COLUMBUS, Ohio — Notes, quotes and observations from Wednesday’s rare open practice at Ohio State’s training camp.
Even while stoking the hype machine one day earlier by talking about his chances to play right away, coach Urban Meyer called Dontre Wilson “not really a receiver.”
The true freshman did a pretty good impression with the assembled media watching on Wednesday, putting on a show as a target in the passing game and making it quite clear why the Buckeyes are clearing room for him in the playbook.
Wilson’s speed on the track was well documented when he signed with the program in February, and he is certainly a blur in shoulder pads and a helmet. But it was his willingness to make quick, decisive cuts up field and then pull away from defenders that was perhaps the most impressive part of the practice performance, though his reliable hands certainly stood out, too. Whether beating defenders deep on double-move routes or simply jetting through the secondary after a relatively simple out pattern, Wilson was an absolute handful throughout the morning and finished it by lining up in the slot with the first-team offense in a scrimmage setting.
“Dontre, he’s a special player,” senior safety Christian Bryant said. “Right now I feel like he has a lot of attributes he can bring to the team, one of those things being one of those elusive guys out there.”
The progress made as a leader has generated the most attention early in camp, but the technical strides as a passer and the pinpoint accuracy Braxton Miller showed in another solid workout are much easier to gauge.
The junior quarterback was sharp from start to finish, fitting throws into tight windows, getting the ball out quickly thanks to improved recognition of the defense and delivering it to receivers with plenty of velocity to spare as the aerial attack continues to show signs of becoming as dangerous as Meyer would like it to be.
Miller’s ability to communicate with the rest of the offense and his willingness to correct teammates’ mistakes shouldn’t be overlooked, either. But adding to his repertoire in the throwing game could really send his statistics to another level and produce one of the most explosive offenses in Ohio State history.
“Just his whole demeanor, his relationship with the receivers, I don’t want to say nonexistent, but I just didn’t see that,” Meyer said. “He really didn’t know what he was doing, and it’s hard to lead — part of being the leader is setting the standard and leading by example. He wasn’t leading by example, because he really didn’t know what he was doing.
“I just see a much better presence about him.”
Continue reading this article at ESPN: Four downs from open practice