Rough Going For Torrence

Week one was assuredly more enjoyable for Devoe Torrence than week two. As he adjusts to playing for Massillon (Ohio) Washington, find out what he's doing well, what he's not doing well and what he needs to do to improve -- at least, according to some of those around him.

It took one game for Devoe Torrence to gain acceptance at his new school.

After transferring to Massillon (Ohio) Washington from Canton (Ohio) South following his junior year, Torrence rushed for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries in his first game with the Tigers. In addition, he nabbed 3 passes for 49 yards in his team's 42-21 victory over Middletown, Ohio.

"I think it would be (hard to fit in) because a lot of people look at him like ‘you don't belong here,' but I think after the first game he proved himself that he belonged with us and he can help us," senior tailback K.J. Herring told BuckeyeSports.com.

Game two did not go so smoothly, however. In a 10-3 loss to Solon, Ohio, Torrence struggled in every facet of the game. He rushed the ball 16 times for 25 yards, fumbled a screen pass, fumbled a carry and dropped two passes.

The final drop came on Washington's final drive of the game. The pass glanced off his fingers as he slanted across the middle of the field and was intercepted by the Comets, effectively sealing the Tigers' fate.

After the game, the younger brother of OSU freshman wide receiver Devon Torrence refused to speak with the media, and a message left on his phone was not returned.

However, Washington head coach Tom Stacy said Torrence has acclimated himself well since transferring from nearby Canton (Ohio) South following his junior year.

"I think he's fit in pretty well," Stacy said. "We have a lot of transfers. That's kind of the history of the program – kids have transferred in, so I don't think it's anything unusual for our kids or our community. It helps when they're good players."

Herring has seen the most dramatic impact since Torrence transferred in. Now forced to split carries with the verbal member of Ohio State's class of 2008, Herring said the two have had to put aside their respective egos for the good of the team.

When the Tigers operate with a lone tailback, Herring lines up in the backfield and Torrence goes out wide as a receiver. When a fullback enters the game, Torrence goes to the backfield and operates out of the I formation.

It has been an adjustment for Torrence, who was used to running the ball wide while playing for the Wildcats last season.

"He's still learning," Stacy said. "I think you saw that out there tonight. He's still learning to make cuts, a lot of different aspects of our running game."

Herring said he has offered Torrence advice on how to follow blockers from the I formation.

"I tried to tell him just to take his time, make sure he follows his blocks," Herring said. "Don't try to bounce it outside all the time. It's kind of an offense where you have to wait for something to happen and he's kind of taking to it."

On plays when Torrence did find running room, he showed a quick burst and the ability to cut the ball back upfield. However, most of the time he was hit right as he got to the line of scrimmage and was unable to pick up yardage.

All part of the growing pains, Stacy said.

"I knew he was a good football player," the coach said. "I had seen him play one time on TV and knew he was a good football player. Word gets around. We knew he had a lot of talent. We're happy to have him, no question."

One area in which Torrence has not had much opportunity to shine has been on the defensive side of the ball. He lined up at linebacker for South and recorded 127 tackles as a junior.

But he serves as a backup on defense at Washington, Stacy said.

"We'd like to get him more in the mix on defense but we try to play as many guys as we can on one side of the ball," he said.

With two games in the books, this weekend's road matchup with Parma (Ohio) Normandy should show which performance was the abnormal one: Torrence in week one, or Torrence in week two.


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