Elflein Ready For New Challenge At OSU

Offensive lineman Pat Elflein of Pickerington (Ohio) North might not be a high-profile member of Ohio State's 2012 recruiting class, but he becomes a Buckeye after an impressive high school career. With plenty of family support, Elflein made his commitment official on National Signing Day.

Pat Elflein knew he was going to play college football at Ohio State since July. Still, the offensive lineman struggled to sleep the night before National Signing Day.

Elflein, a lifelong Buckeye fan, couldn't rest in the hours before he was going to make his verbal commitment official by signing a national letter of intent and faxing it to OSU.

"It was hard to sleep," the Pickerington (Ohio) North standout admitted. "This is the day I've been waiting for. It's finally here, and I'm excited."

Elflein had several scholarship offers - including ones from Big Ten schools like Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue - before he finally got the one he had been waiting for after attending a camp at Ohio State. That's when then interim head coach Luke Fickell offered him a scholarship. It didn't take Elflein long to accept.

Tim Phillips, Elflein's coach at Pickerington North, was not surprised when Elflein quickly pulled the trigger.

"I don't know if there's one kid in the state of Ohio that would ever turn down that offer. It's very rare you see that," Phillips said. "You do see some, but usually when they get that Buckeye offer you usually see that kid commit (right away). ... When Ohio State's (offer) came I think Pat answered that within five seconds."

Elflein might not be the most well-known member of the 2012 recruiting class, but the 6-3, 285-pound offensive lineman is arguably one of the most versatile players in the group. Elflein did a little of everything for the Panthers, playing on both the offensive and defensive line. Phillips said Elflein played nearly all of his team's snaps as a junior and played the majority of them as a senior.

And if it would have been up to Elflein, he would have played more. Phillips said Elflein was usually angry when Phillips would sub for him on offense.

"He's just a warrior with a big motor," Phillips said.

That motor ran on more than just the football field. Elflein is a top heavyweight wrestler and a track and field athlete. He is on pace to be the first male athlete at Pickerington North to earn 12 varsity letters, doing so in all four years in each of his three sports.

While the 12 letters are impressive, Elflein had an even more impressive number to boast about on Signing Day. At a ceremony honoring Elflein and four other Pickerington North football players who are moving on to the college level, the OSU signee had 28 family members in attendance.

When it came time for photos, Elflein had plenty of company.

"I grew up with a huge family," Elflein said. "I'm kind of used to it by now. It was nice having them all come out."

Of course, his parents and siblings were front and center. Father Ken and mother Lisa flanked Elflein in photos with brothers Matt (a former linebacker at Ohio Dominican) and Chris and sister Heather nearby.

Ken Elflein said it was difficult to put his emotions into words after watching his son sign a letter of intent to play for his favorite team. That's probably because, like his son, Ken and Lisa were coming off a restless night.

"Sleeping was kind of tough," Ken said. "I know my wife mentioned to me that she really had a hard time sleeping because she was so nervous. We know that Pat will be in good hands at Ohio State, though."

As for the future, Pat Elflein said he will start his OSU career as an offensive guard. The younger Elflein had been in close contact with new OSU offensive line coach Ed Warinner since the former Notre Dame assistant joined Urban Meyer's staff. Warriner was even on the phone with Elflein when the three-star prospect was faxing his letter of intent to Ohio State.

Now reality is sinking in for the new Buckeye. Pat Elflein is ready to make his mark with his new team.

"We're going to do some big things these coming years," he said.

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