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.