Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DONTRE WILSON, BRAXTON MILLER, AUSSIE PUNTER GETTING ATTENTION

COLUMBUS — It is no secret that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has been searching diligently for play-makers since arriving in Columbus a year ago.

Sure, he possesses the most electrifying player in all of college football in quarterback Braxton Miller, but as Meyer has stated numerous times, a school like Ohio State should have more than one "wow factor" player in its arsenal.

After just a few days of fall camp in the books, there is a new face who seems to be that type of talent — Texas-native, Dontre Wilson.

Wilson — a 5-foot-10, 174-pound running back/athlete — has already caught the eye of his new head coach, dazzling in practice with his "electric" speed, elusiveness and exceptional work ethic.

Wilson, who had committed to Oregon while Chip Kelly was the head coach, opened back up his recruiting when the Ducks' mentor left the program to take the same position with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. 

Wilson decided to make Columbus his new home, and it appears he will see the field right away.

"I would say he is going to play," Meyer said of Wilson. "He just goes really hard ... Has electric speed."

Where he will play is still to be determined, but the smart money would be at the slot, where he could be that Percy Harvin/Ted Ginn type athlete for the Buckeyes' spread attack.

He brings a whole new element to the Buckeyes ... and the Big Ten.

"He's got something that we didn't have, and that's just electric speed," Meyer said. "He's got jets."

MILLER HAS A NEW UNDERSTANDING ... Meyer said on Tuesday that his Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback has come a long way since last season.

“He’s come a long way,” Meyer said of Miller. “I know it’s just three days, but he had really good day today ...”

"His whole demeanor. His relationship with the receivers, which I don’t want to say non-existent (last year), but you just didn’t see that. He didn’t really know what he was doing, and it’s hard to lead."

Meyer stated that it's all about leadership with the quarterback, and Miller has grown into that role in the past few months.

“Part of being a leader is setting a standard, lead by example, and he wasn’t leading by example (last year) because he didn’t know what he was doing," Meyer said. 

"I just see a much better presence with him.”

AUSSIE IS NEW STARTING PUNTER ... Cameron Johnston — a freshman from Geelong, Australia — has been named the Buckeyes' starting punter for the 2013 season, Meyer announced Tuesday.

Following the Aussie stereotype (a pedal to the metal, no-holds barred style), Johnston has garnered some great attention and expectations from the Buckeyes head coach thus far during fall camp.

"He's doing good," Meyer said. "He's got a live leg and he's a tremendous kid, a 21-year-old. He's not that 17-year-old wide-eyed guy. He's a live guy. He's a fast athlete so we might be able to do some things with him in the pocket. 

"He is our No.1 guy."

The Buckeyes, who are ranked No. 2 in the preseason Top 25 coaches poll, will unleash Wilson and Co. on Aug. 31 in the 2013 season opener at home against Buffalo.