For three Ohio State football players, a new layer has been added to their offseason training programs.
H-back Dontre Wilson, wide receiver James Clark and defensive tackle Robert Landers are going to be wearing scarlet and gray as multisport athletes, as the OSU track and field team announced on Tuesday that the trio would be joining the team for the 2016 season.
“We’re excited to have our football players join the track and field program,” said OSU director of track and field Karen Dennis in a press release.
All three of the athletes competed in track and field in high school, giving the team hope that they can immediately step up as contributors while balancing their spring football practices.
“We realize the indoor season is short, and these men have a major responsibility to football. However, they are all talented athletes that may help us in the throwing and sprint events,” Dennis said in the release. “They have some work to do to get their ‘track legs’ back, but work is something they are very familiar with.”
Wilson played in nine games in 2015 while dealing with a foot injury, managing seven catches for 63 yards. Considered one of the fastest players on the OSU football roster, Wilson ran track in his first three years at DeSoto High School in DeSoto, Texas. He is listed on the roster as a sprinter.
Also listed as a sprinter is Clark, who was one of the faster short-distance runners in Florida while in high school in New Smyrna Beach.
Clark placed in fifth place in the 100-meter dash and sixth in the 200-meter dash in the 2012 Florida Outdoor Championships, recording a personal-best 100-meter time of 10.43 seconds.
He did not record any receptions last season, but was a contributor on special teams.
While Wilson and Clark make their presences felt with their legs, the third Buckeye to join the track and field team, Landers, does his damage with his upper body.
The 290-pound freshman did not see the field during his first year playing football in Columbus, but he brings a stellar track record to his new team.
At Huber Heights High School, Landers was the Ohio Division I state champion in shot put in 2014 and finished fifth the following year. He also competed in hammer throw, discus and weight throw.
“I appreciate coach Meyer and his staff working Landers, Wilson and Clark into our training schedule in an effort to strengthen our men’s program,” Dennis said.
For the OSU track and field team, the season is already underway, as the Buckeyes already have three meets under their belts. They are set to continue their schedule in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday in the Power 5 Conference Clash.