Jim Tressel’s ability to woo the top-flight quarterback recruits apparently will have to take a year off. At least starting this off-season after landing the all world talent that is Terrelle Pryor. In the much recognized game of college football recruiting, Rivals.com currently ranks The Ohio State University second overall – with the LSU Tigers narrowly edging them out for the top spot.
Thus far, the Scarlet and Gray have managed to receive commitments from two five-star recruits (linebacker Dorian Bell and cornerback Corey Brown, both out of Monroeville, PA), as well as 15 four-star high school seniors. Of those 15, four are defensive backs, three are running backs, three are wide receivers and the rest fill a bevy of roles from offensive line to the ever-popular “athlete.” But the one position that is glaringly vacant is the one of quarterback.
Currently, the Buckeyes only have two quarterbacks on scholarship: Terrele Pryor and Joe Bauserman. Jim Tressel has said that he would prefer to add at least one more in this recruiting class, but after this week he may have to reassess his strategy.
In a matter of about 24 hours, the Buckeyes were given the “thanks, but no thanks” from five-star quarterback recruit Tajh Boyd (Clemson) and two-star recruit Austin Boucher (Miami of Ohio). And while the paths to selecting otherschools may have been convincingly different, both QBs essentially stated that they chose the other schools due to the fact that they would get to play now more than later down the road.
Boyd’s press conference was considerably high profile. The recruit admitted that he was undecided up to 10 minutes before announcing his choice, but “went with his gut.” He appeared to be the prom king that told several different girls that they could be his date to the big dance. The whole process started in March of 2008 when Boyd gave a verbal commitment to West Virginia. Seven months later, he backed out claiming that he didn’t like their offense.
Putting his name back on the market, Boyd committed to Tennessee in November, only to step back into the recruiting ring after Lane Kiffin was hired to take over for Phil Fulmer. The feelings were that it was down to either Ohio State or Oregon, until the quarterback shocked the world with his selection of Clemson.
“I feel I’ll have the chance to come in and compete early for an ACC championship and help the team out. I have a very good relationship with the coaches and I feel I can improve my game to the maximum potential. [...] I don’t really want to redshirt,” said Boyd, who plans to major in sports marketing. “If I have to, I will. I just want to come in and make an immediate impact.”
Say what you want about the level of competitionwithin the ACC, but if the kid wanted to play tomorrow, that was the move to make. Instead of Penn State, Wisconsin and Iowa, he can duke it out with Duke, Wake Forest and NC State.
When Boyd announced Clemson as his suitor, the Buckeyes quickly moved on to Boucher as a back-up plan. Boucher was aware that he was a player that tOSU was settling for, and already gave his verbal to the Redhawks along with his twin brother. And while Ohio State looks a bit better on a football resume, Boucher felt that it was “playing” that was the most important fact.
“You can always ask what if,” Boucher said. “But I already knew what I was going to get myself into there. I don’t think Ohio State had to sell me on their program at all. They’ve got Pryor and I know Tress is already looking at some 2010 quarterbacks. There’s always going to be competition, but I want to be the No. 1 guy. I was [Miami's] No. 1 recruit, where at OSU I’m not Terrelle Pryor.”
Only five days remain until National Signing Day. Using Rivals.com to check the unsigned QBs, it isn’t too pretty. The highest-rated quarterback is currently three-star talent Bryce Petty out of Texas (ranked 25thamong peers). If we moved to “dual quarterbacks” (those with a bit more speed), we have four-star Raymond Cotton out of Maryland, who appears dead set on a school in the south; three-star Dolapo McCarthy out of Indiana, who looks to be on his way to a MAC school; and three-star Darren Jones, who has a slew of Big Ten Schools on his radar, none of which are Ohio State.
But will Ohio State have to use their scholarships elsewhere, only rolling with two quarterbacks this season? This is an awful lot on the shoulders of Terrelle Pryor, but that is why the Buckeyes brought him to Columbus, right? To be the man. Doug Lesmerises believes that it will be considerably easier to land a top flight quarterback at this time next season, when Pryor’s clock contains one fewer season. Resting all of the eggs in TP’sbasket may look like a dangerous proposition to some – and for good reason – but truth of the matter is that this kid will have to step up, show his progression as a quarterback and get the job done if Ohio State is to have any success next season.
Did you ever think you would fear the day that ther was no more Todd Boeckman? Me neither.