February 26, 2008

Boren gives OSU high marks

The Buckeyes are once again showing interest in another player with the last name of Boren but will younger brother Zach Boren have any interest in the Buckeyes? The 6-foot-1, 245-pound linebacker/fullback prospect was one of several juniors on campus last weekend for an Ohio State junior day and if you listen to the Pickerington (Ohio) Central star you would have to believe that the Bucks have a shot if they were to offer.

"It was awesome," Boren said. "The last time I was there was senior camp last year. It was great getting there and coach Luke Fickell took us around the whole time. He showed us around the place and when everyone went to the game he kept us back and talked to us for about a half an hour and just laid it all out there."

It was only a couple of years ago when older brother Justin Boren was going through his recruiting process and was looking at hometown Ohio State and legacy Michigan (their father Mike Boren was a standout linebacker under Bo Schembechler in the 1980s). As the story goes it was Zach that was adamant about his older brother going to play at Michigan. Is there any truth to that story or has it risen to the status of urban legend?

"I hear that quote all the time and that was played way out of context," Boren said. "It was nothing like that, he wanted to commit back in January (the year before his national signing day) and I just said to wait for the summer and see what is going on and just make sure you know what you want. I had nothing to do with him going to Michigan or Ohio State."

Though there is little doubt that Michigan will always be a special place for the Boren family.

"I love Michigan and I always will but sometimes it comes down to where you feel the most comfortable and where you fit in," Boren said. "That might not always be Michigan and very well might not be. Wherever I feel the most comfortable is where I will go."

Would it create any interesting dinner time conversations if Zach were to end up at Ohio State and could he expect any taunting from his older brother?

"Justin wouldn't probably give me too much grief but my dad would (laugh)," Boren said. "But my dad is just all blue but that if that is where I felt most comfortable I know that my family would be behind me 100-percent and my dad has told me that a million times."

Boren has shown great ability in the weight room with a 385-pound bench max and a 580 pound squat to go with a 4.69 second time in the 40-yard dash. Boren played his first two years of high school football at the defensive tackle position but saw time at a more natural linebacker position as a junior. Did Zach feel that he was playing out of position on the line?

"No, I wasn't playing out of position," Boren said. "That is just where they needed me to play. I am a very versatile player and I can play many different positions. If you put me anywhere I am not going to be out of position I just need to get used to it and get my skills down at that position."

Boren has also had the chance to carry the ball as a fullback/H-back type of player, a position that he enjoys playing and has had experience at throughout his playing career.

"I am just kind of used to it and when a player comes up to hit me I just lower my shoulder and that is where the physical linebacker part comes out," Boren said. "It is not a big different it is just a matter of holding the ball in my hand."

Boren has been getting looks from schools like Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, West Virginia and Cincinnati throughout the process. He has been told by several schools that offers could be coming very soon especially as he makes his rounds through the junior days. Are teams looking at him more on offense or defense?

"If they are looking for a run stopping linebacker who can run with the No. 2 receiver then they look at him as a linebacker," Pickerington Central head coach Jay Sharrett said. "If they are looking for an H-back/fullback type that can protect the quarterback but also leak out into the flat and catch some passes then some teams will look at him as fullback."

Boren is also an accomplished baseball player and has said on several occasions that he might like to try his hand at playing both sports at the next level. Has he talked to anyone at Ohio State about that possibility?

"I talked to the Ohio State coaches (Sunday) and Devon Torrence plays minor league ball and there is a chance that I can get drafted out of high school so they let him do it and they said they would easily let me do it," Boren said.

Boren has not set an exact timetable as to when he would like to be finished with his recruiting and even though he knows it will be a matter of feel there is a hope that he can have it done sooner rather than later.

"Whenever I feel comfortable and talk to my family and my coaches is when I will do it," Boren said. "That could either be within the next few weeks or all the way until the end. In my plan I would like to get it done by mid-summer. So I can focus on my senior season and we have a strong group coming back and we want to win a state championship."

With so many ties to that school up north there has been a concern among many fans that Boren doesn't really have any legitimate interest in coming to Ohio State but the coaches have been quick to tell the bruising fullback to ignore the chatter.

"They just pretty much talked to me and reassured me of everything that they do really like me and don't listen to anyone that says that I am definitely going to Michigan or anyone says that they don't want me because they said they do," Boren said.


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