Taking the next big Szep?
That's right – Nathan Szep is coming to Ohio State. Just this week, Nate finished the process by which he received his releases from Washington University and was accepted by The Ohio State University. It's fresh enough news that Szep has not yet gotten with Coach Tressel or his position coach, Joe Daniels.
Who is Nathan Szep? Szep comes from a long line of fantastic St. Ignatius quarterbacks that include the likes of Joe Pickens, Scott Mutryn and Dave Ragone. It was Szep's misfortune to come along in the same year as the more-heralded Justin Zwick, who received the lion's share of quarterback attention at nearby Massillon. But Szep got a chunk of coverage, as well, and he was highly thought of by a number of Division I schools.
"When I found out that I couldn't go to the Division I schools that featured both football and academics, I decided to focus on the academics and accepted a position here at Washington University in St. Louis," Szep told me. "But I wanted better competition. Even though I am walking on at Ohio State, they have a great honors program so I think I am getting the best of both worlds,"
Szep isn't coming alone, either. Also transferring in is his St. Iggy teammate, Ryan Franzinger, a fullback transfer from Holy Cross. "Ryan is great," said Szep. "He's been my best friend for the past 12 years or so and we'll be roommates at OSU. Hey – we sat at the same prom table together – along with John Kerr!"
John Kerr, the super freshman linebacker soon-to-transfer out of Indiana? "Yeah, I learned to never tell John he can't do something. Senior year at Ignatius, he told me that he would be starting his freshman year at a Big Ten school. I said, "You mean, after you redshirt a year?" John said no, he meant his first year at the school. At that's exactly what he did at Indiana. He's something else…"
How does Nathan see himself fitting in at OSU? "I'm really looking forward to it. I can go against the best defense in the country when I'm on the scout team and I think I can help give them some good looks."
And his "rivalry" with Justin Zwick? "We were together at a couple of the All-Star games after senior year and we got along great. I really respect the guy."
And while we were talking about quarterbacks and St. Ignatius, we had to ask Nathan about upcoming superstar Brian Hoyer. "I got to throw the ball around with Brian a little bit and the kid's real good, throws it great and stands tall. He's going to be a good one."
Nathan plans to get his stuff together in May and then head down to Columbus with Ryan Franzinger to find a place to live. Then, it's on to Team OSU and getting in shape for next year's defense of the national title.
With the high quality walk-ons and transfers coming now in droves to Ohio State, there's a certain aspect of the "depth problem" that we might not see for a while. And one of the surprise answers to that question – perhaps down the road a bit – might be Nathan Szep!