August 17, 2009

Boren brings nasty streak to Bucks

COLUMBUS - When offensive guard Justin Boren initially chose to transfer from Michigan to Ohio State in the spring of 2008, he gained a reputation that seemingly would never be forgotten by doing "the unthinkable."

Shortly after strapping up the pads and working out with his newest Buckeye teammates however, the transfer suddenly became old news and his new reputation on the Ohio State offensive line became the most exciting thing.

Boren, now, is simply known as the nastiest guy on the Ohio State offensive front that will surely make an impact this season. He is that guy that brings the swagger the offensive front has seemingly been missing the last two years.

"He has brought a lot. He is a great guy off the field and is a really nice guy off the field as well," said sophomore tackle J.B. Shugarts. "On the field, he is your ideal offensive lineman. He is mean, he is big, he's fast, he plays hard, he plays through the whistle. I mean, he is what you want in the Big Ten."

"Justin is one of those little bulldog guys with short arms, looks like T-Rex," added sophomore left tackle Mike Adams. "He is a great guy, he is a great football player. He definitely brings a different element to the offensive line."

But Friday, bad luck struck and Boren reportedly went down with a strained MCL, which could keep him out of drills for the next three weeks. While the injury hasn't been completely released, there are also reports that Boren could only miss about a week because the brace the linemen wear kept the injury from perhaps turning into a tear.

Because Ohio State still has three weeks until it opens the season against Navy Sept. 5, according to the reports that describe the magnitude of his injury, Boren should be back and ready to go by at least Sept. 12 when Ohio State invites USC into the Horseshoe.

At least that's what the Buckeyes are certainly hooping for given Boren's reputation.

For a while now, Boren - who started along the Michigan offensive line as a sophomore - cannot be described without the word "nasty" somewhere in the description. That is certainly cause for excitement given offensive line coach Jim Bollman has drawn criticism as of late because his unit as lacked that in the past.

However, Boren, who had to sit out all of last season to comply with the transfer rules of the NCAA, sees himself a little differently.

"I am not a nasty person, but when it comes time to play on the field I just want to beat the guy across from me," Boren said. "It's awesome (to gain that reputation and make a difference) and I am really excited for this year. We have a bunch of great guys. Nasty is just part of it because I think we are all nasty."

Before his injury occurred, Boren mentioned that once practice begins all games are off, and that's how he has been able to earn his reputation thus far in his short time with the Buckeyes.

"My attitude is always been that I am going to go 110 percent in practice. You play like you practice," Boren said. "I just need to work on some little technique stuff. We re-installed the offense in the fall. I know all the plays, but I want to know all the plays inside and out."

Of course the question could not be avoided in terms of his transition from Ann Arbor to Columbus, and Boren and been fielding the question the entire afternoon at Photo Day.

"I'm not taking anything from up there into here. I am just excited to be here and I am excited to play in my first game and I am really looking forward to the season," Boren said. "Of course I am looking forward to the game (against Michigan) and I think it is going to be a great game up there. I have 11 games before it though, so I am not thinking about it right now."

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