Breaking Down Ohio State's Offensive Backfield Recruiting
Ohio State loaded up with skill position players in this year's recruiting class. Led by quarterback JT Barrett, the Buckeyes will also feature Ezekiel Elliott and Dontre Wilson in the backfield in the coming years.
The quarterback from Wichita Falls, Texas gave his commitment to the Buckeyes last April. An injured knee caused Barrett to miss a chunk of his senior season, as he still recovering while currently in Columbus as an early enrollee. There is nothing to fret about, though. Barrett is continuing his rehab with Ohio State doctors and could participate in a limited roll when spring practice starts up.
Having limited practice could work well in the long run for Barrett. With Ohio State having a proven backup in Kenny Guiton, there’s no need for Barrett to rush into anything. Instead, he can focus on the mental aspects of the offense and work on learning the ins and outs of Meyer’s system. By the time fall camp rolls around, Barrett should know all of his reads and be able to perform at a high level.
Nonetheless, JT Barrett was a huge get for the Buckeyes as they look to lay a recruiting pipeline in the state of Texas.
Ezekiel Elliott is a running back who seems to be underrated by most of the nation. For whatever reason, Elliott isn’t talked about like he should be. There was some suspense added late in his recruiting process when he took an official visit to Missouri, as well as picking up a late offer from Alabama. Though the Crimson Tide were never considered major contenders, the Missouri Tigers put on a full-court press to land the running back out of St. Louis. National signing day rolled around and Ezekiel put on a Buckeye hat, which came as a relief to Ohio State fans around the nation.
Elliott has huge upside and possesses a nice combination of size and speed to fit in the spread offense. At 205 pounds, the sky is the limit for Ezekiel who is already drawing comparisons to CJ Spiller.
There’s a long list of running back candidates lined up at Ohio State in 2013, so Elliott may have to wait his turn in the pecking order. However, a talent like Elliott needs to be on the field. Look for him to contribute on special teams right away.
It’s not a secret what skill set Dontre Wilson was recruited for. Speed, speed and more speed.
The one-time Oregon commit jumped at the opportunity to play for Ohio State when Chip Kelly left for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Wilson is from DeSoto High School, which is part of Texas’ 5A league, the top league for high school football in Texas. Throughout his career, Wilson put up gaudy numbers wherever he lined up on the field. As a senior, Dontre Wilson combined for over 2,000 total yards and 46 touchdowns.
What will Wilson play at Ohio State? A little bit of everything. Though he’s listed as a running back, expect Wilson to line up in the slot, as well as the backfield during his career as a Buckeye. Wilson will be asked to get the edge and take one 80 yards for a score, something Ohio State lacked last year.
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