Ohio State Football: Is Dontre Wilson the Next Ted Ginn Jr. for the Buckeyes?

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IJune 7, 2013

Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com.
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com.

Towards the end of May, incoming Ohio State freshman RB Dontre Wilson tweeted that he was going to wear No. 1 this season.

Considering the significance of the No. 1 in the college game and how so few players get that number, it's a good bet that Urban Meyer is trying to send a message, both to Wilson and the rest of the Big Ten.

Wilson was one of the most dangerous offensive weapons coming out of Desoto, Texas, sporting an incredible amount of speed and explosiveness, something sorely lacking from any Buckeye not named Braxton Miller.

Meyer pulled a huge coup with an assist from Chip Kelly when the latter's departure from Oregon prompted Wilson to decommit to the Ducks and sign with OSU.

Being a master of motivating players, allowing Wilson, a true freshman, to wear the No. 1 says a lot about what Meyer thinks of him and what he expects of him.

Wilson won't be the best player on the field, but he should be the guy who can take a handoff or short pass and turn it into a big play. OSU didn't have a lot of players that could do that last year and it's those type of talents that can take the Buckeyes offense to another level.

The hope is that Wilson can have the same type of impact as a freshman that another talented young burner had as a true freshman: a kid from Cleveland Glenville named Ted Ginn Jr.

Ginn came to OSU as a guy who could be either a corner or receiver, but made a name for himself as a freshman with game-breaking punt returns for touchdowns. His speed was unmatched by almost everyone he played against and it helped make him into a top-10 NFL draft pick.

Wilson comes into Columbus a bit more polished offensively than Ginn and into a system where Meyer will allow him to get the ball in ways Ginn never did.

It will also be interesting to see if Meyer uses Wilson as a kick or punt returner to go with Corey "Philly" Brown. The Buckeyes rotated kick returners all season and never really found a guy like Meyer had in Brandon James while he was at Florida.

Perhaps Wilson can, at worst as a freshman, be that guy.

But by being given No. 1 as a freshman, Meyer has made it clear that he expects Wilson to contribute immediately. If he can do that along with fellow freshman Jalin Marshall, who's also expected to have an impact as a freshman, an OSU offense that ranked No. 21 in scoring could be even better.

He was a guy everyone wanted, and Meyer is hoping that Dontre Wilson can show why this season.


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