Monday, February 4, 2013
Texas misses out on ESPN 150 tailback
By William Wilkerson
It wasn’t the best weekend for the Longhorns for a variety of reasons, the results of which could be felt for a while around Austin.
ESPN 150 athlete Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) had an opportunity to make some of the bleakness subside with his expected announcement sometime after his official visit to Texas over the weekend.
Four-star running back Dontre Wilson will play for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.
What started as a long shot for the Longhorns rapidly became a wish that could have been realized, as Wilson and Texas scheduled the official visit earlier in the week.
He had been steadfast in his commitment to the Ducks until Chip Kelly left to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. When Kelly bounced, Wilson started to seriously look into a few other programs.
Ohio State and Oklahoma State were the two that were most commonly mentioned -- so much so that he took an official visit to Ohio State on Jan. 25 and was scheduled to be in Stillwater, Okla., last weekend.
But the Longhorns made a late push to get him on campus for his last visit, and it worked. Texas, the other finalist when Wilson chose the Ducks originally, suddenly found itself in prime position to make the last lasting impression on the No. 5 athlete in the country.
The selling points seemed obvious. It’s a three-hour car ride south from DeSoto. He could play with former teammate Curtis Riser, a freshman offensive lineman, and with co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite now calling the shots on offense he’d undoubtedly be a focal point on the 40 Acres.
No one was really sure how this would play out, especially because Applewhite, one of the main reasons for Wilson’s interest in Texas, has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons.
Texas pulled out all the stops for Wilson, including introductions with legends Vince Young and Earl Campbell.
In the end, he chose to switch to a Buckeyes program that went undefeated in Urban Meyer’s first season at the helm.
Who knows how Wilson would have fit in at Texas? The Longhorns are loaded with every-down running backs but could have used him as a change-of-pace back.
The various ways in which they could have paired him and Daje Johnson are scary.
Remember, Texas had two Johnson types in 2012, with Johnson and D.J. Monroe. But Monroe was limited in what he could do because he wasn’t known for his pass-catching abilities. That’s a part of Wilson’s game that he prides himself in.
How Texas planned on using him and Johnson, who can both do the same things, would have been one of the more interesting developments this fall.