Little Boren on the Shelf Following Shoulder Surgery
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State coaches were so impressed with freshman Jacoby Boren this spring, they decided to sit him down until the fall.
Maybe that’s not exactly how it went, but almost.
The first-year center out of Pickerington Central underwent shoulder surgery this week, which will put him on the shelf for the remainder of spring football practice in Columbus.
“Monday was his last practice,” brother Zach Boren said during Wednesday’s B1G Spring Football Teleconference.
“He’s a fighter, so he’ll recovery fast and he’ll be in there each and every day getting rehab. Nothing too major, so he’ll be ready to go by the season.”
The injury was actually a torn labrum suffered during Pickerington Central’s 34-13 loss to St. Ignatius in the Ohio Division I state championship at Fawcett Stadium back in December.
Boren, who committed to Jim Tressel in 2010 and signed with Urban Meyer in 2012, enrolled in January and was planning to put off the surgery on his shoulder until after the 2012 football season.
He played mostly guard in high school, but Boren was competing for the backup center spot this spring with second-year lineman Brian Bobek. After seeing him in the first couple practices, the staff decided they would rather have him healthy for the fall instead.
“He was doing so well, the coaches wanted him to get it down so he would be ready for camp,” Zach Boren said of his younger brother.
At 6-2, 283 pounds, Boren is the kind of athletic center Meyer and Tom Herman would like to have in their spread attack offense. He even played some defensive end in high school, but Meyer has really liked the toughness he brings to the center position.
“He’s a tough nut,” Meyer said. “And he’s little, but he’s a goer, he’s a doer.”
Jacoby Boren is the son of former Michigan linebacker Mike Boren, and the younger brother of both Zach and Justin Boren—a two-year starter (2009-10) at guard with the Buckeyes who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens.
It appears Jacoby is built in the some mold as his older brothers—tough and scrappy—including Zach, who is expected to be a four-year starter for Ohio State this fall; and potentially a team captain.
“Coby is an unbelievable football player and unbelievable brother,” Zach added.
“He knows so much about the game. Coming in early, he’s obviously one of the harder workers here in the off-season. He was trying to learn the new system, just like all of us, putting in hours and hours of work and it definitely paid off.”
Bobek was also considered to be one of the hardest working players during the off-season. He earned a spot at the Champion’s Dinner and is considered one of the strongest guys on the team.
He worked with the second-team offensive line in practice Wednesday, and looked good during the 1-on-1 drills, but he seems to have fallen behind both Corey Linsley and Boren, at least in the eyes of the coaches who make the decisions offensively.
“They want him to be the second-string center and back up the offensive line,” Zach said of Jacoby.
“If anything happens on the offensive line, he can jump right in. They wanted him to get it (the surgery) out of the way, so he went and got that done yesterday morning.”
Meyer said the hope is for Boren to be back and ready to go by the end of fall camp.
In the meantime, Bobek will continue to serve as the second-string center for the rest of the spring. He was joined on the second-team offensive line Wednesday by a walk-on named Eric Kramer. The Cincinnati St. Xavier product replaced Chris Carter at left guard, after Carter was moved over to the other side of the ball.
Coach Meyer said they didn’t know if Carter would stay there, but they wanted to get him some reps on defense this spring and now was a time to move him over.
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