As we continue our countdown until gameday, Jeff was kind enough to let me highlight someone other than a kicker. The training wheels are off, I guess.
Day seventeen brings us a recent grad- quarterback Todd Boeckman. Todd’s two years personify the expression “grace under pressure”.
As a gray shirted junior, he was asked to fill the shoes of Heisman Trophy winner, Wolverine killer, “should have his jersey retired soon” QB Troy Smith.
He responded by leading his team through a one loss Big Ten season, conference championship, and berth in the MNCG. I was lucky enough to see him play against Washington; my wife’s first Buckeye football game.
As a senior, he lost his Heisman Trophy candidate running back during the first game of the season. Playing behind a line that never seemed to live up to expectations, he eventually lost his job to the young gun freshman phenom.
During the season, the offense continued to struggle, inspiring whispers of controversy in the locker room as players chose sides behind “their” quarterbacks.
But through it all, he was a Buckeye leader and captain. He took direction from his coaches, worked to make his replacement and team better. He was, and is, a “team first, me second” student athlete who exemplified the Tradition, Honor, and Excellence that Ohio State football stands for.
To celebrate day seventeen, here are highlights from what many feel was the greatest game of his career: a victory on the road at night, against a very strong Penn State team.
Todd, thank you for representing yourself, your team, and your University with class.
EDIT by Jeff at The BBC – I will openly admit that I was angry at Boeckman’s problems at QB, and I began calling for Pryor to take over around halftime of the USC game. That interception he threw for a TD was all I could stand. Until that point, we were only down 14-3, but that broke our backs.
Boeckman had a string about seven games long ( spanning two seasons) that he struggled a lot in. We all knew Pryor was the future of the team and he needed the work. I believe that Jim Tressel made the right call.
But MaliBuckeye is right. Boeckman handled it with class to the very end. He mentored his own replacement and stood by his side through every play.
Looking back at his career, it is a fitting conclusion that Boeckman’s final TD as a Buckeye was thrown to Terrelle Pryor.