Ohio State Football: 3 Freshman Candidates to Fill Percy Harvin Role in 2013

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Ohio State Football: 3 Freshman Candidates to Fill Percy Harvin Role in 2013
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com

One of Urban Meyer's top priorities this year in recruiting was to find playmakers for an offense that, at times in 2012, lacked explosion.

Although Braxton Miller was essentially a human highlight reel last year, there wasn't anyone else on Ohio State's offense who could consistently provide the big play.

Devin Smith was that guy early, hauling in long touchdown catches on an almost weekly basis the first half of the season. Corey Brown became Ohio State's most reliable pass-catcher down the stretch, but he was more of a possession receiver who kept the chains moving.

There was an even bigger void of explosiveness in the running game.

Outside of Miller, only one player—Rod Smith—had a carry for longer than 30 yards (33). Miller had runs of 72, 67, 65, 55, 42, 37 and 33 yards. 

Getting Miller help was imperative for Meyer in his 2013 recruiting class.

Fortunately for both, help is on the way.

Much is made of the Percy Harvin role in Meyer's offense, and for good reason. Having a player who is a threat on inside runs as well as the perimeter takes the offense to a completely different level.

Ohio State didn't have a player who fit that mold in 2012. They will in 2013. 

 

Dontre Wilson

Wilson is a 4-star all-purpose back out of Desoto, Texas, who committed to play for Ohio State just two days ago. 

Wilson appears to be a perfect fit for the Percy Harvin role. During his senior season, Wilson accumulated 2,600 total yards of offense and was a threat out of the backfield or slotted out wide. His playmaking ability was undeniable as the talented athlete scored an unbelievable 46 touchdowns in 2012.

His 4.4 speed and the experience he has running and catching the ball make him Meyer's top candidate to fill this role.

Watch Wilson's highlight reel here:

 

Jalin Marshall

Marshall, who played quarterback at Middletown (Ohio) High School, is a 4-star athlete who projects to receiver at the collegiate level.

Those thinking there would be an adjustment period as Marshall switched positions were pleasantly surprised at the Under Armour High School All-American Game. Marshall shined during practice the week leading up to the game, and his performance was highlighted by a spectacular 44-yard reception in a game that lacked big offensive plays.

The outstanding athlete is very comfortable running the ball as well. During his senior season, Marshall rushed for 1,421 yards and 14 touchdowns.

 

James Clark

Clark, a 4-star receiver out of New Smyrna, Fla., is Ohio State's newest addition to the offense. He committed from his high school on national signing day.

Clark has the blazing speed Meyer covets for his perimeter players. Although he doesn't have much experience carrying the ball, Clark excelled catching bubble screens in high school and is a huge threat to take any play the distance. 

The first three plays of Clark's highlight film show how dangerous he can be when he gets the ball in his hands quickly.

Meyer has brought three tremendous athletes to Columbus to complement Miller in his spread offense. 

 

All recruit rankings per 247Sports.com.

David is the lead Ohio State football writer for B/R. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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