Meyer Raves About Darron Lee, Emphasizes Culture

By Kyle Rowland on March 18, 2014 at 7:10p
81 Comments

Spring break is over. For the Ohio State football team, that means the return of competition and collisions. Or in Dontre Wilson’s case avoiding contact. 

No. 1 is now No. 2, not that it diminishes his value. If anything, after a disappointing freshman season, Wilson is more determined than ever to make an impact. Without Carlos Hyde, Wilson is aiming to become Ohio State’s top offensive threat.

In just a handful of spring practices, Wilson has wowed coaches and teammates. He’s been heavily involved in the game plan as a receiver, allowing him to get in space and outrun the defense. Ohio State’s secondary and linebackers are a big theme over the next month, but the offense isn’t to be ignored.  

“We just have to improve,” Meyer said. “We’ve got to finish, and I like where we’re at as a team.”

Along with Wilson, Ohio State’s also equipped with rising stars such as Johnnie Dixon, Jalin Marshall and Georgia Tech transfer Jeff Greene, as well as known quantities Braxton Miller, Devin Smith and Ezekiel Elliott.

With Meyer and Tom Herman calling the shots, adding and multiplying equals another potentially long season for opposing defenses.

Notes: 

  • Meyer said coaches have done a lot of offensive and defensive research during the offseason. He mentioned Clemson and Texas A&M coming to Columbus. Today, Greg Schiano was at Ohio State’s practice.
  • The Buckeyes will take a few days during the spring to work on preparation for Navy.
  • Freshmen that have come out of nowhere: Darron Lee and Raekwan McMillan.
  • Meyer raved about Lee. He said he’s embraced the culture, is a great leader and plays as hard as he possibly can.
  • Cardale Jones is still running with the first-team. But the competition remains close. Meyer had good things to say about J.T. Barrett too.
  • “Talk about a changed guy. He was a guy that couldn’t get out of his own way before. You know about the tweet. He’s a completely different guy.” –Meyer on Cardale Jones
  • Meyer said Vonn Bell going down was a blow. He’s confident he’ll be fine, though. Freshman safety Erick Smith were mentioned as possibly being called upon. At the moment, Cam Burrows and Tyvis Powell are helping fill in.
  • “We’ll have depth at safety.” -Meyer
  • Taking the Jack Mewhort leadership role is Taylor Decker, which is no surprise.  
  • Meyer said there’s zero chance the spring game format would ever disappear. It’s too valuable for young players to gain experience.
81 Comments

Comments

JDunc686's picture

Anyone know if Jayme Thompson is participating this Spring?  I never seem to hear his name mentioned when they are talking about Safeties so I am wondering if last year's injury is still lingering?

+5 HS
Kyle Rowland's picture

He's healthy now, but he's deep on the depth chart. 

m5987usus's picture

So excited for this team and love that wilson is getting great comments

O-H!

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Raekwan McMillan "came out of nowhere" eh?  Surprising comment considering how highly touted he was.  The most encouraging quote:

We’ll have depth at safety.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

+6 HS
theopulas's picture

i think the most encouraging quote was " I like where we are right now...."

Theopulas

+4 HS
Toilrt Paper's picture

Last year we had a 5* LB who couldn't manage to "come out of no where".

+8 HS
SilverState's picture

Thanks for the fix...

(After seeing this GIF, had to share...lol.)

+9 HS
dmurder's picture

Erick Smith?

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

rdubs's picture

Not sure what the question is, but if it is just who is he, well: http://247sports.com/Player/Erick-Smith-23564

 

+2 HS
teddyballgame's picture

Yeah he was a little bit underrated coming out of hs, but got a lot of attention in the Army All American game...

Good size, he's a hitter...embraces contact...

 

+4 HS
alust2013's picture

I'd rather see him wrap up.

...and Michigan still sucks.

+4 HS
OSUStu's picture

That is a play at the boundary. Wrapping someone up as they go out of bounds is likely to draw a flag these days.

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

+13 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Tick Tock... Tick Tock...   Is it September yet?

+5 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Awesome. I like where this team is at too.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

+2 HS
stubbzzz's picture

Darron Lee is playing at linebacker right? is he a true freshman or redshirt?  either way it's encouraging to hear he's standing out.

theopulas's picture

redshirt.....

Theopulas

+2 HS
buckeyedexter's picture

Yes, he seems to have leapfrogged Trey Johnson who was Shazier's back up last year.  I believe he was a QB in high school, so he took a redshirt to learn the position.

nburns18's picture

Im really surprised about Johnson. He was a big 4 star linebacker from last years class. Just not developing i guess

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

+2 HS
BuckeyeJ's picture

Me too. Mitchell and Johnson i was sure would make impact. Lee, he did come out of nowhere from just being an ATH to the LB corp

bucks15's picture

It was rumored on here earlier that he didn't have a good work ethic this winter.  He's still young so there is plenty of time for him to turn it around, but hard work turns potential into production.  Hopefully he can make that happen.   

ibuck's picture

The O-zone says he's impressing at weakside linebacker where he's getting first team reps.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

OSUpawn's picture

I didn't recall Darron Lee as a LB so I just watched some film on him.  He played QB and Hybrid on offense and Safety on D.  I will have to say he Wraps Up and finishes his tackles.  He has great ball skills and he will be and fast LB (which sounds familiar).  I could see him becoming the next stud!

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

+1 HS
2002osubuck's picture

What's up with Ron Tanner? He had that int last year and looked promising but haven't heard anything about him.

rdubs's picture

I just don't think he has the athleticism they are hoping for in starting safeties.  He is a great leader on special teams and I imagine he'll continue that role.

+1 HS
Getcha Gallof's picture

Is there a link to view Urban's full interview?

Once ate an entire bowling ball

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Here we go with Wilson the all world practice star again! I kid...but a full year in the system unfer his belt and im hopeful, as im sure everyone is, that the dude will shred this year.
If just a quarter of our offensive weapons pan out, we are going to put up some record numbers.
Any pleasant surprises and instant PT for the noobs are going to be a big bonus for us fans.
Hot dang, cant wait for football...

+8 HS
741's picture

My only disappointment with Wilson's freshman year was he didn't touch the ball often enough. 

Ericgobucks's picture

When I read your post I joking thought they should have a "Bam Childress" spring game MVP that must disappear once fall camp starts. Ha ha. 

BHT's picture

Cardale Jones is still running with the first-team right team.

I do not understand. Is there a first team left team also? What is the significance of the first team right team (and first team left team if there is one) and what is the difference? Sorry for my ignorance, but I have not heard this term.

-2 HS
Urban Nation Army's picture

most likely a typo, should say right now

Bet you can't say "Bert Bielma is a bumbling buffoon" five times fast.

+3 HS
BHT's picture

Thanks. For a minute, I was really confused.

Codeezy's picture

Typo or we have two first team offenses!

OfficerRabbit's picture

I love that UFM is usually such a straight shooter in interviews, but I can't help thinking he's using a little of his psychology background to call out Grant by praising McMillian. #PSYCHOUT

Really hoping Dontre is more "production" this year instead of "threat of production" like he was last year. Still, I wouldn't have called his freshman year a disappointment. A true freshman see meaningful snaps is still pretty rare at this level.

 

 

+8 HS
teddyballgame's picture

decoy of the year last year

+5 HS
theopulas's picture

most 2nd year players will take Wilsons season last year.....

Theopulas

WesPatterson23's picture

Statistically, Dontre may have been a disappointment, but he definitely was a great "play-creator" for us.

+3 HS
syphon2677's picture

What's up with Eli Apple??

+2 HS
villagebuckeye's picture

Per the Ozone, Apple had an infection that kept him out of the first two practices. He did practice today

 

+1 HS
bucks15's picture

This is encouraging to hear.  Glad it wasn't so much performance based or him being the doghouse that was keeping him from competing.   

OSU_1992_UFM's picture

I've heard Apple was having issues grasping the system, and that Coombs had to get after him because of lack of work ethic

UFM_Renewal

btalbert25's picture

At this point I'm in a wait and see mode with Dontre.  EVERYONE both inside and out of the program were saying it.  Sounded too much to me like a lot of those guys from Florida who were really fast but couldn't break tackles.  He was a freshman though, so I'll cut him some slack.  Hopefully we get more out of him going forward and he grows into a star.  I'm not going to call him Percy Harvinish until he shows that's what he's capable of. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what Jalin Marshall will do.  I remember when for most of the 2013 class he was the "stud" signing.  If I remember correctly, Alex was really high on the kid.  Hopefully, he comes in healthy and gets to play some meaningful snaps next year.  I think he could be the forgotten piece from that recruiting class and could end up being a real stud. 

+5 HS
CPDenn's picture

It's not like Wilson was awful last season. People just want to look at the numbers, but he added a lot in terms of being a decoy as well. Re-watching the Orange Bowl, he was a huge part of the offense's success. I'd say it's fair to expect that to continue as he gets more acclimated to the program and stronger.

+8 HS
BuckeyeJ's picture

Great statement. I feel that people were looking at Dontre to be a home run threat (which he is) and was hoping on special teams he would take it to the house. Lots of weapons this year!!

UrbanPirate's picture

I agree, I definitely felt like he was an asset last year-everyone was hoping for the next De'Anthony Thomas in year 1, but as it turned out we weren't exactly in desperate need for more production out of the backfield (see: Hyde, Miller, ect). I think the fact that the coaches were constantly looking for ways to get the ball in the hands of this true freshman with such a loaded backfield of league MVPs speaks wonders about his potential. I expect a breakout year for Wilson. (But of course, this is coming from the eternal Buckeye optimist)

Just... Go Bucks.

    

+3 HS
d5k's picture

How often did we run play action off of a jet sweep fake to Dontre and not have a positive play?  A lot of our big plays in the passing game came off of that.  We should've had him on the field more but Philly, our best WR, operated best out of the slot.  And if we had them both on the field our run blocking suffered.

+2 HS
DC-town's picture

No way you can call his year a disappointment- his production didn't equal the hype, but we need to keep in mind when we're salivating for football updates, players saying a freshman is 'awesome' is different from having a guy in the program and getting reps for a few years- we build these guys up to hall of famers before they touch the ball-

Hopefully dontre tightened up his grip, but very excited to see dontre after an offseason- hope all of his classroom stuff is straight 

'Piss excellence' -RB

+6 HS
Bags5150's picture

I keep hearing good things about Jeff Greene...

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth~Mike Tyson

+7 HS
nburns18's picture

Love hearing about Darron Lee. I think we could see him getting alot of playing time this year

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

+4 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I love hearing Meyer talk so highly about Cardale Jones. He could end up being the next Kenny Guiton. No seriously. I'm glad the kid has gotten it together.

 

 

+5 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

No kidding, the kid's got tools. Size, speed, and a strong arm. To me, it all looks mental. 

WhySoSerious's picture

Kwon, please be ready to start. No offense to Grant, but please be ready. This team is ridiculously talented any news on Chris Worley?

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

+2 HS
mobboss1984's picture

I wonder why people say Dontre had a disappointing freshmen season. I don't think he was used well. But that's just my opinion. He's bigger and better now so I can't wait to see what he does with an extra ten pounds of muscle on him.

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee
 

+2 HS
rdubs's picture

I think to some degree it is based on his own comments.  He expected more out of himself and has said so.  Also he didn't make much progression as the season wore on.  I don't think it was a disappointment from my perspective, but I can kind of see why others would think so.

+1 HS
zebiraross's picture

I never forgot about Marshall...Expecting big things from him.

Zeb

+4 HS
edr4225's picture

Dontre's numbers are solid compared to harvin's 1st year even with less usage.  Dontre will be an explosive weapon next year

 

Player                               Att    Yds    Avg   TD    Rec   Yds   Avg   TD    scrimmage Plays    Yds    Avg    TD
2006   Percy Harvin    41     428    10.4    3      34    427   12.6    2       75                             855    11.4       5

 

Player                               Att     Yds    Avg   TD   Rec   Yds   Avg   TD   scrimmage Plays  Yds  Avg    TD

2013 Dontre Wilson    31     250    8.1       1   22       210   9.5    2        53                          460   8.7      3

lets go bucks!!

+7 HS
Shangheyed's picture

I would be happy if he had that person's freshman numbers this year... see what he does with more opportunities...

 

 

 

 

-1 HS
sivaDavis's picture

Comparisons to Percy Harvin? Yep, it's defintely the offseason now.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

+4 HS
mobboss1984's picture

Percy harvin was pretty good. Although it should now be named h-back position or The dontre wilson role. Percy is gone

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee
 

Tkebuck1's picture

I'm so stoked about this year that I'm losing sleep waiting for it...we got a wake up call last year with the lousy defense, some bad play calling, and perhaps coaching complacency....but look out this for this bunch riding hard on an undefeated season. I don't care if my seats ARE top six. I'll be there for my team.

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I personally think it would help this team NOT to come in too highly ranked in the pre-season. A LITTLE disrespect by the media can go  a loooooooong way towards helping create an "angry" team.

 

 

+6 HS
Barnsey69's picture

I'm right there with ya on this one bro, but with Braxton back I'm pretty sure we'll be pre-season top 5.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

+1 HS
UrbanPirate's picture

CollegeFootballNews.com just released their [way too early] Preseason Rankings with OSU in at #8:

8. Ohio State

Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes are better. It's Ohio State, so there are always going to be NFL talent losses, but Urban Meyer has recruited at the highest of levels and the shelves are restocked. There's depth, speed, skill, and ... Urban. The team really was that good last season - it was a good half away from playing for the national title. 
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Sure, Ohio State always rebuilds without missing a beat, but the offense still has to replace four starters off a great line that paved the way for a great year from Carlos Hyde, who's also gone. The secondary was just okay, and now it has to come up with three new starters. Tackling machine Ryan Shazier is gone from the linebacking corps. 
The 2014 Team Is Trending … 2015. Meyer hasn't cared too much so far about timetables - 2012 proved that - but the team might be one more year away from not only playing for the national title, but winning it. The 2013 team would've lost to Florida State, but this year's team needs way too many big things to happen to be good enough to win it all. 

http://cfn.scout.com/2/1383633.html

Just... Go Bucks.

    

+3 HS
Chise47's picture

I'd say that is a VERY fair, level headed assessment.

Thanks for the info; I never have too much time to browse any other sites & get my fixxxxxx here. +1

+1 HS
UrbanPirate's picture

Thanks, I'm with ya that there's way to much junk out there to sift through it to find CFB sites with actual objective substance (along with some balanced [acknowledged] subjective reporting) but collegefootballnews.com has been my trusted go-to for close to seven years now (Jesus, when you say it like that...). 

But more importantly I'd like to thank you for finally getting me to the 100 HS level!! I've been a long time 11W reader, and a medium time 11W commenter, it's a wonderful honor and I'd like to thank all those who helped make such an honor possible for a small town kid from Michigan who saw the light and was able to escape to The Ohio State University and the greatest state on earth! Go Bucks baby.

Just... Go Bucks.

    

Borrowed Time's picture

I'd rather take my chances with a senior Braxton this year vs. whoever ends up being our starter next year

The Rill Dill's picture

So can losses to your little brother, and a southern team---to end a two season winning streak.

bigbill992001's picture

Dont forget ttun, could easily have ended the yr. with 3 straight losses.

WezBuck28's picture

If we can wrap up and tackle, and not allow big yardage, our defense will be top 25 by the end of the season..

-1 HS
BTBuckeye's picture

I don't think Wilson's frosh year was a disappointing at all.

+1 HS
Jeremypreemo81's picture

Call me crazy but I don't care if its Grant or Rae, Wilson or Warren Ball give me the best,  the fastest, and most angry 11 guys and I'll be happy.

+3 HS
theopulas's picture

you guys can't be this spoiled...Wilson had a good year for a freshmen....better then barry sanders or oj or carlos....

Theopulas

+3 HS
teddyballgame's picture

Nobody doesn't like Darron Lee.

+6 HS
mobboss1984's picture

Darren lee is the man

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee
 

iball's picture

" If anything, after a disappointing freshman season, Wilson is more determined than ever to make an impact."

 

How the hell was Wilson disappointing? Gimme a break...

“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

+1 HS
iball's picture

If Devin Smith is our best receiver, then we are in trouble.

“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

+2 HS
mobboss1984's picture

I have to agree.i hate to agree, but i have to. Devin is good, but not at a elite level.

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee
 

Toilrt Paper's picture

IMO there are a couple of players in this class that could by pass Wilson. He's smaller than was advertised.

mobboss1984's picture

I think Wilson is the second best player on the team. He is pretty small, but now with 10 pounds added to his frame he better show up, because he can be lethal. There are some good players in this class on his coat tail. I don't think they pass him up though.

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee
 

andretolstoy's picture

"Clear culture - clarity of purpose" no blaming, not afraid about making mistakes, going hard.

We'll there's your answer as to why we shouldn't be too hard on any of these coaches.

Ericgobucks's picture

Has anything been said about Tracy Sprinkle? This article and comment section hit all of my questions except Tracy.