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Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Buckeyes make sense for Boyd (so do Ducks)

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

As most Ohio State fans know by now, prep quarterback Tajh Boyd will announce his college choice today at a 5 p.m. ET news conference.

Boyd, ranked as the nation's No. 5 quarterback and the 59th-best overall player by ESPN's Scouts Inc., will choose between Ohio State, Oregon and Clemson. He already has decommitted from two programs (Tennessee and West Virginia), but today's decision will be final.

Though Terrelle Pryor is firmly entrenched as Ohio State's starter, Boyd would be an excellent pickup for the Buckeyes.

Pryor could very well depart after three years, and the Buckeyes have only one other scholarship quarterback (Joe Bauserman) on the roster. Boyd wants to play right away -- he has his high school diploma and plans to enroll somewhere in time for spring practice -- and could emerge as Pryor's backup for this fall. He undoubtedly saw the way Pryor blossomed this fall, and if Ohio State continues to use multiple quarterbacks as it did in the Fiesta Bowl, Boyd could see the field early on.

Then again, Oregon is awfully tempting, especially for a multitalented quarterback like Boyd. The Ducks run a dynamic and creative scheme, while Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel has been criticized for going too conservative at times last year with Pryor. Ohio State certainly could expand the playbook for Pryor -- and Boyd -- this coming fall, but having seen both teams play live during the 2008 season, I've got to give the play-calling edge to Chip Kelly and Oregon.

Clemson also is pushing hard for the quarterback, and the school's proximity to Boyd's home in Hampton, Va., could sway him.

If Boyd wants to help a perennial underachiever reach new heights, Clemson might be the place for him. If he wants to enter a program that already competes at the highest levels, Ohio State or Oregon make more sense.