A friend of mine informed me today that Ohio State backup wide receiver, Verlon Reed has left the Ohio State football program.
Reed, a third year sophomore, was one of my favorite quarterbacks coming out of Columbus Marion Franklin High School. Watched him really improve his game over his high school career. Excellent runner, and improving as a passer. More importantly, his leadership and ability to make plays on the football field were his strong points. He was what I call "a work in progress."
Although Ohio State coaches told him at the time that he would be given a shot at quarterback, I felt bad when he committed to the Buckeyes. I wanted to see him be a quarterback, and I knew that O-State would not give him a chance to improve as a QB. Well, I was wrong. They gave him one day and moved him to wide receiver. Thus his role became a multi-purpose athlete.
Although he was a starting wide receiver early last year, he suffered a knee injury in the seventh game. Under Urban Meyer's new offense, he played little.
My frustration is not with him not getting playing time. None of my business, number one. Never watched him practice. But again, none of my business. My disappointment is the fact that the former staff convinced him to be a Buckeye. They knew that he could not play quarterback at Ohio State University. But, being Ohio State, Verlon wanted the chance to be a Buckeye. He bought into the sales pitch and became a Buckeye.
That is just one part of recruiting that makes it an "ugly" business. College coaches everywhere will tell a recruit almost anything to get them to commit to their university. The college recruiters' "noise" and "promises" are not going to change. For heavens sake, my idol Coach Woody Hayes did it. Nothing is going to change, because it is a "business."
When I heard that Verlon Reed had committed to the Buckeyes years ago, I asked, "Why." He was a Division I quarterback, but on the mid-level. He had worked hard to be a quarterback, and I wanted to see him reap the benefits of that hard work. Honestly, he would have been a better free safety than a wide receiver. On the otherhand, he got to experience all of the excitement of being a "Buckeye." Something that many young men do not get to experience.
I know turning down a chance to be a Buckeye is really hard. Not only being a Buckeye, but being a member of any major BSC program, is a really hard. At the end of the day, a recruit must decide what is the very best for him. The decision is his. Not his parents, not his high school coach, not the media, and not the fans.
With my limited skills, 45 years ago I was never told that I would get a chance to play one position, with the strong possiblity that I would get switched to another postion after one day of practice.
I hope that Verlon Reed lands on his feet. And, really, I hope that he gets a chance at quarterbacking on a Divsion II program.