When Dontre Wilson flipped his commitment from Oregon to Ohio State in February of 2013, the comparisons to Percy Harvin were instantaneous.
That’s the life of an all-purpose back who decides to play for Urban Meyer. Regardless of talent or ability, there will always be an enormous and inescapable Harvin-shaped shadow overhead.
For Wilson, that shadow looms large as the 2014 season approaches.
With the loss of its leading rusher (Carlos Hyde) and leading receiver (Corey Brown), Ohio State needs a playmaker to step up. Now that spring practice is in the books, Meyer has narrowed in on Wilson, who was named the starting H-back (known as the “Percy Harvin position”) for the Buckeyes this year.
What will Wilson’s new role look like? How will it differ from last year?
Before those questions can be answered, here’s a brief overview of both players.
If You Can’t Do Something Fast, You Can’t Do Anything at All
One of Harvin’s greatest strengths was one of the easiest to identify when he took the field: speed.
Harvin operated at a different speed during his time at Florida. The game looked effortless because he was simply faster than everyone, and he paired that with an incredible agility, skill and general awareness that made him a nightmare to defend.
Wilson has the speed and ability to thrive, but a lack of familiarity with Meyer’s playbook prevented him from producing like Harvin did during his freshman season.