Better Know A Buckeye: Dontre Wilson

By Vico on July 17, 2013 at 11:30a

Eleven Warriors presents Better Know a Buckeye 2013

The twenty-second installment of the fifth edition of this now 24-part series profiles Dontre Wilson, a "hybrid" athlete prospect from Desoto, Texas. Wilson was one of the first out-of-state recruits in the 2013 class to attract the attention of Urban Meyer's staff.

Dontre WilsonDontre Wilson

The recruitment of Dontre Wilson started very early in the 2012 calendar year, when Meyer was still trying to fill out his coaching staff, and trying to finish Ohio State's 2012 recruiting class. However, the first wave of his recruitment did not last very long. It looked like a race between Oregon and Ohio State, with Wilson selecting Oregon at the end of May 2012.

The story does not end there. Much like Urban Meyer's early retirement from Florida after the 2010 season was a direct cause of Ryan Shazier enrolling at Ohio State in January 2011, Chip Kelly's eventual departure to the NFL was the impetus behind Wilson visiting Ohio State, and later committing to Ohio State. This is retold below.

The profile proceeds in the usual fashion from there, discussing strengths and areas for improvement. Film is offered, as is a projection of a redshirt. After mentioning some miscellaneous things about Dontre Wilson you may find interesting, I conclude he is better known. I put him on the board accordingly.

Height: 5-10
Weight: 175lbs
Fake 40: 4.4
High School: DeSoto High School; DeSoto, Texas

His Recruitment

Dontre Wilson was bound to get noticed sooner than later. Leaving Wilson's skill set aside for the time being, DeSoto High School routinely sends its best to the best college football programs, especially the best programs in the region. The football class of 2012 at DeSoto High School saw two players sign with Texas, one sign with Texas A&M, another sign with Louisiana State, in addition to placing players at programs like Air Force, New Mexico, and Rice. Wilson, who had just completed his second year of varsity at the talent-laden high school, was going to be the next in line.

The first offer came not from those schools, nor smaller FBS programs in and around Texas. Rather, Clemson was Wilson's first scholarship offer. The connection seems curious at first glance, though further inspection reveals that Chad Morris, Clemson's offensive coordinator and then recruiter of Dontre Wilson, was a high school head coach for fifteen years in the state of Texas before moving to the college ranks in 2010. The offer came at the end of January 2012.

Though Clemson was only offer to this point, Wilson, perhaps anticipating how coveted of a recruit he would soon become, had a preference of four schools, in order: Oregon, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Oklahoma. Soon, all those schools (and more) offered him, including Ohio State. Meyer had been in contact with Wilson not long after Meyer signed on as head football coach at Ohio State.

By the first week of May, it seemed to be a two-team race between Oregon and Ohio State. In both cases, Wilson was primarily fixated on the offense. Chip Kelly's success at Oregon and reputation as being at the forefront of the spread offense in college football was very appealing to Wilson. Meyer, yet to coach at Ohio State by this point, was nonetheless bringing his offense from Florida with him. This same offense had a lot of success matriculating its skill players from the Gators program to the National Football League. That Wilson seemed to be focused on just two teams — and two teams very distant from the normal matriculation patterns of Texas high school football — elicited quite a stir from Texas fans, in particular. However, it's where his recruitment stood by this point.

And, really, that Ohio State was in this position at this point reflects considerable diligence by Urban Meyer and Tom Herman, but may have been just courtesy. Oregon was the apple of Dontre Wilson's eye. This was a matter of when, and not if.

His Commitment​

During his high school's spring game, Dontre Wilson pledged his allegiance to the Oregon Ducks as a member of its 2013 football recruiting class.

Wilson said little of the reason for the decision then, and that point, but it is consistent with his statements on and off the record. A lot of recruits will look for relationships with certain coaches or assistant coaches, or consider the academic profile of the university and its pedigree for competing at high levels on the football field. Wilson was a bit different. He wanted an offense tailor-made for his strengths. It's why he eschewed Oklahoma and Texas quickly and focused squarely on Oregon. As Wilson saw it, he could be the next De'Anthony Thomas for the Ducks.

Lines remained open during the fall of 2012, but there was very little indication that Dontre Wilson would sign anywhere but Oregon to this point.

His Recruitment, Part Deux​

...and then, Chip Kelly-NFL whispers started getting louder.

Chip Kelly's flirtation with the NFL had been simmering on low heat for over a year by this point. It could be that Kelly saw the NFL as a new, exciting, and challenging opportunity for him to ply his craft at a higher salary. There could be other reasons for why Chip Kelly, like Pete Carroll, wanted a jump to the NFL. Whatever the case, this was the conversation in college football as we started changing our calendars from 2012 to 2013. That Oregon blasted Kansas State so efficiently in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl should have otherwise given further confidence to Oregon's 2013 recruits, but it was overshadowed by the conversation of Kelly's impending departure from Oregon. The question wasn't an "if", but a question of "Browns or Eagles?"

Consistent with Dontre Wilson's quasi-professional approach to his recruitment, he gave very clear (if ostensibly quiet) signals that Kelly's departure from Oregon would be requited with Wilson's departure from Oregon's recruiting class. As much as he liked Scott Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback and current Oregon assistant coach who recruited him, his commitment was to Chip Kelly. If Chip Kelly was no longer committed to Oregon, then neither would Dontre Wilson in due time.

On January 16, 2013, Chip Kelly was announced as the Phildadelphia Eagles' replacement for Andy Reid, after some final "will he or won't he?" drama that saw Kelly, momentarily, recommit to being Oregon's head coach. The same day, his high school head coach was bombarded with phone calls from almost every program in the country about Dontre Wilson. The only program not in contact was Oregon, unsure of its next move. A week later, Oregon had sent -- basically everyone on the staff -- to Wilson's home in Texas for an in-home visit.

However, the official visit to Ohio State, long rumored even before Kelly started his process of leaving Oregon, finally materialized. Wilson did not offer much on specifics, though his high school coach did say he had a good time. He took another visit to Texas before announcing a commitment ceremony on local television. As the cameras went on, most Oregon fans internalized that Dontre Wilson would be collateral damage of Chip Kelly's move to the NFL.

His Commitment, Part Deux​

On February 4, 2013, Dontre Wilson committed to Ohio State. He donned a cap to announce his choice in a ceremony televised by a local FOX affiliate.

He will be recorded in Ohio State's football history as the 22nd commitment of the 2013 recruiting class, choosing Ohio State over Oregon and Texas, among several other schools.

Where He Excels​

I've yet to look at James Clark's film, or Vonn Bell's film, but Wilson's film elicited more slack-jawed stares on my part than the film of the other prospects in this recruiting class. Some of what he does may be considered "fair" to the neutral observer, but it just isn't very nice at the high school level.

That Dontre Wilson purposely sought spread offenses is wise of him. He really is tailor-made for that type of offense. Much of what caught my attention in Wilson's film isn't necessarily the "explosiveness", though it's certainly there. It's the subtle, but critical, element of vision and awareness. It's not the spin move you'll see in the film below that opened my eyes, but the vision to see the opportunity and the awareness to do it at the particular moment when the defender was ill-equipped to do anything about it. In short, speed, acceleration, and the like are all there to observe, but the field vision and awareness tie it all together.

I still think Dontre Wilson and Ezekiel Elliott complement each other very well in this recruiting class. Elliott is a true running back who can catch the ball in strategic situations. Wilson will be a collegiate wide receiver who can run the ball on counter trey plays, and the like. Thus, it's necessary (I think) for Wilson to be a better receiver than a rusher. He might be. Wilson shows flashes of what analysts call being a "natural hands-catcher". He "high points" balls better than some of his classmates. He's more than just an "athlete", since that label conjures an image of a jack of all trade that is a master of none. Maybe that's still technically true for Wilson, but he's advanced as a receiver, and a rusher as well.

There is still the issue of the added degree of difficulty of the college level vis-a-vis the high school level, which is true when the opposition is either Michigan or Illinois. Wilson's development is still key, but the reasons for optimism are certainly there.

Must Work On

A very common question of Wilson is his durability. I guess Ohio State fans can dismiss this by saying Wilson will just never get tackled, but his 5-10, 175lbs frame isn't very thick and robust to the rigors of Big Ten football. He can be best utilized through plays aimed at getting him in "space", and, thus, in positions where he is less likely to fall underneath a pile of tacklers. But, he would be more effective if he could run inside zone plays and deal with those consequences. We don't know how well he can take those kind of hits. Strength and conditioning will be key for him this summer.


Senior year.


All else equal? No. I'm not sure yet what type of immediate effect that Dontre Wilson has on this roster for this season, but I think he finds something to do, in some capacity, on the field this season.


  • Many of his DeSoto teammates signed letters of intent with FBS programs on signing day. Some of these landing spots include Air Force, Baylor, Houston, Oklahoma State, and San Diego State.
  • His high school coach, Claude Mathis, was a former standout at Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State University). He holds career, season, and game rushing records at the school.
  • Wilson played in the Under Armour All-American Game, along with Marcus Baugh, Joey Bosa, Vonn Bell, Cam Burrows, Gareon Conley, Trey Johnson, and Jalin Marshall. He had a 47 yard punt return in that game.
  • He had 294 carries for 1,895 yards and 37 touchdowns, amassing over 3,000 career rushing yards for his three years in varsity. He also added 37 catches for 750 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior.
  • His senior season ended in the state semifinals with a 51-36 loss to eventual 5A Division 1 state champion Allen High School.

I think Dontre Wilson is better known.

The More You Know

Let's put him on the board.

Name POS Ht Wt Hometown Committed Better Known
Cameron Burrows DB 5'11 200 Trotwood, OH 01.19.12 02.19.13
Jalin Marshall WR 5'11 196 Middletown, OH 01.30.12 02.26.13
Billy Price DT 6'4 300 Austintown, OH 02.13.12 03.05.13
Eli Apple DB 6-1 188 Voorhees, NJ 02.16.12 03.12.13
Evan Lisle OL 6-5 280 Centerville, OH 02.28.12 03.19.13
Jayme Thompson S 6-2 184 Toledo, OH 04.01.12 03.26.13
Ezekiel Elliott RB 6-0 195 St. Louis, MO 04.01.12 04.02.13
Marcus Baugh TE 6-4 233 Riverside, CA 04.10.12 04.09.13
Tracy Sprinkle DE 6-3 255 Elyria, OH 04.17.12 04.17.13
J.T. Barrett QB 6-1 230 Wichita Falls, TX 04.18.12 04.24.13
Joey Bosa DE 6-5 270 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 04.23.12 05.01.13
Darron Lee ATH 6-3 205 New Albany, OH 06.26.12 05.08.13
Michael Hill DT 6-3 315 Pendleton, SC 06.27.12 05.15.13
Timothy Gardner OL 6-5 310 Indianapolis, IN 07.28.12 05.22.13
Tyquan Lewis DE 6-3 237 Tarboro, NC 09.20.12 05.29.13
Gareon Conley CB 6-1 180 Massillon, OH 12.07.12 06.05.13
Donovan Munger DT 6-4 285 Shaker Heights, OH 12.09.12 06.12.13
Trey Johnson LB 6-2 225 Lawrenceville, GA 01.04.13 06.19.13
Mike Mitchell LB 6-4 225 Plano, TX 01.05.13 06.26.13
Christopher Worley ATH 6-3 190 Cleveland, OH 01.11.13 07.03.13
Corey Smith WR 6-0 175 Akron, OH 01.29.13 07.10.13
Dontre Wilson ATH 5-10 175 DeSoto, TX 02.04.13 07.17.13



Comments Show All Comments

osubuck57's picture

Pure Speed, Speed is what we need !! lol Honesty was shocked when he chose us. No slight on Urbs, just goes to show the in-roads we've made with some of these other states, like Texas and these kids.


FROMTHE18's picture

Definitely getting touches this year...He and Marshall

dan_isaacs's picture

Wow, his stride is a thing of beauty.  His head does NOT move when he's sprinting.

@1:45, I thought he was showboating, but he was just pointing to where he needed a block.

Don't know who #1 was, but dude was throwing some nice blocks inside for a WR.

Dan Isaacs

tennbuckeye19's picture

I am beyond excited to see Wilson in action. I think the kid is gonna do some big things for the Scarlet and Gray.

UrbanBuckeye's picture

Love Dontre. Favorite offensive player in the class. He needs to work on the "The University of Ohio State" thing, but he is a stud!

Vonn Bell once asked me in class if he could borrow my pencil and he never gave it back. Ain't even mad.

RunEddieRun1983's picture

The vision is just unreal.  Unmatched by any OSU player I've seen in quite awhile coming in from the HS level.  Incredible to watch.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

Poison nuts's picture

Another good read in this great series...only two more to go which is good & bad. While I'll miss it, it means football is here.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

House804's picture

Wilson, Clark, Marshall, and Zeke.  I just keep repeating it over and over and changing who I am most excited about on a daily basis.  Wilson will play.

We talkin' bout practice?!  Not the game I love...the game I die for.  Practice?!

jaxbuckeye's picture

Your word of the day: ma•tri•cu•late
Use some form of this word at least three times today, ideally all at the same time. 

dubjayfootball90's picture

This man is going to be a unbelievable... UNBELIEVABLE!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

BtownBuckeye's picture

He makes fast people look... not fast

CC's picture

His dad was great in the selection ceremony.
He reminds me of LaMichael James.

NEWBrutus's picture

I don't know how much of a contributor he (or any other freshman, for that matter) will be in 2013, but...
He has some serious wheels and the comment about seeing the field is spot on. 
If he doesn't earn playing time, he will push the likes of Corey Brown/Jordan Hall/and others to elevate their game to a much higher level...A win/win for Ohio State. 
It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see him returning punts and kicks this year as a freshman.  In a situation where you often have to make the first guy miss, he can do just that. 
It is so hard to judge what he is doing on the field.  Yes Big School Texas Football is quality stuff, but he isn't going against 11 D-I college athletes either.  Just amazing that on so many of those highlights he is hardly touched.
I understand the purpose of the highlight reels is to show the "big play."  Sometimes it would be nice to see some of the more mundane stuff to see how well he does during a lot more of his touches.
There are some guys who can fly in this class that is for sure.

CC's picture

I agree but Wilson, Bosa and Clarks tape mean more because they were playing against big-time competition.  His HS class would have been a great recruiting class for some colleges.
He has that natural pure speed where if he makes the first guy miss there's no catching him.
Marotti commented on how fast this group is on O.  He would know.

Buckabroad's picture

Absolutely incredible HL reel. His speed always impressed me, but seeing the film again, I think it is his ability to twist his shoulders and hips while accelerating that is most impressive. He has the shiftiness of a snake and the speed of a flash of lightning. Should make it very difficult for opposing defenses to tackle him in space. I can't wait to cheer him on!

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

OldColumbusTown's picture

What an amazing class of athletes, and especially, offensive talents that Urban Meyer and his staff have put together.
It seems for so long, Ohio State would bring in one big-time offensive recruit each year that everyone was so excited about.  We fans would put all our eggs in that recruit's basket, wanting/hoping/praying that he'd turn out to be everything we thought he could be.  Maurice Wells, Jamaal Berry, Brandon Saine, Beanie, etc.  One really, really elite offensive recruit most every year.
That one player would be a Dontre Wilson.  It would be a Jalin Marshall.  It would be an Ezekiel Elliott.  But all three in one recruiting class?!?!  Yes please!!

tampa buckeye's picture

Dont sleep on Clark hes the most exciting player with ginn like speed.

Squirrel Master's picture

I was actually just as excited about Carlos Hyde when he came in the same year as Berry. Berry looked like a speed demon but Hyde was a monster who can run! In fact, he was the first recruit I got to see highlights and read about on a buckeye blog. Before that I used to look at highlights on youtube or TV.
I know what you are saying but it wasn't as barren as you are making it out to be. There were a few classes before this one that had a couple of electric players on it. thing is, some of those electric players didn't pan out. It could be the case here too but I am expecting at least a couple of them to end up "pretty" good!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

OldColumbusTown's picture

Completely understand what you mean and how my comment may have come across, but I am talking about "can't miss" type prospects. On defense - sure, OSU always tends to pull in big-time defensive linemen, corners, safeties, linebackers especially, and usually a big-time QB every 3 years or so, as well as the one a year RB/WR.

But, many times we were excited about lower-ranked recruits who had good film, good highlights, and we hoped could develop into something special. There have been very few dynamic offensive recruits who we expected to really come in and have an immediate impact on the offensive side of the football.

Guys like Wilson, Elliott, and Marshall are the types that are thought to be able to go anywhere in the country, and have an immediate impact there. We haven't seen a combination similar to this group in the same year in quite some time at OSU.

gutterwaste's picture

He has a cheetah taped to his back

Squirrel Master's picture

Seems like you've thought about this before.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

tampa buckeye's picture

These freshman are going to be explosive. I look for this team to put up a ton of points because the second string is going to have lots of talent.

Dougger's picture

So what you're saying is Kirk is really, really gonna like this guy. "In space"

I like football

Seattle Linga's picture

Will someone please allow me to jump through a wall right now for this football team - I live in Seattle and can't get enough of this speedster!

Gametime's picture

I'm calling it now - Dontre Wilson (barring injury) WILL unseat Jordan Hall in the pivot position AND have over 1,000 all-purpose yards this season. BOOK IT.

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

Squirrel Master's picture

I agree that his highlights are amazing but that highlight reel sucks! It was nice to see multiple angles of each play but did we need to see 3 different views of the first 6-7 plays? and the slowmo stuff needs to stop. We aren't blind and there is this thing called rewind that we all know how to use if we missed it. Slowmo just ruins the purity of the move!
I prefer JT Barrett's highlight tape or Jalin Marshalls but I will agree that his highlight plays are electric and he definitely should get some pt early.
I agree with a poster above, would be nice to see a series of downs or parts of a game to get a real idea of how this kid does in a quarter, half, game.
AND PUT THE DAMN THING ON A TRIPOD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I'm about to "Blair witch" all over my monitor right now!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Maestro's picture

Hope for the best.  It's tough to go so far from home.

vacuuming sucks

Edincostarica's picture

At the very least he'll be on special teams although I would bet he'll see catching time.


buckguyfan1's picture

Those didn't appear to be real slow defenses in a lot of that film.  If he gets a small bit of space, he's off to the races.  He will compete for time early.

MN Buckeye's picture

Agree BGF1.  It looks like DeSoto plays some very talented teams, and Wilson is a star.
Dontre reminds me of Barry Sanders.  He is amazing with his footwork, speed, hands, as Vico stated field vision, and instincts.  He knows how to set up plays, follow blockers, avoid defenders, punish defenders; in other words, he can do it all, and he knows how and when to do it.

iball's picture

In my 30 years as a Buckeye fan I have never looked forward to a season more than this

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

WhySoSerious's picture



Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

SilverState's picture

With all the flips flops between Kelly and Dontre reaffirming their commitments, speculation, etc., this was such an interesting recruitment to follow...and of course, an enjoyable one in the way it ended. Only wish I had noticed the curved bill sooner...

unholy bucknut's picture

Wow this kid has some high end speed. I really really can't wait to see him streaking down the field for touchdowns in the shoe. He almost looks as fast as Ted Ginn... time will tell.

ticodillo's picture

Dude , Ginn speed and add to that the ability to make ppl miss ! He's like a cross btw Ginn and Braxton. Freeeeaaak! 

cinserious's picture

Dontre is absolutely disguting! He's got the burners and the moves but his vision and timing are impeccable. Oregon's been getting stud playmakers like this for a long time and now its our turn. His film reminds me of Jalen Hurd flashing through the line of scrimmage and getting to the second level before anybody even knows what gap he hit. Urbs is assembling a very nasty array of playmakers at every position on offense. 

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Bucksnut13's picture

Jalin Marshall=percy harvin
Ezekiel elliott=chris rainey
dontre wilson=jeff demps

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog