Providence receiver Miles Boykin thinks the tradeoff is worthwhile.
The 6-foot-5 junior, whose four-touchdown performance in a 28-22 victory against Brother Rice on Friday night elevated the Celtics into the playoffs as a No. 8 seed (out of eight teams) in its Class 6A quadrant, knows Providence likely would have a better seed and an easier first-round opponent than defending champion Crete-Monee if it played in almost any conference other than the Catholic Blue.
But going toe-to-toe with the likes of Loyola, Mount Carmel and St. Rita should benefit the Celtics against a Crete-Monee defense that features BCS recruits Nyles Morgan, Chris Slayton and Omari Stringer.
"I love playing in the Catholic Blue," Boykin said. "I couldn't ask for any better competition. I don't think teams that play in other conferences know what it's like to be in the Catholic Blue."
As it pertains to college football, conference affiliation means less to Boykin.
"I think everywhere you go, there's going to be talent," Boykin said. "The SEC might have better players, but there's good competition everywhere you go. That is not so much a concern for me. That's not going to be a factor in where I go. I am just going to pick the school that's the best fit."
Prospects of his caliber typically are swarmed with offers in the spring, and Boykin is hoping one comes from Ohio State.
He visited the Buckeyes unofficially last weekend during their 63-14 victory against Penn State.
"It was great," Boykin said. "Their fans are nuts. I got to go in the locker room and talk to Coach (Urban) Meyer and some of the other coaches. It is almost like I'm star-struck when I meet (Meyer)."
An offer could be coming soon.
Boykin said he receives a letter from Ohio State every day and talks to assistant coach and former New England Patriots' standout Mike Vrabel once or twice a week.
"Nothing is for sure, but I really hope so," Boykin said. "I just always liked them and the way they play. The Ohio State University is something I was always into."
Boykin had hoped to take a trip to Michigan State this weekend, but the 1 p.m. Saturday starting time for Providence's game against Crete-Monee forced him to alter those plans.
He's visited Champaign on multiple occasions and considers himself open as interest from other schools continues to pick up.
In addition to Ohio State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt and Missouri are keeping close tabs.