Torrence Facing Destiny

Devon Torrence is eagerly awaiting Thursday's Major League Baseball amateur draft. Torrence has already signed a letter of intent to play football at Ohio State, but he would forego the opportunity to play for the Buckeyes if he is a high round draft pick. Bill Greene has the latest on Torrence.

For Canton South's Devon Torrence, Thursday will be the day he learns where he will be spending the next few years of his life and what sport he'll be playing. Torrence has signed to play football for Jim Tressel and the Ohio State Buckeyes next fall, but he is also projected as a possible draft pick in Thursday's amateur baseball draft. He knows he might be faced with a tough decision, one that will impact the test of his life.

"If I get selected in the round I want to be selected in, and the money is there, I'm going to go and play professional baseball," Torrence proclaimed. "Really the round is not as important as the money offered. They can pay me whatever they want regardless of what round I get selected. The money figure will determine what I'm going to do. To be able to play sports as a professional is every kids dream. I know the value of an Ohio State education and I know the history of Ohio State putting defensive backs in the NFL. Really the ball is in the hands of the professional baseball teams. If I get drafted low or not at all, I'll still be in great shape to go be a part of The Ohio State University. I can't lose."

Torrence has been in contact with the Buckeye staff and has the total support of Jim Tressel and the entire Buckeye coaching staff.

"I went to Columbus about a week ago and met with Jim Tressel," Torrence explained. "I felt I owed him a face to face meeting. Coach Tressel has been so good to me that I wanted to tell him exactly where things stand with pro baseball. We just sat and talked and I told what could happen and what my decision would be. He was cool with it. It's probably no different than when a junior football player is thinking about the NFL. Coach Tressel really wants what's best for me and my family. That's why he is the person he is. Ohio State has known this day would be coming all along."

Torrence is still making plans to be at Ohio State this fall. He is not playing summer baseball and is concentrating on playing cornerback for the Buckeyes.

"Oh I'm excited thinking about playing football at Ohio State," he said. "I'll be rooming with Danny Herron and we talk pretty often. We want to get a big screen television for our apartment. I talk with Danny and Nate Oliver all the time. We talk about hanging out together."

Torrence said he plans on being on the field next season, but would be open to red-shirting if the coaching staff suggested it.

"Coach Tressel said I'd be starting out at cornerback," Torrence noted. "I will be wearing number 25. I wanted a single digit number, but the older guys get those. Coach Tressel mentioned that he wanted me playing on special teams right away and I would get a chance to prove myself and put myself into the mix at defensive back. I want to play right away but if they wanted me to sit out and just learn the system, that would be fine with me. Whatever is best for the team is what I'm thinking of."

Torrence admitted he's nervous while he's waiting for the draft, but he's still planning to play in the North-South All Star game. He had a fine season in baseball, hitting over .400 and stealing 23 bases.

"I'm trying to just chill out and be cool but I am getting nervous as the draft gets closer," he said. "I don't have an agent but I do have scouts that are advising me. I'm hearing the first 10 rounds, or possibly later, but I could still get the amount of money I'm looking for because I have football as another option. If not, I'll be heading to Columbus for the All-Star game. If I get offered the money I want, I'll sign my contract and I'll leave the next day. I'll either be headed to play pro baseball or I'll be preparing to play football. It's all in God's hands and he'll protect me."

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