- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
With his star player preparing for his senior season, DeSoto High School head coach Claude Mathis took the time to share his thoughts on Oregon commit Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto).
Wilson has never been the full-time back in the DeSoto offense but that was never due to his talent; it was more about the talent around him. Wilson will share the backfield again this year, but it's his time to shine.
Mathis says Wilson is as talented as any player he has had in the program.
"Dontre is a coach's dream. He is a hard worker, a team player and he does everything we ask on and off the field," Mathis said. "We expect a lot from him and he always delivers. He's as good as anyone I've ever had."
Mathis credits Wilson for his attitude and willingness to help the team win at any cost.
"We move him around everywhere. He runs it well. He is a great receiver out of the backfield and he returns kicks. He's everywhere."
In the eyes of his coach, that is what makes Oregon the ideal fit for the versatile star.
"Oregon does so many things with their athletes. You see how they move those guys around and put them in position to succeed," Mathis said. "LaMichael James came from Texas and blew up out there. De'Anthony Thomas is an unbelievable athlete that Dontre wants to emulate. They use their players better than any program out there."
That is one of the reasons Mathis is a fan of the Oregon program.
"Oregon has built a powerhouse program and they do a great job of developing their players," Mathis said. "They have also done a terrific job of building relationships down here. Coach [Gary] Campbell [Oregon's running backs coach] is a Texas guy, born and bred, so he knows how things work down here."
In addition to those thoughts, Mathis continued to discuss Oregon and their coaching staff.
"Chip Kelly is as good as it gets. He is an innovator and you can't argue with what he has done in a short time there," Mathis said. "Coach Campbell has developed so many stars at running back. With the system they run now he can really let his guys loose."
Most importantly Mathis realizes the challenges that Wilson and others might face upon relocating to the Northwest.
"Coach Campbell did a great job with LaMichael James. He was homesick and he convinced him to stay. He made sure that Dontre, myself and Dontre's family knew he was more than a coach," Mathis said. "He will be there for Dontre no matter what. Other than the football fit, that is what Dontre loves most about Oregon."