Former OSU Center Headed to Minnesota
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Brian Bobek is leaving Ohio State, but not the Big Ten.
The sophomore center out of Palatine, Ill. will transfer to the University of Minnesota, a source close to the Bobek’s informed The-Ozone on Saturday evening.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“I am excited to announce that I have given my commitment to Coaches Jerry Kill and Matt Limegrover to join the University of Minnesota football program,” Bobek announced in a statement.
“Minnesota was one of the first schools my family and I had contacted when I made the decision to transfer, and the coaches responded as soon as they got permission from Ohio State to contact me.”
Bobek, who was the backup center to 4-year starter Michael Brewster a year ago, will have two years of eligibility remaining after he sits out the 2012 season as a part of the NCAA transfer rules.
He would have had three years of eligibility remaining — with a redshirt year this fall — had he opted to transfer outside of the Big Ten. The conference recently altered its transfer rule, starting with the 2011-12 season.
Under the old rule, players who transfer from one school to another inside the Big Ten Conference would have to pay their own way for the rest of their college experience. That was the case with former Ohio State offensive lineman Justin Boren.
The new rule makes it so that players can still receive a grant-in-aid from their new school, but it reduces their remaining athletic eligibility by a year.
According to the source, Bobek had an opportunity to transfer to West Virginia University, where he would have had a chance to play three years after sitting out this fall. He ultimately felt more comfortable with Jerry Kill in Minneapolis.
“The University of Minnesota offers a quality education, and I hope to take advantage of the many opportunities of going to school in a great city like Minneapolis,” he said in his statement.
“Also, my family and I are happy for me to have the chance to continue to compete in the Big Ten, one of the best football conferences in the country.”
The coaching staff, academics, location and city weighed heavily in the decision for Bobek, according to the source. He will have an opportunity to compete for the starting center spot in 2013.
That is an opportunity the 6-2, 275-pound Bobek likely would not have been afforded at Ohio State, where he was behind junior Corey Linsley and true freshman Jacoby Boren after the spring. Linsley will be back next fall, and the new coaching staff apparently likes Boren as the center of the future for the Buckeyes.
Both he and Bobek are undersized for the guard position in Urban Meyer’s new offense at Ohio State. Bobek was a three-year starter at Fremd High School, where he was named first team all-state by the Chicago Tribune, Champaign News Gazette and Daily Herald.
He was a U.S. Army All-American as a senior and the No. 3-ranked center prospect in the country, according to Rivals.com.
Bobek’s brother, Jeff, is a senior at Michigan State University, where he plays fullback for Coach Mark Dantonio. Both of his parents were varsity athletes at the University of Iowa, where his dad, also Jeff, played linebacker.
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