17 Year Old Kids Run Our Lives.

Codeezy's picture
January 5, 2013 at 11:18p

Ok not literally. But the way these high school seniors create amazing ripples into the landscape of college football is undeniable. In my ever-persistent procrastinating, I decided about a week ago to write a blog post explaining how. Naturally, here it is.

College football to me, like it is to many of us, is a way of life. I was raised into it, even baptized into it. A framed picture of me as an infant being held by Archie Griffin has my back. Yeah, half of my blood is gray. I have been to the shoe, which is 3 hours away, for games at least 30 times, and half the trips were before I was even a teenager. I have an awesome family that shares my passion and that I owe it to. I was in middle school, waiting on every Wednesday for that Buckeye Sports Bulletin in the mail. First section I always flipped to? Recruiting. I couldn't get enough of it. I dreamt of being in that section one day. To be recruited and read about by freaks like me. And though I am physically blessed with great hair, precision eyesight, and Steve Perry's vocal chords, I am no D1 athlete. So I missed the boat on this one. What never left me was my passion to follow recruiting. I knew where everyone went to high school, I knew the ins and outs of guys before they were on campus, I felt a step ahead. I drove around the state, watching the likes of beanie wells, most glenville guys, micah hyde, Chris Borland, anyone I could go see play live, I was there. Weird right? I played a lot of NCAA football on my PlayStation, and would always sim seasons just to recruit. What is wrong with me? I don't know, I really don't. But I regress from reaffirming my buckeye fanhood and overall craziness atop the soapbox of a blog post.

Heres a story for you guys, and a little something to think about. We missed out on James Quick today, big deal? Yeah kind of. Will Ohio State survive? Surely. But when you miss out on a #1, a lot can change even if you have a #1B or #2 option. Here is what I'm getting at. In 2008, Ohio state had just finished a season where a big time freshman quarterback looked like he was bound to win a Heisman, and lead his team for 2, maybe 3 more years. But these buckeyes didn't have a back up. Todd Boeckman was graduating, and we needed a Terrell Pryor understudy. Tressel found his guy, in the #4 rated QB in the country, a 4 star guy from Virginia, one Tajh Boyd. The feeling of love, was mutual. Tajh Boyd loved Tressel, loved the campus and the program, and didn't want to go as far away as his second option, Oregon. In the middle of December 2008, he was a lock to be a buckeye. He was the perfect fit to learn under TP, take over the team as a RS junior, and look good doing it. But as he thought about it, and a team closer and with more of a need at QB, Clemson, moved in, he smartly decided to become a tiger, committing after an official in the middle of January 2009. He was looking at spending at least 2 years behind a clipboard at a conservative school and then stepping into the shoes of a QB destined for greatness. Ohio state turns around, needing a QB, and picks up a skinny kid from Texas with a last name no one knew how to say at first, a Kenneth Guiton. Tajh Boyd is now a first team all-ACC QB and pretty dang good one that will be drafted in April. But what if Boyd committed to the Buckeyes, as he admittedly almost did in that December? Think about this. He spends 2009 redshirting, as Ohio state rolls to a rose bowl victory, and in 2010 he sees the field a bit, and flashes greatness on a team that wins the sugar bowl. Then, amongst the turmoil of that next spring/summer, which saw JT and TP exit the program, Boyd steps up and becomes the QB he is now with 3 years of eligibility left and some experience. In steps Luke Fickell, and instead of throwing a true freshman Braxton Miller into the fire, Tajh Boyd steps up, composed and experienced, and makes that offensive coaching staff look serviceable. a 6-7 team is a 9-4 team. Luke Fickell is the answer at HC, no need to go find a new guy. Now, 2012, we have a RS junior Boyd, and a RS freshman Braxton Miller, with Luke Fickell as our head coach. this is in no way a scenario i would welcome, because i am completely caught up in a man-crush on urban Meyer, but is this not a strong possibility? had Boyd chosen the buckeyes, we could have not had the Urban Meyer-led undefeated season, our buckeye hopes maybe wouldn't be so sky-high. Amazing how one decision could hypothetically change so much. I, for one, would not change a thing. I love the ups and downs of this crazy college football life. I am in no way saying this is exactly what would have happened or that you absolutely have to agree with me, i am also not saying that missing on James quick and taking Timmons/Elder/Wilson/Gibson in his place is dooming or helping our program, just something to think about. and remember, these kids are making the biggest decision of their professional football lives, the only decision they really have. just pray that it works out with them if their intentions are good, and know that Ohio state football will rise every day with the sun, with or without them.

Comments Show All Comments

Codeezy's picture

Thanks for reading!

BostonBuck's picture

Yeh. My daughter. 17 and the boss

kareemabduljacobb's picture

Too much much reading for me, but looks well thought out... However, there are no 17 year old kids running my life. haha

Codeezy's picture

Yeah, I feel as if I could do 6 small blog posts a day, but when I do one, I want it to be meaningful and the reader needs to invest a little bit of time lol.

kareemabduljacobb's picture

Haha nah, it was well written.  Took the time and read it!

Codeezy's picture

Yes! I knew Id get you eventually!

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I haven't had a 17yo run my life since highschool. I don't plan on having another do it until I have kids.

I didn't follow Ohio State recruiting all that much until late 2011(when Urban got here). I knew about Pryor, and Braxton's recruitment(everyone that loved Ohio State was talking about them), but that's about it. I honestly had no idea that Ohio State was after/close to getting Tajh Boyd. Maybe Ohio State doesn't get Braxton if Boyd were to become a Buckeye. That would suck.

Like Johnny said in one of the Dubcast, I think Ohio State goes after Urban Meyer no matter what the record was. The only difference I see is that Fickel might have gotten the Pitt job.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Codeezy's picture

Yeah I love the way it worked out, honestly.

chicagobuckeye's picture

I was just about to write a eerily similar thing. I think we get Urban no matter what. If he's available you see what he has to say. Oh and Nice Read.

Codeezy's picture

Thanks for reading!

captain obvious's picture

great post
but dont you have any" what if" stories about the punter who got away?
Ill be here all week

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

cajunbuckeye's picture

Don't tell the 17 yearold kids, but my wife thinks that she runs it.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Codeezy's picture

Haha my thoughts exactly!

tennbuckeye19's picture

Nice post. I enjoyed reading it. Following recruiting can certainly feel like 17 year old kids run your life, and that's one of the reasons I've taken a step back and not allowed it to consume me like I have in the past. Sure I still follow it and try to keep up with it, but I don't live and die with everything a kid says or does anymore. Also, while I do think having Boyd as the starting Qb  last year more than likely would've yielded better results than playing Braxton as a true freshman, I'm not sure it would've been 9-4 versus 6-7 better. Boyd would still be playing without his best receiver (Posey), best running back (Herron), & best lineman (Adams), for much of the season. His experience and leadership though would've been invaluable, plus we wouldn't have had to see Bauserman at all, so there's that too:)

Codeezy's picture

Great points tennbuckeye. I admittedly blocked Joe Bauserman out of my memory haha.

NJ_BUCKEYE's picture

Boyd probably would have sold his rings and trophys for a Tattoo of some Nascar driver and never played a snap at OSU after doing all that redshirting.
-Good Post though, very intriguing.

Codeezy's picture

As long as it was Jeff Gordon, who could be mad?

One Bad Buckeye's picture

I think you should reconsider the title of this post....pretty interesting analysis but when I saw the title in the blog posts I only clicked on it this morning because I'd read everything else and assumed this would be another whiney thread.  
Now regarding your analysis.....Although this is very intriguing, I think Fickel and co would pretty much had to have won a championship in order for the OSU brass to even consider passing on Meyer.  

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

Codeezy's picture

Yeah I initally had the title, "High Schoolers vs. College Football Landscapes", but decided to do something a little more to draw people in to the article. I like to ruffle feathers a bit.
And I agree the university would never pass on Urban Meyer or pick Fickell over him, but I think if we beat Michigan and contended more, Im not 100% sure anyone feels the need to replace him, and Im not sure if it was Urban that reached out to the university or if we called and begged. Just something to think about.
Im happy for the way it all worked out, and Im thankful that the sport we love so much to watch, can entertain us and engage us in discussions and scenarios all year round.

BuckeyeChris's picture

Is there an Executive Summary? 
Excellent write-up, Codeezy. I had wondered about the "what-if" scenarios involving Boyd, too. 
In the end, I think this all worked out just fine. Hard to argue, in my opinion, that the program isn't better off now than prior to (no pun intended) Tatt Gate. 

Codeezy's picture

Thanks, I agree I agree, program is better of now than before the tattgate, even though we were winning BCS bowls and recruiting well, I think JT had lost some control of that program. Urban is going to really let the nation know how we do it out here, and I am literally giddy for this class coming in and recruiting all these ballers in 2014 and beyond.

BuckeyeinSavannah's picture

I have to say, I enjoy reading a well written article.  With the garbage writers yahoo and other sports sites seem to employ, it is refreshing to read an article from someone who actually knows what they are doing. 
Thank You.

Codeezy's picture

Thanks for reading. Its the least I can do is not write some spin-off or slideshow garbage for the best sports blog site on the web. 11W for life!

buckeyedude's picture

Excuse my language, but that was a great fucking blog, Codeezy! I'm glad I took the time to read it. You make a great point about Boyd.
I remember Boyd falling in and out of love with Ohio State, so it's been interesting watching his success at Clemson. 
You're right, losing out on star players can have an effect. But what's more important is coaching. Coaching makes the difference, and rarely does a team lose a great coach like Tressel, and replace him with an even better coach(IMO). Great players will follow great coaches.
I remember back in the 1990's when Florida State and Miami were two of the most dominant teams in college football. USC and Alabama struggled for better than a decade just to be competitive. Their teams replaced their coaches every 2 or 3 years, it seemed, in hindsight.
It's the coaches that make the difference. Especially the HC. And stability in coaching. 



Codeezy's picture

Dude, BuckeyeDude, thanks for reading! I completely agree. Its crazy looking back at the ESPN150 and Rivals from years past, and seeing how some of the best fared. My favorite year is the year Andrew Luck was a 2 star and Coby Fleener was a 1 star, just to add on to what you were saying about coaching. Not saying some kids dont just flat out not pan out. When our top recruits in 2009 were Jamaal Berry and Dorian Bell. But coaching does have everything to do with how they pan out mostly. I mean some guys are so natural you just cant keep them off the field, but coaching is such a huge deal in the development of these kids.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Nice write up. I don't think the title really fits with what you are saying but, I enjoyed your what if scenario anyway. Peace.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

Codeezy's picture

Thanks, I tinkered with different ideas for the title but really wanted people to be instantly interested when they saw it. :)

Silverbuck8's picture

I really got into recruiting while we were pursuing Pryor.  I sometimes get caught up in the moment as well, but also know OSU is a place that will find option 2,3,4 are very good concession prizes.   My biggest love for recruiting is now watching all college football games throughout the week, watching a player who was on the bucks radar.  While checking box scores I will always look for specific players, J. Quick made a choice that was best for him, however I will look forward to seeing his talents in the college game.

Codeezy's picture

Totally. The Pryor recruitment was right around the time that recruitng information was becoming easier to acces, with these kids on social networking and the advancement of smartphones and such. Im with you, I totally trust our staff and even if we get option 4 or 5, we are going to get the absolute best out of those kids at The Ohio State University.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Even with Tahj Boyd as the Buckeye QB, Bollman still would have been calling Dave all day long, so my take is that Boyd's play and possible additional wins would not have kept Fickell as the HC over Meyer. They still would have struggled offensively. 
Thanks for the read though - the what ifs and roads not taken in life are always intruiging. Think of all the cosmic tumblers that had to click into place for tOSU to get Meyer right after Tress had to leave. Who'd a thunk..............

Codeezy's picture

I know. I remember in 2010, while we still had Tressel, there were whispers that Urban was in waiting. Crazy how it worked out. 


Not sure Fickell ever had a realistic chance at HC with the AD and Board knowing Meyer was waiting. Would you have kept Fickell, even after your hypothetical 9-4 season, over Urban Meyer and his two national titles? I'm thinking Boyd would've been an extra reason to switch to Meyer to maximize his talents. As said before, there's no guarantee Boyd takes off under JT's offense, either. Anyway, it's fun to ponder. Stuff like wondering where the Atlanta Falcons would've gone if they had kept Brett Favre. June Jones might be what Bill Bellichick is now.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

gwalther's picture

They don't run mine.

Class of 2008

buckeyedude's picture

That's because you likely don't have a 17 year old son or daughter.



Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

Good post.   And to echo several others above, the title of it almost kept me from reading.   Glad I took the time.  
I would counter however that if Boyd chose OSU, maybe Urban convinces Braxton to go to Florida, since he was hot for him all along.   And maybe Braxton sees Boyd blocking his path here and goes to UF.  And then what?   Does Urban decide to gut it out another year or two as an HC there knowing he has his perfect QB?   Do we not end up with Urban?   The scenarios are endless.   Good stuff.  

Toilrt Paper's picture

I could have been even worse. When Braxton signed Pryor was still at Ohio State. If Boyd would have come to Ohio State, Braxton might not have wanted to come to Ohio State and wait his turn.

hail2victors9's picture

Way to go, Tajh!  You screwed up everything!
I didn't know that Tajh was almost a Buckeye.  Makes you think.  I've read on some Michigan forums that Sammy Watkins was almost a Wolverine (long before I started paying attention to recruiting).  It might be completely false, but it's interesting to think of the "What ifs" on players going where they once were committed or considered locks.
i.e. Johnny Football.  Originally committed to Oregon.  Would he be buried on the depth chart behind Mariota?  Would he have won the Heisman splitting highlights with 2-3 other playmakers?  Would his numbers have been better?

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler