of high school and have bright futures, none of them made a big impact in their freshman year.

Three of them redshirted, and Reeves and Williams were reserves on defense and played special teams. Meanwhile, Decker was a backup on the offensive line.

That could be different with Wilson.

The Buckeyes did a decent job of stretching the field vertically with Devin Smith. However, they did not have the same amount of success breaking big plays without the deep ball or big runs by Braxton Miller. For example, Carlos Hyde's longest run was 29 yards.

That opens the door for players with speed and the ability to turn the corner on a sweep or option or break away on a short pass.

Wilson, along with fellow 2013 high school All-Americans Jalin Marshall and Ezekiel Elliott, are the type of playmakers who could give the Buckeyes’ offense a huge boost as soon as they step foot on campus.

Elliott, if he sticks with his verbal commitment to Ohio State, will give the Buckeyes an all-purpose running back.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Dontre Wilson's playmaking ability could get him on the field early on offense and special teams.

Marshall, a high school QB, will likely be a hybrid runner/receiver. But he is more shift than speed.

Wilson rounds out the trio perfectly as the speed option in the slot. Expect to see him as a target in the screen game and on reverses early in his career.

Also, Wilson has experience as a return man that Marshall doesn’t. And if you have any question about his capability, it was Wilson returning punts in the Under Armour All-American Game instead of all the other high school superstars on his team.

 

Opening the Door Out West

Despite the concerns about Michigan’s recruiting success in Ohio, Meyer and Ohio State will never have to worry about keeping stars at home in Columbus.

Meyer and Ohio State have also enjoyed success in the east with players from Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and New England states. Plus, due to his experience and connections in Florida, Meyer should be able to pull a few stars out of Florida every year.

But success out west has been hit-or-miss for both Meyer and Ohio State in recent years. However, the commitment of Wilson might solidify a change there as well.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson provide Ohio State's offense with a new level of playmaking potential.

Ohio State now has commitments from three of the top players in Texas, the top player in Missouri and one of the top players out of California.

It should come as little surprise that a great program like Ohio State coming off of an undefeated year would recruit well. Neither is it a surprise the Meyer, one of the best recruiters in the country, is having success again.

But the amount of success (more top-15 players out of Texas than the Longhorns, according to 24/7 Sports) is impressive.

Meyer knew early on in his tenure at Ohio State that he needed more speed and big-play ability. As one of the nation’s top recruiters, he has largely filled that gap.

Now with the addition of Wilson, the Buckeyes’ offense has a stable of playmakers that could make every other team jealous.

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