Bank Talks With Bucks: Devon Torrence

Junior Devon Torrence is in competition with senior Andre Amos for the starting cornerback spot opposite Chimdi Chekwa for Ohio State. Torrence, who played wide receiver as a true freshmen, is also hoping to be considered for the punt return job. Bill Greene caught up with Torrence at Media Day.

Junior cornerback Devon Torrence is hoping to land a starting berth in the Ohio State defensive backfield in 2009. Torrence, who is in a battle with senior Andre Amos for the open spot opposite Chimdi Chekwa, spoke about his Buckeye career with Bill Greene.

Greene: This is your third year in the program. What is the outlook for playing time this season?

Torrence: "I'm hoping to lock down the starting cornerback spot. I'm in my third year year and I'm ready to make my mark at Ohio State. I spent time at receiver and that helped me, and the past year I tried to study Malcolm Jenkins and learn from him. Malcolm was a great defensive back and he's my mentor for playing the position."

Greene: As you look back at your freshman season, do you wish you had redshirted and just played defense?

Torrence: "I really can't say now. I thank Coach Tressel for giving me the chance to play as a true freshman at wide receiver. I also played a lot on special teams and that experience helped me become a better player."

Greene: Any chance you could be featured as a return man in the kicking game?

Torrence: "It's looking like I will get a shot at both punt return and kickoff return. I've done it in practice and now I need to show the coaches I can be trusted back there. There are a few guys ahead of me, but we will see how it goes."

Greene: Did the time spent at wide receiver help you out as a defensive back?

Torrence: "Yes, because I can tell what receivers are trying to do to me based on how they're positioning their bodies. I can get on top of routes quicker because of that experience. I think that year did help me become a better defensive back."

Greene: Where are you at regarding height, weight and speed numbers?

Torrence: "I'm at 6-foot-1 and I weight around 195 pounds right now. That's a good weight for me. I still run in the 4.4 range for the forty. You know I got wheels [laughing]."

Greene: Where do things stand with you and the Houston Astros?

Torrence: "I'm good with Houston. Right now, I'm just concentrating on football only. When the opportunity comes to play baseball again I will do it. If I don't go back to baseball that will mean things are going great for me in football. I'm just going to see how things go and take it day by day."

Greene: Where will you be in three years, if we look ahead at your life?

Torrence: "I'm hoping to play both baseball and football professionally [laughing]. Really, I don't know. I hope to have my college degree for sure. I'm majoring in communications, but I don't know what I'd like to do with that degree. There are a lot of different fields I can enter with a communications degree, so we will see how it goes."

Greene: Coming out of high school you had a lot of great scholarship offers. Any second thoughts on choosing Ohio State?

Torrence: "None at all. I've always wanted to come here since I was a little kid and that's no secret to you [laughing]. I never regretted coming here at all. This has been a great learning experience for me. It's a privilege to be an athlete at Ohio State. My position coach, Taver Johnson, is a great guy. He came in during my freshman year and our relationship has grown closer every year. I'm excited to see how things go over the next two years between us."

Greene: Can you remember being here as a freshman? Did any of the older guys show an interest in you and help you along?

Torrence: "Actually, Malcolm Jenkins and I always had a love-hate relationship [laughing]. Malcolm is a really tough guy and he showed me a lot of tough love in the beginning. He always helped me and made sure I was doing things the right way on the field, but he would let me know when I did it wrong [laughing]. He made me learn the job as I went. I study film of him all the time and I call him every once in a while now that he's in the NFL. Chimdi Chekwa and I have become really good friends in the past year. He was the first person I talked to when I first got to Ohio State. Brian Robiskie was a really good friend to me when I was a freshman and he's a great guy."

Greene: What about this year's incoming freshman defensive backs? Are you helping out any of those guys?

Torrence: "Actually, I do. I try help all of them but it seems Dominick Clarke and I have gotten pretty tight. I know how hard it is trying to learn this defensive scheme. I try to break down the terminology for them, because that can be really confusing to a young guy. I just try to teach them the way I was taught to do things."

Greene: Why help someone who might be a threat to your playing time?

Torrence: "I never look at any teammate as a threat to me. I just go out there and do my best and I have a lot of confidence in my ability. If someone beats me out, good for them. If they get my spot it's because they deserve it, and I can live with that because it makes our team better. I always want to help people out. That's just who I am, and that's what you're expected to do here."

Greene: The last few times Ohio State has played on the national stage it hasn't been real pretty. What has to be done differently to win those type of games?

Torrence: "I think we need to keep working at getting better. We need to get better as a team, and better as individual players. I always feel the better team, or the better player, will win. We do have great chemistry on this team and we have a great group of guys. We've all been around here and seen how close we've come to winning a national championship. We have to stay focused on doing what we've been taught to do, whether things are going good, or going bad. In the past when things start to go wrong, I think we have gotten away from what has been successful. I believe staying consistent and staying true to what we're being taught on a daily basis is the key to winning. We need to be able to handle tough times better than we have in the past, and I think you do that by staying calm and relying on what your strengths are, not getting flustered and getting out of your game. We're going to see real soon if we're able to put the past few losses aside and go out and get it done. I feel good about this team"

Greene: Let's cut to the chase. Can this team win a national championship?

Torrence: "Yes. There's no doubt in my mind. There's no doubt in Terrelle's [Pryor] mind. There's no doubt in Kurt's [Coleman] mind. There is no doubt in anyone's mind. We feel we can win every game. This group is willing to correct the mistakes and get things fixed, not just ignore things going wrong. This team is definitely humble. There is no air of overconfidence because we haven't done anything yet. I believe in my teammates, both our seniors and the younger guys. And I believe in this coaching staff. Now it's up to all of us to get it done by doing our part."

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