H-back Dontre Wilson broke his foot in the Michigan State game on Nov. 8. The sophomore caught a touchdown after the injury, but has not seen the field for the Buckeyes since they defeated the Spartans. Head coach Urban Meyer said he was 50-50 for the Sugar Bowl against Alabama.
“Hopefully things will go right this game and definitely next game I’d definitely be able to play,” Wilson said. “But for this game I’ll probably be limited.”
Ohio State is hoping to get a handful of plays out of the Texan, a player that remains fifth on the team in receptions despite missing four games. In the nine games he was able to play, Wilson amassed 21 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns with 18 rushes for 100 yards. He has a combined 664 yards in punt and kick returns this season.
While he has been missed, the Buckeyes have won every game since Wilson was injured and Wilson’s roommate, Jalin Marshall, has filled in admirably.
“That’s my boy,” Wilson said of Marshall. “Since I’ve been out everybody always asked me, ‘How you feel about Jalin getting all the shine?’ I’m glad he’s doing that. That’s what we all came here for. When I was playing everybody was getting an equal opportunity, but now he’s getting more of the shine. I don’t hate or nothing on him, I’m happy for him.”
Prior to Wilson’s injury, Marshall had 14 receptions for 157 yards and two scores with 17 rushes for 107 yards and a touchdown. In the four games since he has taken over full-time for Wilson, Marshall has doubled his reception total with 14 more for 235 yards and four touchdowns.
The redshirt freshman has averaged 3.5 catches for 58.75 yards and a touchdown per game in the last four games, 41.35 more yards per game than he averaged in the first nine games.
The additional opportunities, however, have come at the expense of one of Marshall’s closest friends.
“He’s definitely been very upbeat, very supportive,” Marshall said. “He is a part of the team and he was a big role on the team. He has to be that way, be somewhat of a leader so other guys follow what he was doing. He’s helped me a lot.
“Dontre being one of my best friends on the team, I know he wants to play bad. He just wants to play for his team because he wants to win that bad. It’s not the he wants to play for himself or do great for himself, he wants to help the team win. He wants to play real, real bad.”
Wilson admitted that the injury has caused a deal of frustration, as the inability to help his team on the field has eaten away at him. The H-back has, however, taken full advantage of his forced hiatus. He has spent time with his newborn son, got a 3.0 for the semester and has his weight up from the low 180s to 195 pounds, he said.
“It’s been very frustrating, but it gave me a lot of time to myself,” Wilson said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with my family. It’s been frustrating but I couldn’t be more proud of this team and the way they’re going out and handling their business every week. I love this team.”