Touchdown Run Earns Reed MVP Honors

Verlon Reed joined an illustrious group including such names as Archie Griffin, Roger Staubach and Vic Janowicz by earning the most valuable player award from the nation's longest-running high school all-star game. His 37-yard touchdown run provided the winning points for the South in a 23-20 victory Friday night.

Regardless of what the rest of his football career holds, Verlon Reed will always be able to say he scored a touchdown in Ohio Stadium.

The Columbus Marion-Franklin quarterback and Ohio State signee shot through a seam in the North defense, cut up the middle then dodged a pair of tacklers near the 10-yard line to leave nothing but green between himself and the south end zone.

"I saw two people coming but I just used my instincts and got in the end zone," Reed said. "I didn't think I was going to break the tackle, but once I saw nobody was around me, I already knew I was going to the end zone."

He crossed the goal line with 2:07 to go in the third quarter to give the South a 23-12 lead.

The points proved to be the game-winners after a late defensive touchdown by the North, and Reed was named most valuable player of the game.

"It's a big bonus," he said of winning MVP. "I wasn't expecting it, so now that I've got it, it's unbelievable."

He wore a broad smile as he held the MVP trophy and stood on the Block ‘O' at the middle of the field, leaving little doubt to whom the night belonged.

"He can say it until he dies," said Cleveland Glenville defensive back Christian Bryant, one of four future Buckeyes on the losing North squad. "So it's a good experience for all of us and we just took full advantage being Ohio State kids. He's gonna be a nice one, so I have to look forward to playing with him in the near future."

Youngstown Boardman defensive lineman J.T. Moore, a future Buckeye who had a sack in the third quarter, said he held no hard feelings and looked forward to returning to Columbus this summer to begin his college career with Reed, Bryant, Solon defensive lineman Darryl Baldwin and Cleveland Shaw wide receiver Tyrone Williams.

"Not at all. Everybody's gotta do a little talking. It's competitive sport. It's just competition. He's on offense and I'm on defense, so I'm coming after him and he's running away from me, but it all comes together for us to be Buckeyes," said Moore, who was the first player to make a verbal commitment to Ohio State's 2010 class.

Reed, who wore the same No. 10 that graced the jerseys of such past Buckeye quarterbacks Troy Smith, Art Schlichter and Rex Kern, completed only 1 of 7 passes for 10 yards on the night and has no guarantee he will ever be able to take snaps once his Ohio State career gets started. He threw for 1,714 yards and 18 touchdowns while leading the Red Devil offense last season, but Ohio State's coaching staff views him as an athlete prospect.

Regardless of what will happen when he becomes a Buckeye officially this summer, he has a memory no one can take away.

"If I get switched, then it happens," he said. "If I get to stay, then that's what I want but you just do what the team needs first and then you'll be able to contribute to the team."

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