BEREA - The spotlight is directly on Travis Wilson.
The third year receiver from Oklahoma definitely has the opportunity to showcase what he can do. With Joe Jurevicius on the PUP list and projected starter Donte Stallworth slowed by a hamstring injury, Wilson has the chance to win the third receiver spot.
“I’m just trying to get the rust off and get in the flow,” Wilson said. “I look at every day as an opportunity to show what I can do.”
Wilson’s career is directly at a crossroads. The 6-1, 210-pounder was the Browns third-round draft choice (78th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft. However, he has been unable to get on the field because of his inconsistent play.
Wilson has only two career receptions—both in his rookie season—for 32 yards. He played in four games as a rookie with one start but was inactive for all 16 games last season.
“I am trying to use my drive and motivation to earn respect,” he said. “Last year left a bad taste in my mouth.”
Wilson caught the attention of the coaching staff during the OTAs and minicamp and is hoping to keep it going.
“Travis had a good spring,” Romeo Crennel said. “He has had more opportunities and has carried that on to training camp. He seems well versed in the system and it’s time for him to step forward and show what he can do. He also is showing more confidence.”
Wilson said he had to step up this year and be the player he thought he could be when he declared himself the best receiver in the 2006 draft.
“I had to look myself in the mirror and become the player I need to be,” he said. “I’ve tried to do everything I can to take advantage of the opportunity to get on the field on Sundays.”
Right now, Wilson is battling with Kevin Kasper and several other young receivers for playing time.
“The coaches are starting to believe in me,” Wilson said. “I made some plays last year (in practice), but what they want from me is consistency.”
Wilson made a couple of nice catches, including a slant from Brady Quinn.
Baxter’s Comeback: DB Gary Baxter is practicing and doing more each practice.
“I’m getting in the rotation,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. I can’t wait for live action. I know what it takes to play at this level and I’m anxious to see where I’m at.”
Dinged Up: WR Donte Stallworth (hamstring) did not practice but caught passes on the sideline. RB Jason Wright (hamstring) also sat out Friday’s practice. OL Rex Hadnot (ankle) missed practice with an injury to his ankle suffered Thursday.
“He was rehabbing it and should be back soon,” Crennel said.
Seth McKinney took Hadnot’s place in right guard.
Go Buckeyes: Several Ohio State coaches were at practice including defensive coordinator Jim Hecock and Luke Fickle.