A few people have asked me what I think about Akron taking on Devoe Torrence. To be honest, I really haven't formed an opinion. I will talk it out through this blog post. Hopefully, I will have an informed take on it by the end.
Optimist: There is no disputing Torrence's talent. With the logjam of running backs this season, Torrence's arrival does not sound like a necessary gambit. Next fall, however, we could be talking about how sorely the Zips need a reliable back since Dennis Kennedy, Alex Allen and Andrew Johnson have left.
It would be the equivalent to the Zips having an All-MAC passer on the burner when Luke Getsy retired. Rather, Chris Jacquemain and Carlton Jackson played patty-cake on the way to a four-win season.
Pessimist: But what's the point if Torrence gets in trouble? J.D. Brookhart's team already has NCAA sanctions to deal with. And what about all of those troubled souls whom he ejected last fall? Isn't this just replenishing the supply?
O: But let's not get carried away. Torrence was never guilty of anything. There is no indication he will be a bad student or leave the program, which would hurt the team's Academic Progress Rate.
P: That may be true, but you have heard from a few people that Torrence is cocky. That won't play well on a mid-major team, especially if he leads the offense. Torrence showed that he is not the ultimate teammate when he refused to play linebacker after transferring to Washington High School from Canton South.
O: He's cocky. So what? Go up and down that roster and I'm sure you'll find some guys whose heads don't fit in the Airdock. I want to see you complain about cockiness when Torrence is trampling MAC defenses for 200-yard games.
P: Come on, Optimist. This stinks of desperation. Brookhart knows he'll get canned without a .500 season or better. Torrence is a band-aid -- and one that has more infection on it than medicine.
O: I stand by Brookhart. And I stand by this decision. The coaching staff has a lot to lose if it doesn't work. They investigated and thought it to be a prudent decision. How do you -- or any fan -- have the knowledge or experience to dispute that? The team knows it cannot have an image problem when it's trying to sell tickets for InfoCision Stadium.
P: OK. You win.
O: That's right, I win. At least we can agree that Paul Rodgers is the best singer of all time.
P: Amen, brother.
It's not looking good for the Zips landing Chaz Russell, the four-star junior college cornerback. He recently visited West Virginia and told Scout.com that the Mountaineers are No. 1 on his list. A decision will be coming on Monday, so there is still hope.
I should be back at football camp on Thursday. The team won't practice in full gear until then, at the earliest. I plan to provide a video report with my old tag-team partner Dan Kadar, who is now working at Ohio.com.
New scholarship offers...
Anthony Meriwether, wide receiver, Midpark, Ohio Offers: Akron Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 185 Speed: Not listed Notes: I cannot find a darn thing on this guy. If you know anything, feel free to comment.
Jack Jamerson, defensive end, Washington, Pa. Offers: Akron, Army, Kent State, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio Height: 6-4 Weight: 245 Speed: Not listed Notes: Scout.com calls him the No. 158 defensive end in the nation. He also has interest in Maryland, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Penn State and West Virginia.
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