Buckeyes’ original ‘Next Percy Harvin’ ready to live up to hype

Ohio State H-back Dontre Wilson could be forgiven if he felt like the world has passed him by since he arrived in Columbus.

When he signed out of DeSoto, Texas, in 2013, Wilson was widely considered the most likely Next Percy Harvin. An all-purpose back at Florida from 2006-08, Harvin starred on two of coach Urban Meyer’s Gator national title teams.

As talented as the roster Meyer inherited from Jim Tressel in 2012 was, a player with both speed to stretch the field horizontally and toughness to run between the tackles when necessary was something it lacked.

Wilson was rushed onto the field that fall and found some success, though teams soon caught up to what Ohio State was doing when he was on the field because it was fairly limited. A swing pass her or a jet sweep there and that was pretty much it.

A year later, Wilson became a starter and saw some overall success, but his season was cut short by a foot injury at Michigan State.

That opened the door for Middletown’s Jalin Marshall – the Ohio version of The Next Percy Harvin – to become a multipurpose weapon in his own right.

Wilson was limited by injuries most of last season as Marshall, Curtis Samuel and Huber Heights Wayne’s Braxton Miller worked in the slot to varying degrees of success.

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Now Wilson is back for his senior season, and he says he has no regrets.

“I’ve been through a lot,” Wilson said. “I’ve seen a lot, done a lot. I pretty much think everything happens for a reason. God’s put me in this position to be able to flourish here and go out there and showcase my talents and do whatever it takes for the team to get those wins.”

A handful more Next Percy Harvins have signed with Ohio State since Wilson trekked north more than three years ago, but he’s back at the front of the line.

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Healthy now, Wilson is in line to help the Buckeyes in the backfield and at receiver – just like Meyer and fans of the Scarlet and Gray envisioned all along.

“From my freshman to my sophomore year, it was every week going up and up,” Wilson said. “The injury, that’s something you can’t control. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better. This summer was pretty much different from all my other summers. I worked a lot harder, practiced on a lot more things, pretty much just perfected my craft, getting my game right for the season.

“I feel this year y’all probably will finally get to see me for who I really am.”