In our next look at University of Cincinnati verbal commitments for the Class of 2006, we look at Toby Boeckman from St Henry High School in St Henry, Ohio. While Toby went under the radar to many in the recruiting game, college programs took notice of his size and athletic ability.
At 6'7 Toby Boeckman could have been a Bearcat basketball recruit, but the son of a former High School coach grew up on football and learned his athletic skills were well suited for the gridiron and not the hardwood. But while many in Ohio know his brother (Ohio State QB - Todd Boeckman), Bearcat fans will soon get a chance to see the many skills Toby will bring to the campus at Clifton. Here is our breakdown of what Toby brings to the Bearcats along with some highlight video.
The first thing the Bearcats coaching staff must do is determine what side of the football Toby will lineup on. I've projected Toby to be an offensive tackle after a redshirt season, but as you will see from his highlight tape, Toby brings something on the defensive side of the ball that can cause havoc to quarterbacks. With his height (6'7), Toby has great arm extension and causes quarterbacks to throw around him and not over him. With added weight, needed for both sides of the ball, Boeckman can become a force from a defensive end position.
But while his high school career included much play at defensive end, it's on the offensive side of the ball many recruiting experts see the younger Boeckman excelling at during his college career. As a prep player, Boeckman played a key role as a tight end for St Henry and in 2004 he was a key member of the schools state championship team. While it's unknown if he can be a productive tight end in college, his size would provide a great target in the Bearcats passing game. But while he's got the ability to catch passes, with his body frame, he could grow into a NFL potential offensive tackle. What are the positives and negatives of Toby Boeckman, here is my breakdown of his film.
The main positive for Toby Boeckman is his physical size. While he will need to gain weight and strength, were looking at a basketball player's athletic ability with a football mindset. Great feet and hands make him the type of project college programs love to work with. If you are looking for a player to compare him with it would be Ohio State recruit Jake Ballard. Both Boeckman and Ballard share some of the same questions. While Ballard is projected as a tight end, many feel he could be a major offensive tackle prospect if he can gain the needed weight.
The Bearcats gave Boeckman early interest and followed him during the summer camp season while others were after Ballard, the hard work paid off with his early commitment. While many don't talk about the two in the same breath, Purdue came after Boeckman hard looking for him to change his mind. But being a man of his word, Toby refused to reopen his recruiting and stayed firm with the Bearcats staff by telling all others he was a solid commitment.
The biggest question will be if he can gain the needed weight to become an offensive lineman. The Bearcats have been working with another former tight end Digger Bujnoch, who is now up to 285 lbs. on a 6'5 frame. Boeckman would have to gain 45 pounds to reach this size and this will not happen overnight. But if the weight doesn't come, the Bearcats will still have a talented athlete they will find a use for as a tight end or defensive end.
Weight and strength are the biggest negatives when breaking down Toby Boeckman. While he comes from one of Ohio's top high school programs, the commitment to football fulltime will help him gain the strength and needed weight. When I look at Boeckman's film, I see a major talent whose best football is ahead of him. Weight will be the biggest factor in Boeckman's career. But with the new football facilities, a much needed training table will help in this area. Strength will come in time. I don't expect to see Toby Boeckman to be one of the best when looking at a bench press number, players with long arms will never be at the top of this area. But with added strength and if he moves to an offensive tackle Boeckman will need the strength he will gain in college to increase his punch and to hold off defenders with his long extension.
I really like this pickup by the Bearcats coaching staff. His potential had not been reached and the kid comes from a great football background. I expect to see him be a hard worker and a player who has the potential to become a major factor in the growth of the Bearcats football program in the coming years. Will he be a factor in 2006? NO! I don't expect to see Toby be a factor until the middle of his redshirt freshman year or sophomore season. But with the added JUCO players the Bearcats will have the time to develop him into a player.
To view the following video you will need Windows Media Player. Toby is number 14 on the video.