Bauserman Ponders His Choices

Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln quarterback Joe Bauserman welcomed a special guest on Monday. Bauserman is enjoying a fine senior season as a baseball pitcher and could soon face a decision on whether to pursue baseball as a career or enroll at Ohio State this winter. Click here for more.

We had a chance to catch up with Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln quarterback Joe Bauserman yesterday, and we weren't the only ones, apparently.

"I saw Coach Tressel today," Bauserman said. "He was just here to visit. We had a great chat."

The 6-2, 215-pound Bauserman committed to Ohio State last July. But, by design, he did not sign with the Buckeyes on national signing day in February. He is planning to grayshirt -- a la Todd Boeckman -- and enroll full-time in January.

That is the plan, provided Bauserman is not selected as a high draft choice in next month's Major League Baseball free agent draft. He is a fine baseball pitcher. As a senior, he has posted a 4-2 record with a sparking 1.60 ERA. (His team was 16-9 as it prepared to begin postseason play.)

Bauserman said he had no idea where he might go n the draft.

"There have been scouts at a lot of our games, but I don't even know what teams," he said. "(Draft projections) don't matter at all. A lot of times they don't have any resemblance of how it turns out.

"I just need to see what happens with the draft. I imagine I will be playing football there unless somebody really comes after me. If that happens, I know I may have a decision to make."

The discussion with Tressel only reinforced Bauserman's desire to play for Ohio State.

"Oh yeah, I am definitely happy I chose them," he said. "Either way it happens, I think it will be a win-win situation."

Bauserman is a native of Strasburg, Va., where he started as a freshman and sophomore (team was 12-1) at quarterback. But he also had a budding baseball career going and the family suddenly uprooted in July 2002 and moved to Tallahassee.

Bauserman enrolled at Lincoln, where, as a junior, he passed for a school-record 3,004 yards, including 1,200 in four postseason games. He threw for 24 touchdowns and won third-team all-state honors in Class 4A.

He also had a big year in baseball, earning second-team all-state selection after hitting .324 with three home runs while posting a 1.35 ERA and 4-1 record on the mound. He has a 94 mph fastball. He struck out 71 in 41 innings.

As a senior, he threw for 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns and also rushed for nine scores. He participated in the 2003 CaliFlorida Bowl. Bauserman was rated as the No. 22 overall prospect in Florida and also as the nation's 22nd-best quarterback by The Insiders. Bauserman is qualified with a 930 on the SAT.

At Lincoln, Bauserman played alongside standout receiver Fred Rouse, a top-50 prospect who will be a senior next year. Although Rouse has listed Ohio State among his top schools, most believe he will end up at Florida State.

"I think he's interested (in OSU), but I don't know where he's going to go," he said. "He doesn't talk about it a lot."

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