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 COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -When blue chip recruit Terrelle Pryor signed with Ohio State last month, some Buckeyes fans assumed he would show up and take over as the starting quarterback.
Don't count on that.
The Buckeyes already have a starter in fifth-year senior Todd Boeckman.
Nobody's saying that Pryor, the Jeannette, Pa., prep star who was rated the top recruit in the country by many analysis, won't play for the Buckeyes this fall. He might even have a prominent role.
But those who think the incoming freshman will unseat Boeckman are downright delusional, tight end Rory Nichol said Thursday.
``How many of those people really know what it's like to run an offense?'' he said. ``Todd's our quarterback. I'm not saying Terrelle Pryor's not going to get on the field, but to think that that kid could come in here and run our offense - you're out of your mind. No freshman can do that. Not here. Not with the way we run an offense.''
Coach Jim Tressel has said Pryor, who doesn't come to campus until the middle of the summer, will compete for playing time at the position. Tressel doesn't say no to those who ask if Pryor might even split time with Boeckman.
It's a popular thing to do these days on successful teams. Chris Leak and Tim Tebow shared the job for national champion Florida two years ago. Matt Flynn and Ryan Perilloux had a similar arrangement for LSU's title team last season. Both of those tandems beat the Buckeyes in national championship games.
Boeckman is gracious when asked about Pryor. He politely answers questions about Ohio State's most renowned recruit in years. He says he's looking forward to spending time with Pryor and showing him the way during preseason camp in August.
But at the same time, without putting down Pryor, Boeckman recognizes how difficult it is for a rookie to step right in.
``I don't think it happens too much throughout the country, coming in as a freshman (and starting), just because of the speed of the game and everything you've got to worry about,'' Boeckman said. ``But he's a great athlete and he can do some great things to help us out. I'd more than welcome him to be with us if he helps us win games.''
Ohio State quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels, who has been sidelined this spring after having a cancerous kidney removed, visited the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for Thursday's practice. He was asked how difficult it would be for an incoming freshman to take over an offense like Ohio State's.
``It's really hard. About the only way that could be done, your offense would have to be so basic and so elementary,'' Daniels said. ``Everything about the game is a lot different. It's very similar to going from a quarterback in college and starting as a rookie (in the NFL). It's not that it's impossible, but ... ``
Boeckman, a 6-foot-5, 235-pounder, has paid his dues. For his first three seasons with the Buckeyes, he mostly watched and learned.
A year ago, his first as a starter, his passing numbers were comparable until late in the season to those of 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith. Boeckman and Smith both led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten championship and BCS national title game.
If there's anyone who can understand the pressure Pryor will be under, it's Boeckman. He might also be the person most empathetic to what lies ahead for him.
``With all that hype, it's going to be tough to back that up,'' Boeckman said. ``I'm sure he's a great athlete. That (hype) is going to be tough for him to put on his shoulders. But I know he's going to want to come in and do some great things here. And I'm sure he will.''
The current starter already has.
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