Boeckman Finally In The Fold

Quarterback Todd Boeckman, a 2003 St. Henry, Ohio, graduate, is finally enrolled full-time at Ohio State and looking forward to participating in spring football. Boeckman talks about "grayshirting" as well as the unique opportunity he has at OSU.

So far, the plan for Todd Boeckman is working to perfection.

The 6-5, 235-pound Boeckman graduated from St. Henry in 2003 after a four-year career as the starting quarterback for his dad, coach Tim Boeckman. He comes from the same program that sent Jim Lachey, Bobby Hoying and Tom Hoying to Ohio State.

He agreed to grayshirt this past school year, delaying his full-time enrollment at OSU until winter quarter. That allowed OSU to space out its quarterbacks and gives Boeckman potentially two years of "separation" between himself and sophomores-to-be Troy Smith and Justin Zwick. He participated in preseason camp, then left the team when school started and returned for bowl practice. He will join the competition at quarterback during spring football.

"I came in in August and was able to go through camp," Boeckman said. "I was able to touch base with the offense. I got a full quarter of classes and I think that gave me a head start on the program and had a chance to watch film. I think that gives me a head start on everybody coming in.

"This is a good opportunity for me to learn more and have an extra year. I'll be here for five years if everything works out. I got to come around and watch film and get an idea for how the offense is run. I think I'm learning what to do, how to do it and when to do it. This year has been a great help."

Boeckman, who boasts 4.77-second speed in the 40, led St. Henry to the Division V state championship game as a freshman. That season, he threw for 2,520 yards and 23 touchdowns.

In his career, he ended up passing for 7,021 yards and 64 touchdowns. He suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament during his senior season. Still, he completed 95 of 177 passes for 1,415 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was ranked as one of Ohio's top 15 players in 2003. He was ranked as the Midwest's 33rd-best prospect a year ago by SuperPrep and the region's 51st-best player by's Tom Lemming.

Boeckman also earned all-state honors in basketball and baseball and was also a four-year letterwinner in basketball. He graduated with a 3.0 GPA and scored a 19 on the ACT.

Boeckman is realistic about where he stands heading into spring ball. All along, the plan has been for him to redshirt this season anyway.

"They are definitely a step ahead of me," he said of Smith and Zwick. "It's great to have that year of experience and experience is a big thing in college football. They've been here year-round, watching film every day. I'm just going to go out and do the best I can and have fun and become friends with them. We'll just try to keep on teaching each other new things and how to do it.

"I want to go out and compete. I want to play, but I'll do whatever is best. I want to see how I will do. Whoever it is, whether it's Justin, Troy or me out there playing, I just want to compete and do the best I can for the team."

OSU coach Jim Tressel introduced Boeckman to reporters on signing day.

"Number one, he is highly competitive," Tressel said. "Number two, there is no question he bleeds scarlet and gray. He loves to compete. He doesn't care who it is against as long as he is wearing the scarlet and gray, he wants to do it. He has paid attention and done everything we have asked of him. He was able to travel with us to the bowl game. At his first practice, one of those big linemen stepped on his toe, so he missed a couple practices.

"He is anxious to now be a full blown member of the group and go out this spring and compete. He knows we lost our first two quarterbacks. I think he can't wait to see where he might fit in."

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