Can a Buckeye Get an Option Pitch?

By Jason Priestas on April 1, 2008 at 2:00 pm
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Terrelle Pryor may not be arriving on campus until June, but that doesn't mean it's too early to discuss how he’ll be used this fall.

It's generally assumed that LiC will be used in the same manner as Tebow was used his freshman season at Florida. Like Tebow, Pryor will drive the crowd bonkers when he enters the game and the dynamics of what he can do on the field basically doubles the size of your playbook. Similarly, Boeckman is a returning starter entering his final season and no matter how good the incoming talent, he won't lose his starting position.

It will be interesting to see how Tressel utilizes his prize catch. As one that’s made a living out of adjusting his schemes to his personnel instead of the other way around, you can bet he’ll have some tricks up his sleeve.

Could one of those tricks be the option?

You have to admit, Baby Vince and the best running back in the nation in the same backfield should be enough to trouble even the savviest of defensive coordinators.

The wishbone is the traditional set used to execute the option, but given the uncertainty at fullback heading into this season, the veer may make more sense. In the veer, the fullback becomes a tight end with only two backs lining up behind the quarterback.

Naturally, Beanie and Pryor would be options one and two on most plays out of the formation, but that other would become Mo Wells, Saine or Herron. Wells has the misfortune of playing in the same backfield as He Who Eats Arm Tackle Cereal, but quietly performed pretty well down the stretch last season. Saine is Saine – electric and plenty of speed, while Boom has had people talking this spring. Bottom line: There are three capable runners to fill that 2nd spot.

Another benefit of the veer in favor of the wishbone is that the tight end is a part of the offense instead of a bunched receiver or an afterthought. We’ve been amazed by Pryor’s highlight videos, and while he's made some great throws, it's safe to say that at this point in his career, he's a runner first, passer second. The tight end will give him that safety blanket until he builds up his swag and oh yeah, he'll still have Robo and Hartline on the outside. Two seasoned receivers that will become that much more dangerous with corners focusing on the run.

His goal is to eventually become a true multi-dimensional quarterback, but what better way to introduce him to the speed of the game and work his throwing confidence up than an old-school set that should be good for 12 yards a rush?