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September 8, 2013

Wilson a weapon to reckon with

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For the last week, Dontre Wilson has thought incessantly about ankle tackles and shoe strings.

That might sound kind of odd, but it's what kept the Ohio State freshman running back from turning his first touch as a Buckeye into his first touchdown against Buffalo last weekend.

"I think about that all the time," Wilson said.

"Man, that hurt. I wish I had it back. Just got to move on and keep making plays."

So Wilson, who has created a stir surrounding his uncanny speed, make it a point to make amends against San Diego State Saturday.

"I got to score," he said. "I'm way faster than a lot of people so I got to prove that."

Five attempts, 51 yards and one touchdown later, Wilson's doing a lot to validate that notion.

The particular play of interest -- a read-option to the left that finished with him outrunning a wall of Aztec defenders to paydirt -- went according to plan.

"For this team (San Diego State) they always blitz," Wilson said. "They blitz one of their outside linebackers so it was basically a pitch automatically ... when I got the ball I just turned it up and got would I could get."

Instead of ankle tackles and shoelaces, something else was on his mind.

"I seen the end zone," Wilson said. "I had to get there."

Which for Wilson -- who reportedly runs a sub-4.3 40-yard dash time -- isn't that arduous of an endeavour.

For someone that fast, the progression of touch ball, run ball and score ball might be a bit of an expectation.

It's why Wilson is hoping he sees more touches.

"We have a lot of weapons and it's hard to get everybody the ball but, as it goes, I get more carries, (freshman running back Ezekiel Elliott) will get more and we will just see how it goes from there," he said.

"I mean, it's up to the coaches. It's up to the coaches. I would like to touch the ball as many times as I can because once I touch the ball a lot I keep going and get little spurts and can make a couple plays. But it's really up to the coaches."

But for an Ohio State squad with hopes of a hunting for a national championship, Wilson may give the Buckeyes a certain dynamic that it hasn't had for some time.

Perhaps even more so, Wilson serves as a weapon that coach Urban Meyer knows how to properly use. And that could be equally important as the freshman's talent alone.

In fact, Wilson said he hasn't hit top speed yet.

"I haven't had a chance to," he said.

That's probably a scary thought -- both for the coaching staff trying to incorporate him into their game plan and for those trying to figure out way to stop him.

It naturally raises the question: is Wilson the fastest Buckeye of them all?

The freshman -- despite a very confident belief in his own wheels -- wouldn't say.

"I don't know," he said. "I don't know. We got a lot of fast players. I would say I'm one of them."

That's seem certainly true.

But if Wilson can keep getting the ball in his hands, he might be able to call himself one of the most important ones, too.



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