By Ari Wasserman
The majority of Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class has been committed for quite some time, but Urban Meyer stayed true to his reputation as a closer when he flipped running back Dontre Wilson from his Oregon commitment and officially turned him into a Buckeye the evening of Feb. 4.
Announcing live on Dallas affiliate KDFW – which included more than 3,500 fans watching the live stream on the Internet – the four-star running back fiddled with Texas and Oregon hats before picking up the Ohio State hat and putting it on his head.
Wilson becomes commitment No. 24 for the Buckeyes, who still remain in the game for a few top prospects as National Signing Day continues to draw closer. Ohio State picked up quite the momentum boost heading into signing day on Feb. 6 by picking up Wilson following months of battling with the Ducks, and most recently Texas.
“It was a long hard decision,” said Wilson as he picked through the three hats in front of him. “I thought about it a lot, but I’m going to (Ohio State).”
Scout.com ranks Ohio State’s class as No. 2 in the country behind on Michigan, but the Wolverines have three more commitments than the Buckeyes. Depending on how Ohio State finishes its class, Meyer’s program could be in the running for the 2013 recruiting title.
Ranked by Scout as the No. 10 running back in the 2013 class, Wilson pledged to Oregon when Chip Kelly was still running the program. However, when Kelly left the Ducks to take the head-coaching job with the Philadelphia Eagles, the 5-10, 180-pound speedster opened his recruitment back up.
Wilson said he was hurt by Kelly’s decision to leave Oregon, specifically because the former Ducks head coach was in Wilson’s living room the day before his intentions to leave for the NFL became public.
Meyer, as he’s done so well in his time at Ohio State, took the opportunity to re-insert the Buckeyes into the conversation. After weeks of intense recruiting – including an official visit in January – Meyer added Wilson to OSU’s class.
“I just feel that coach Meyer has something going there right now,” Wilson said. “They could have been national championship last year if they could have went to a bowl game. I think I can do down there and be a good asset to their team.”
Landing Wilson is a big get for Ohio State, as Meyer as specifically mentioned the team’s dire need for playmakers. Wilson was figured to be the perfect fit in Oregon’s dynamic up-tempo offense, but Meyer told the running back that he could accomplish similar feats in the Buckeyes offense.
“They said I will get a lot of (playing time),” Wilson said. “I’ll also be a great special teams player for the team next year.” ?