September 27, 2007

Boeckman ready for the next step

Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman has been around for a long time.

He has not quite reached senior citizen status as of yet, but in the world of college football he should be eligible to apply for his gold card relatively soon.

"He's a mature guy," coach Jim Tressel joked at his weekly press conference. "He's older than I am."

In reality, Tressel was busy coaching Keith Byars as the running backs coach at Ohio State in 1984, the year Boeckman was born. Twenty-three years later Boeckman has quarterbacked Tressel's Buckeyes to a 4-0 start to the 2007 season despite having to fill the shoes of one of the greatest and most successful signal callers in the history of Ohio State football.

"It's tough going in to a season knowing you are going to be the starter, knowing you've got all this pressure behind you," Boeckman said. "But it's nice to know that I am the quarterback of this team, it's always been a dream of mine, and I'm having a blast being under center and just being the leader of this team."

Notice Boeckman said the leader of this team, not a leader. With the Buckeyes having lost so much experience in the off season, there were serious questions about the leadership on offense for the 2007 season. The team had senior Kirk Barton on the offensive line, but the group continually stated at the start of the season that there was no set leader, just a bunch of leaders. But the past tells us that one player must emerge as the leader of an offense for it to be successful, and that leader usually has to be the quarterback.

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