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Thursday, January 17, 2013College Football: Ohio State transfer joins Oilers
Former Ohio State wide receiver Verlon Reed had his share of options when it came to transferring to a school in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Ashland, Saginaw Valley State and Ohio Dominican were all on his list. All three schools are among the best in the league with Ashland going unbeaten last fall en route to winning the conference title and earning an NCAA Division II playoff berth.
Saginaw Valley is a perennial power with multiple playoff appearances and Ohio Dominican has become a winning program in just conference three seasons.
The University of Findlay was also on the list for the 6-foot, 205-pound standout.
"We were the last school he went to," Findlay head coach Rob Keys said. "He had other choices. He decided he wanted to be an Oiler."
The news is a huge boost for a program that seems to be on the rise after going 1-10 in 2010. The Oilers went 6-5 in Keys' first season (2011) and improved to 7-3 a year ago, tying for second place in the GLIAC.
Reed, a former star at Marion-Franklin High School, used a redshirt season in 2010 but went into the 2011 campaign as a starter.
He saw action in seven games that year and caught nine passes for 132 yards before suffering a season-ending knee injury on a kickoff near the end of a game against Michigan State.
Last season, he played in seven games again and caught one pass for 13 yards for the unbeaten Buckeyes. Once the news came out that he was going to transfer, Keys took his shot at bringing him in.
Reed is currently enrolled at Findlay and will participate in spring practice. Because he transferred to a lower division, he will be eligible to play this fall.
"The one thing about him is that he is not an athlete we would have been able to recruit out of high school," Keys said. "He has exceptional skills on both sides of the football and we are going to put him in the best position possible."
While in high school, he was a quarterback, defensive back and wide receiver. During his senior season, Reed threw for 1,714 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for 1,658 yards while leading Marion-Franklin to the state semifinals.
He had a 23-6 record as a quarterback and helped lead his team to four city league championships. He also played basketball and ran track for Marion-Franklin.
"He is a multi-skilled athlete and he is one of those players who can be a difference maker for your program," Keys said. "He has a lot to prove, but obviously, he is a player who can help shape the future of your program."
The signing of Reed goes beyond what he can do on the field, though.
"People see we signed Verlon Reed and it generates a lot of interest in other potential players," Keys said. "It can have a domino effect, especially in the Columbus area. He is a very talented player and other guys might see him come here and decide they want to play with him."
National signing day is three weeks away.
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