Braxton Miller can’t make plays for the Ohio State Buckeyes this season, which means somebody else will be charged with the task of helping redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett with making the offense hum. Fortunately, Urban Meyer has two players capable of scoring whenever they have ball-in-hand in sophomore Dontre Wilson, and another redshirt freshman, Jalin Marshall
Both players have drawn comparisons to what Percy Harvin did for Meyer at Florida in the hybrid back position. The “H Receiver” is even even informally known as the “Percy position,” according to Eleven Warriors.
Wilson and Marshall have blazing-fast speed, and can put points on the board in the blink of an eye. Wilson was supposed to be a factor last season but fizzled because he was undersized at 5-10, 174. He spent the offseason in the weight room, and now looks ready to roll, having occupied OSU’s No. 1 slot receiver position throughout preseason camp–a position held last year by Corey Brown.
Marshall, meanwhile, was a five-star recruit coming out Middletown, where he played quarterback for the in-state Middies.
In the fall of 2013, he entered his freshman camp with tons of expectations, but a preseason concussion left him behind and he ended up redshirting. Marshall then dazzled at spring practice, only to tear his meniscus, which required surgery.
He owned a 4.4 40-yard dash time coming out of high school, but it’s unclear if Marshall could replicate that number at the present time.
Even if he’s not 4.4 fast, the Middletown Kid still has game-changing speed, and he knows it’s time to show up and show out, as he suggested in this interview with Cleveland.com from earlier this month.
“I am kind of a myth,”he said.
In previewing the offense, Buckeye State Bulletin’s Ryan Ginn predicted Wilson would lead the team in catches because the coaching staff may opt to throw shorter passes, so that Wilson could make plays with his legs. If this is the case, Wilson should have dominant numbers, if he’s everything the hype says he’s supposed to be.
BSB’s Marcus Hartman believes Marshall is the offensive player who could gain the most in Miller’s absence, and that the former high school quarterback could even take snaps wearing the Scarlet and Gray.
“…The coaching staff will redouble it’s efforts to find as many ball handlers as possible. He could even be a Wildcat option depending on his things shape up with Barrett’s running. Look for him to touch the ball a variety of ways,” Hartman wrote.
Meyer has said the Buckeyes need to find 100 yards of offense to make up for Braxton Miller’s injury. These players won’t be able to accomplish that fete, but their a darn good start for making up the difference.