DeVoe is "De" Man

DeVoe Torrence put his name in the spotlight last week at the Scout .com combine in Pittsburgh. Torrence has always been looked at as one of the top linebackers in the country and some people were skeptical when Ohio State not only recruited him as a running back, but also told him he would be the only back they recruit. Torrence spoke with Bill Greene about his situation.

Massillon's DeVoe Torrence was one of the top performers at the combine in Pittsburgh last Sunday. He ran a 4.5 forty-yard dash in gym shoes, had a well-publicized run-in with Ohio State recruit Shayne Hale, had an astounding standing broad jump of 10' 3" and proved to all doubters that he is indeed a running back at the next level.

"It was a sweet combine," Torrence said. "I was glad I went once I saw all the great players that were there. I just wanted to go out and compete against the best. That's what I love most about playing sports, the competition. It was real cool hanging out with Jake Stoneburner too. He's a really good dude and a nice player. He was really fast for his size. I can't wait to see Jake on one side and Devier Posey on the other. Posey is a good guy too. We talk on the phone pretty often. He called me and said he heard I had a good camp at Pittsburgh."

What about the much-publicized dispute with Gateway, Pennsylvania star linebacker Shayne Hale? Hale is being recruited by Ohio State and it's conceivable the two could end up teammates.

"Oh man, that was nothing serious," Torrence insisted with a laugh. "That was the case of two athletes competing against each other. There was no hatred or anything like that. I loved having the chance to go at a great player like him and show my skills. He started talking afterwards and we both weren't going to back down. I'd love to see him come to Ohio State. I hear he's a great player and that's what we want at Ohio State."

Torrence, who measured 6' 1" and 215 pounds, talked about being recruited by Jim Tressel and being promised he would be the only running back the Buckeyes would pursue.

"Ohio State came to me in March and told me if I would commit soon that I would be the only running back they would take," Torrence explained. "That didn't persuade me to be a Buckeye though. I knew where I needed to be and Ohio State just felt the best. I wanted to play with the best players too, like Mike Adams, Stoneburner and Posey. They also told me I would be a running back only, not a linebacker. Just this week coach [Jim] Tressel sent me a text message telling me that I was going to be a tailback for him and not believe anything I heard about being moved to linebacker. He also said they might recruit a fullback but I was the only tailback they would bring in. That's been the same thing all along with Ohio State."

Torrence is one of the leading candidates for Mr. Football in Ohio for 2008 and also should receive string consideration for the U. S. Army All-Star game in San Antonio. He says those honors aren't that important to him though.

"That stuff would be nice and all, but that's not what I'm all about," Torrence exclaimed. "I just want to play hard and be better than I was last year. I don't want to win any awards. I came to Massillon to win a state championship. That's what I'm working toward accomplishing."

Torrence knows he isn't a finished product yet and spoke about what he's looking to improve about his game.

"I'm stronger than I've ever been," Torrence noted. "We lift a lot more at Massillon than I ever have before. I'm working on my agility and being able to evade tacklers. I also need to be mentally tougher and more focused than ever. I don't feel any pressure being at Massillon. I just want to go out and do whatever I can do to win football games. The hype doesn't get to me at all. I just go out and play."

DeVoe's older brother Devon is already signed to play football at Ohio State in the fall of 2007. Devon is also a top baseball prospect and he could be selected in this year's MLB June draft. DeVoe talked about possibly joining his brother at Ohio State in 2008.

"A part of me wants him at Ohio State so we can be together," Torrence said. "Being a high draft pick in baseball would be great as well. We've always talked about wearing the Ohio State jersey with "D. Torrence" on the back. We'll just have to see what happens in a few weeks. I just want my brother to be happy."

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