This is the MINIMUM of Dontre Wilson's Potential

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture
September 17, 2013 at 7:08p

It took me a couple games to put a finger on it, but Wilson plays like a JR/SR Brandon Saine.  He was basically the same recruit as Saine, but it looks like Wilson will actually pan out.  This of course means explosively fast touchdown runs, 40-yard catches out of the backfield that make linebackers through temper tantrums, and some punt return TDs.  The main comparison I am alluding to here is that Wilson, like Saine, will be a very skilled pass catching back who also has very high top end speed and acceleration.  I know that physically they are two different players.

Here is Brandon Saine's highlights from the peak of his OSU career:




They have a similar route running and pass catching abilities, plus similar top end speed, don't they?  I find it amazing that Dontre is doing as a Frosh what Brandon was doing as a Senior.  That leaves me very, VERY hopeful for this kid's future.  We're talking 10x the statistical output of Brandon Saine and *fingers crossed* a Heisman?!

Look, this obviously depends on a few factors.  If Dontre doesn't hit the weights hard, then it's game over and he is Saine all over again.  Right now his stature is way too fragile to touch the ball more than 10 times a game and not get hurt.  He would certainly get a lot of stingers.  But we obviously have a great strength and conditioning program, so I feel like he will be up 15 pounds by fall of 2014.

Another factor is whether or not Rod Smith goes beast mode or not.  Once Hyde and Hall are gone, the RB position is open for the taking with a bunch of freakishly talented 4 and 5* recruits fighting for it.  Obviously the inside track goes to Smith, with Wilson right next to him if he gains the weight.  I personally am pulling for Wilson to put on the necessary weight and win the starting job in 2014, with Rod Smith being a reliable, well, Rod Smith lol.  A 4-year backup, but a highly touted one!

Speed kills, and when that kid touches the ball he looks like he's cheating with how fast he runs.  There was a play against Cal where Wilson was turning the corner and would have been gone for a 70 yard TD in about 0.3 seconds but a Cal player was forced to horse collar-facemask-felony assault Wilson to stop him. 

We should all hope that he gets the nod next year because he will be a good one.  Next year, if all goes as planned, I could easily see him accounting for 1,250 rush yards, 850 receiving yards, 400 punt return yards with 2 TDs and 28 total touchdowns.  Well, those stats might come in 2015 because those are Heisman level, but who knows?  The kid could be a very fast learner.  He's fast at everything else.  He will show us what Brandon Saine was supposed to be in terms of panning out as a fast HB recruit.  I haven't seen flashes of brilliance this amazing from a Freshman since Maurice the Beast, and he is a once in a generation type player.  I know that Wilson has much more wiggle to his game, while Saine was more of a very fast bulldozer with minimal wiggle-bility.

I usually don't buy into hype easily or put too much weight on recruit rankings, but this kid has me PUMPED!



Those moves are so slick.  But he needs to weigh 185 pounds and get enough playing time to be a true All American star.

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BuckeyePride's picture

He is a special player

How Firm Thy Friendship....

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

You're telling me lol? I wrote a 1000 word rant about him without realizing it haha

Fugelere's picture

Good post.  Kinda made me wonder what Saine could've done in an Urban Meyer offense.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Saine was definitely underutilized.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

German Buckeye's picture

I think Saine was bigger (6 to 6'1 and heavier) and probably faster straight line speed, Wilson seems to have the quickness factor over Saine.  Hopefully he will be more durable too. 

Zofinda's picture

Saine has about 50 lbs on Wilson
Agree with your thoughts Though, except Wilson's  need to weigh 200lb. He's NOT Going to be a 30 touch per game back

zenshade's picture

I don't believe Saine and Wilson are similar at all, except for the elite speed.  Saine was a legit 6-1 230 or so.  Also, Saine really didn't have much in the way of shiftiness.
Wilson might be 6-0, but I think more like 5-10.  And about 165 lbs.  Competely different kinds of players.
But I do appreciate your enthusiasm for Wilson. Kid is TNT for this offense.  The defense is either gonna concentrate on him 100%, or he's going to burn them big time.
To be fair to Saine, though, he had a lot of injuries during his career that held him back.

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

My comparison to Saine stemmed from the fact that they are both excellent pass catching backs with elite speed.  There is no physical comparison to be had.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

If there is no physical comparison to be had then why did you state that they have similar size & speed?
Honestly, as others have already pointed out the two are different in just about every aspect. The only thing they really have in common is excellent HS 100m times.

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

Thanks for pointing out my mistake I went in a fixed it. I also clarified the comparison I was drawing within the actual post instead of the comments exclusively.

Athens BuckCat's picture

Can't wait to see Wilson's role in the offense further evolve

Buckidelphia's picture

Brandon Saine? Don't see the comparison. Wilson reminds me of a Lamichael James or D'Anthony Thomas. If I had to make a Buckeye comparison I'd say Bam Childress.

OSUStu's picture

You are kidding about the Ban Childress comment right?  Dontre already has more TDs (1 TD) than Bam had in his career with Ohio State and should soon eclipse him in yardage.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

zenshade's picture

Well yeah, production wise no comparison. But they do have similar builds and game, with Wilson no doubt being on another level.

But the thing is, Tressel's offense really had no good idea about how to use a player like Bam (if we can assume for the moment that Childress's hands weren't a complete liability to begin with).

In high school Childress very much looked like that same type of dynamic playmaker that Dontre Wilson is.

OSUStu's picture

But the thing is, Tressel's offense really had no good idea about how to use a player like Bam (if we can assume for the moment that Childress's hands weren't a complete liability to begin with).

I respectfully disagree.  Tressel's offense wasn't as vanilla as it is sometimes made out to be.  He certainly found new and effective ways to utilize Teddy Ginn's talent.  And, frankly, Bam's hands were a liability, outside of the Spring Game, if I recall correctly.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Bam_Childress's picture

easy now

5 ft 9 in - 185 lbs - ALL HEART

Bucksnut13's picture

I don't really see the similarities between saine and d1. Dontre is pure speed and quickness. He can make something out of nothing in a heartbeat. Saine was a lot bigger and only had straight line speed. He did not have anywhere near wilson's shiftiness and moves. Not to take a jab at you or anything, but I don't particularly agree that he needs to gain a ton of weight. I do think his lower body needs to get a bit stronger, but I don't want him sacrificing speed for weight. Chris rainey and deanthony thomas are perfect example of what the future of wilson could be like. Both rainey and thomas were/are under 180 lbs. and still manage to break/avoid PLENTY of tackles. I don't think urban envisioned D1 being our only rb. IMHO ezekiel elliott=jeff demps, jalin marshall=percy harvin and dontre wilson=chris rainey.

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

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

I completely get where you're coming from but we don't want him to get injured every game.  We live through enough of that with Braxton.
The amount of weight you can pack on with deadlifts, bench press, squats and eating like 6000 calories a day is insane.

Bucksnut13's picture

And i understand that too, but I think he'll be fine if we don't overuse him and rotate the other rb's in when they gain some experience (ie. marshall, elliott). Thomas and rainey never had injury problems fwiw.

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

cinserious's picture

Dontre isn't here to gain weight and be the 'featured' back like Dunn, Ball, and Elliott. Dontre is here to play the 'pivot' h-back position. Although it is intriguing to ponder him getting up to Jordan Hall's size and wiggling in between the tackles.
Jalin Marshall will be more of a slot receiver type guy than a Rb.

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

Statutoryglory's picture

Wilson has a faster 100m and way more wiggle.  Saine was all straight line speed.

Goalscorer9's picture

Where did you see Dontre had a faster 100m?????  I thought he was in the 10.5's.  Saine was 10.3 as a Junior, didn't even run as a senior.

Goalscorer9's picture

Yup, just checked.  Saine was quite a bit faster in the 100

Statutoryglory's picture

My bad, thought Saine was a 10.7.  Zero wiggle though.  He looks like a TE trying to juke people.  Totally different players.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Saine didn't run track when he was a Senior in high school. 
Saine was 3 inches taller and 40 pounds bigger, he could not be brought down with one arm. 
Wilson gets the edge as quick as anyone I've seen, but has shown very little "wiggle" thus far.
Wilson is MUCH MUCH more like Teddy Ginn than Saine.

Young_Turk's picture

So far, he reminds me of Eric Metcalf.  Got the wiggle.


Toilrt Paper's picture

Excellent comparison.
I am spoiled by a TRUE wiggler, Baxton Miller. The person who all proclaimed wigglers in the fuutre should be compared to.

warosu's picture

Can't compare them. I'll give something better. Jim walrus vs Tom Herman! Different systems different players! Great post though.

Buckabroad's picture

Thanks for a great post. I share your enthusiasm. Dontre is great already. How will he look once he develops in Meyer's spread and understands his role better? He will draw a lot of attention from opposing D's and his shiftiness should make him a very disruptive presence.

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

cinserious's picture

Saine was over 220lb, Wilson  is like 175lb. Saine was a very fast staright ahead runner without much moves. Wilson has blazing fast straight speed and very sick lateral speed and jukes without losing his top end speed.
To compare them to cars, Saine = Dodge Challenger
                                      Wilson = Honda S2000 with limited slip gear differential. 

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

edr4225's picture

I agree with most of these posts, saine was a bigger back than wilson.  Wilson is a lamichael james, desean  jackson, tavon austin type.  Blazing speed and moves!! i cant wait to see more!! 

lets go bucks!!

Nick's picture

Saine would of had a better college career if it wasn't for his injuries. 

ECSAGESTER's picture

I couldn't disagree more with the last line of your blog. De'Anthony Thomas weighs 2 pounds more than Wilson and is the most electrifying player in college football. There's no grounds to compare Dontre Wilson to anyone who's ever worn a Buckeye jersey. He will be a special player and I agree with your excitement, but I just hate to see Dontre pigeon-holed to a role that has never existed at Ohio State. It's a new era for Ohio State and I would love to see him and Jalin Marshall define that era. 

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

Haha don't worry! Thank the lord that the coaches don't take advice from me!  (We would probably run Dontre and Hyde to exhaustion and still throw 50 passes a game with Braxton, all while running formations that feature 2 QBs.  Our D would blitz 6 or 7 on every play, with Shazier playing the "murder the quarterback" linebacker spot).  There will be no pigeon holing! I promise!
But thanks for acknowledging my excitement.  That's really what college football is all about.

Buckeyejason's picture

They have a similar size and speed, don't they?

Not really. Saines about 6' 220lbs. Wilson 5'9" 180.


ArizonaBuckeye's picture

Just wait until Coach Mick gets a full offseason with Dontre. Ohhhhhhh buddy!!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." -Woody Hayes-

coke's picture

Saine just like Michael Wiley would have made a great WR.  Wilson can do both and at the next level he will be a receiver like Percy Harvin

Toilrt Paper's picture

Saine was closer in size to a FB, not a WR.

Buckeyejason's picture

Im thinking he's more a RB like Lamichael James.


ChillitownBuck30's picture

He is excellent, as a freshman, using his vision and hitting the creases in the defense.  He seems to do it well enough so that if a defender does not take almost a perfect angle he isn't going to be tackled.  His speed is evident.  With more seasoning, conditioning etc I believe he will be electric.  He is also good at getting tackled in a way that will lessen his chance for injury.  I am very excited to see more of him this year.  And I am sure next year when he puts on some weight he will be quite a force to deal with.

“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.”

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

I think everybody just compared him to somebody else. one of a kind maybe?

Humbuck's picture

He isn't like anything we've had at Ohio State.  Zeke Elliot is a lot more like Brandon Saine if we are drawing comparisons. The Ginn comparison is a little off as well.  Teddy had straightline speed that is off the charts, his change of direction and how he hit second gear while cutting aren't quite like what Dontre does.
Wilson is very similar to DAT at Oregon.  He was recruited by the ducks to take his place.  The second gear speed Wilson has is phenomenal but what makes him special is his two step, change of direction speed.  He motors along at once pace then accelerates into his cuts where most runners have to slow just a hair.  He is a glider and a wiggler all in one.
He isn't going to crack 195 so he isn't going to be a 30 touch per game guy.  He will end up being a 10-15 offensive touch guy and a return specialist.  It wouldn't surprise me if he ends up a 500/700 rush/receiving guy by his SO year.
Like Urban said, he needs a year in the strength program and he will start breaking some tackles. 

luckynutz's picture

Elliot may be closrr to the kind of body type and straight line speed of saine, but that's about as far as that goes. Elliot is a football player with track speed. Saine was an elite sprinter with football size. He wasn't suited to play rb...he just kind of stuck there because that's where he played in high school. He didn't have the power as an rb with his size. And didn't have thw elusiveness or lateral quickness of an rb either. What he did posess was incredible size and speed differential in space. Should have played more of a receiving back role...on screens, swing routes and wheel routes. Herron was smaller than saine, but played like a running back. Saine was a change of pace/passing down back at best.

Elliot seems to have more of the toola necessary to be an every down back at OSU. He can move extremely well laterally and has more than enough top end speed. And I believe he will be able to bang between the tackles after some time with coach mick. I like elliots skill set much better than saines. Aside from the physical aspect, saine wasn't suited to be an rb.

Wilson, to me, seems to fit more of a darren sproles-harvin-spiller type player. Dangerous, shifty and explosive. They may play out of the backfield, but that's about the only thing that ties them to the rb position. They are excellent in space and are crazy elusive. They have top end speed, and are absolute nightmares for bigger defenders and have the speed to get the edge and run by dbs.

Jelligrim's picture

I always felt that Saine was under utilized in the Walrus' offense.  He had the ability to turn a screen into a big gain.  Even when he was healthy he didn't get alot of touches.

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

I guess it is just shocking to see a true freshman make electrifying plays at Ohio State, especially in this Urban-stacked offense.  I was 12 when Maurice Clarett burst onto the scene and despite my age I still vividly remember the Texas Tech and Washington State games because he was a Frosh playing like a 5th year Senior, and a Heisman candidate to boot.
Teddy Ginn was fun to watch in 2004 as well, but that season was rather dissappointing.