Ohio State Football: What Kevin Wilson Can Do With 4 Star Players


New Ohio State Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson can do a lot with a little. However, when he has elite talent to work with, look out!

Indiana has had one of the most productive offenses in the Big Ten the last few years with Kevin Wilson as the head coach. What kind of offense might Ohio State have when the new offensive coordinator has a team loaded with 4 star athletes to work with. Let’s take a look at the last time he was in that situation.

When Wilson was at Oklahoma there was an abundance of 4 star athletes on campus. During his time as Co-OC/ OL coach (2002-05) and as OC/TE coach (2006-10), there were 84 such athletes and another 13 who were rated as 5-Star players in Oklahoma’s recruiting classes. That compared to the five players rated as 4-Stars in his classes while coaching Indiana.

Oklahoma nearly always had prolific offenses during his tenure. After he took over as primary OC when Chuck Long left to be the head coach at San Diego St., two of those seasons were really special.

In 2007, Oklahoma finished second in the nation in scoring offense, slightly behind Florida State. The next year, the Sooners averaged 50.7 ppg and set the NCAA record scoring 716 points.

Wilson tailored his Oklahoma offenses around his four star talent as well. From 2004-06 the Sooners relied more than usual on a featured back. That was a good move as Adrian Peterson was the guy carrying the football most of the time.

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In 2007 he opened up the offense a little more with redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford developed into a Heisman Trophy winner the following year and was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NFL draft.

Landry Jones took over when Bradford was injured early in 2009 and had the first of his four 3,000+ passing yard seasons. The following season, Jones passed for over 4,700 yards and became Wilson’s second quarterback to do so in three years.

Then Wilson moved on to Indiana and ran his version of the spread offense. By 2015 it had developed it to the point that Indiana was second in the league in scoring, .1 ppg behind Ohio State. To think, Wilson’s offense was loaded with 2 and 3 Star recruits while the Buckeyes had six offensive players drafted from that team last spring, and another made an NFL roster as a free agent.

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Now Kevin Wilson will return to being an OC/TE coach and will again have plenty of 4 Star recruits to work with. This time he will be running a spread offense he is very comfortable with as well. That combination could make for an exciting 2017 season for Buckeye fans.