Justin Boren Discusses U-M/OSU Recruiting Journey

Earlier on Friday, offensive lineman Justin Boren called GoBlueWolverine.com to announce he had become the University of Michigan football team's second verbal commitment for the recruiting class of 2006. Later Friday, GBW spoke further with Boren regarding the process, and the fact that it wasn't always a lock he would follow father Mike to Michigan.

Are you a Michigan Man who lives in Ohio, or are you a Buckeye who's father just happened to play for Michigan? These are some of the questions offensive lineman Justin Boren, son of former Wolverine linebacker Mike Boren, pondered as he enjoyed a level of personal and athletic success reserved for the very few. On Friday, the junior Boren contacted GoBlueWolverine.com with the news that he had given the Michigan football coaching staff his verbal commitment to play football for the Maize and Blue. "There are some things that would have made it easier for me to commit to Ohio State," Boren said. "But in the end, I just wanted to go to Michigan. It's a huge relief and I'm glad to get it over with. I've been a fan all my life and I belong at Michigan."

Scout.com Midwest Recruiting Analyst Chris Pool told GoBlueWolverine.com he has Boren listed as the No. 4 player in the Midwest, behind Ohio lineman Connor Smith, Michigan linebacker commitment Brandon Graham, and Ohio running back Chris Wells.

The Buckeyes were the first to jump into the Boren sweepstakes, and that fact was almost too much for the Michigan staff to overcome. "I really was leaning towards Ohio State, especially after they were the first to offer," Boren said later Friday. "But I really like the staff at Michigan, that's not to say I don't like the people at OSU -- they are wonderful and treated me with respect -- but I think Coach (Andy) Moeller is a great coach and a great guy, and I can see myself playing for him."

So, when did it become final for Boren? "After the Nike Camp, after talking to Bo, I just felt in my heart this was where I wanted to play," he said. As much as I like and respect Ohio State, in the end I just couldn't see myself playing against Michigan."

Boren said he did receive a lot of pressure from local folks to pick the Buckeyes, but isn't worried about any repercussions regarding his decision. "If we were out to dinner, people would come up and tell me I should go to Ohio State," he said. "Everybody was friendly about it, nobody was ever nasty. I expect I'll hear things when I get home, but my decision is firm. I gave my commitment and that's it's, it's in my blood and there's no way to change."

Justin's father played for Bo in the early 1980s and one would realistically expect dad to prod his son towards his alma mater. However, this wasn't the case. "My parents were totally behind me no matter which way I chose," he said. "When I told my dad last weekend that it was Michigan, he didn't get excited or anything like that, he was just happy for me and what I had decided to do. My mom had some questions about academics, and how the spring (semester) would go, that was all that was left." Boren said he will graduate in December and join the team for bowl practices, just as running back Kevin Grady did last year.

With the added experience, Boren does not expect to sit on the sidelines for long. "We talked about me either playing guard or center," he said. "The fact that I'm left-handed doesn't seem to be a problem for center. Coach Moeller said he has worked with several centers that were left-handed. I've never played but am open to playing wherever they want me. I think with coming in early for the bowl practices, and then being there for spring practice, I'll be ready to be in the two-deep. But, if I'm no going to play as a freshman I want to red-shirt."

Boren measured 6-foot-3, 319-pounds at the recent Ann Arbor Nike Camp. He said he plans on being at 300 pounds when he begins his senior season.

Not only will Boren follow in his father's footsteps at Michigan, he will do the same after graduation. The Boren's own a construction business in Pickerington, and Justin plans on blueprinting his academic curriculum around the construction trade. "I'll probably major in general studies," he said. "I looked at the construction management major, and that is through the engineering school. That may be tough with football, so I'll go for the general studies degree and take a couple of construction management classes. I already have a job waiting for me when I graduate."

What's next for the newest Wolverine? "I'm just going to enjoy my summer and get ready for my senior season," he said. "It was a really hard decision."

One nice tidbit from the Boren interview, only available to Michigan fans, can be found on the GoBlueWolverine.com Victors Club Message Board.

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