The Boren Dynasty Begins

Here's a teaser from an article in the upcoming issue of GoBlueWolverine Magazine: Mike Boren played inside linebacker for the University of Michigan football team from 1980 to 1983. Mike's eldest son, Justin, now a highly regarded senior offensive lineman at Pickerington North High School in the Columbus area, decided to spurn the Buckeyes and to follow in his father's footsteps to Ann Arbor. The Wolverines had an 'ace in the hole' in pursuing Justin.

Mike Boren played inside linebacker for the University of Michigan football team from 1980 to 1983. Coming out of high school in 1980, the Columbus, Ohio native chose Michigan over hometown Ohio State to attend college and play football, in large part, Mike told GoBlueWolverine Magazine, because Buckeye coach "Earl Bruce would not offer me a scholarship. Earl told me he didn't think I was fast enough to play Big Ten ball." So instead, "I went to Michigan and played linebacker for Bo Schembechler, alongside (current Michigan assistant coaches) Jim Herrmann and Andy Moeller." Jim Herrmann was a year ahead of Boren (and, we might add, Herrmann was beat out of a starting spot by Boren), while Boren was two years ahead of Andy Moeller.

Boren had a great career as a three-year starter for the Wolverines, and he played in two Rose Bowls ('81 and '83) as a member of Big Ten Championship teams, as well as in the 1984 Sugar Bowl. In the years he was at Michigan the Wolverines went 2-2 against Ohio State, and finished with national rankings of No. 4, No. 12, No. 15 and No. 8.

That fateful decision by Earl Bruce back in 1980 is still haunting the Ohio State football program today. For Mike's eldest son, Justin Boren, now a highly regarded senior offensive lineman at Pickerington North High School in the Columbus area, decided this past May to spurn the Buckeyes -- who had hoped to avoid the mistake made with dad-Mike by offering a scholarship very early to the younger Boren -- and to follow in his father's footsteps to Ann Arbor.

"I'd been going up to Michigan a lot and got real comfortable there," Justin told GBW, "Especially with Coach (Andy) Moeller." The ace in the hole. Mike's former teammate Andy Moeller just happens to be the offensive line coach for the Wolverines. Mike confirmed this, saying, "Andy Moeller was a big deal when we went up (to Ann Arbor) for an unofficial visit the day before the camp. He was great with Justin. Bo and Justin spoke as well, but it was really Andy who made the difference."

Mike Boren had maintained all along that he'd be happy with whatever choice his son made. "To be honest with you, OSU is a lot closer to home," he explained. "It would have been real easy for us to go to his games. But in the long run he is better off at Michigan. Bo always asked me why I came to Michigan and I would tell him, ‘To play football, coach.' He would answer right back, ‘You came to Michigan to get a degree!' And he was right. OSU is a good school, but a Michigan degree is much more valuable."

Mike Boren spent four years running through the tunnel out onto the Michigan Stadium field. He said he doesn't regret a single second of his time in Ann Arbor, even though he is a Columbus native and is back living in the hometown of the Buckeyes. "It is special coming through that Michigan tunnel," he said. "I know there will be a tear in my eye when I see Justin come through and touch the banner for the first time."

Note: more to come

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