After battling injuries most of his career, Brian Bobek faces another tough fight for playing time in his final season, but the opportunity is there for the taking.
Brian Bobek's Minnesota career has yet to take flight after transferring to Gophers in 2012 after one year at Ohio State. After a promising redshirt transfer year in 2012 where he was able to practice with the team, but not compete due to NCAA rules, 2013 was supposed tobe his year to shine. Unfortunately for Bobek, he was hit with an untimely viral infection that cost him the whole season and spent the 2014 season trying to regain most of his strength. With only one year left, time is essence for the senior offensive lineman.
Bobek seizes control for the starting center position in fall camp, a spot of which he was a mainstay at this spring and doesn't look back. Bobek being at 100% and a consistent snapper at center, shifts Jon Christenson over to left guard giving the Gophers all upperclassmen starters along of the offensive line. He should be able to start every game at center in one of the most exciting years to come of Gopher Football in the last decade.
Any player hopes to avoid injuries, but in Bobek’s case, it is an ever-present issue after missing the entire 2013 season with the viral condition, and then playing sparingly with just three games played in the 2014 season. If healthy, the worst-case scenario should be special teams and Bobek should be the back-up center.
From a recruiting ranking standpoint, Bobek's career path is similar to that of former Gopher Matt Carufel. Carufel and Bobek were Army All-Americans offensive lineman and ended up transferring from their initial destination (Bobek from Ohio State and Carufel from Notre Dame) to Minnesota to finish out their careers. Carufel's career ended up with more than a few starts in his upperclassman campaign, so Bobek is hoping his senior year goes that same way.
Development Vs. Recruiting Ranking
Bobek was a consensus four-star offensive lineman coming out of high school and was also a U.S. Army All-American along with All-American Accolades from Parade and Scout.com. Injuries have prevented him from living up to his four-star status.
Bobek has only appeared in three games for Minnesota thus far and just back-up duty among those, but his first game against Eastern Illinois last season had to of been a great feeling to dawn Gopher uniform for the first time.
Quote to note
"Brian Bobek (viral infection last year) is healthy and playing like the kid who was in the two-deep at Ohio State his freshman year."
- Gopher offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover explained in the summer of 2014.
Minnesota A to Z: Brian Bobek
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