"He's a tough nut," Meyer said. "He's little, but he's a goer, he's a doer."
Boren's size – regardless of whether that's a fair disparagement – didn't get in the way of his progression in just a week participating in Ohio State's drills. In that span, he went from being a clueless freshman to what seemed to be the Buckeyes' backup center.
But his progress was cut short when a shoulder injury sustained in high school became progressively worse. In efforts to potentially have Boren back by the commencement of fall camp, Meyer opted to pull the freshman and have him undergo surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
The procedure was done in early April and Boren – now restricted to a protective sling on his left arm – has started the recovery process. Boren hopes to be back in a full capacity by the time Ohio State begins fall camp.
"So far it has gone well and I haven't had too much pain at all really, so things have really gone smooth so far," Boren told BuckeyeSports.com. "I definitely want to be back by the season. It all depends on how my body reacts. The plan is definitely to be back by camp, but right now we're taking it one step at a time and see where it goes."
Boren's injury initially occurred during Pickerington Central's 34-13 loss to St. Ignatius in the Ohio Division I state championship game at Canton's Fawcett Stadium in December, but he attempted to play through the injury in order to partake fully in spring practice.
Perhaps Boren could have played through the pain enough to get through spring drills before having the procedure, but Meyer was pleased enough with his progress to pull him out of practice to get the recovery process started quicker.
"He was doing so well, the coaches wanted him to get it down so he would be ready for camp," Zach Boren said of his younger brother. "He's a fighter, so he'll recovery fast and he'll be in there each and every day getting rehab. Nothing too major, so he'll be ready to go by the season."
Listed as 6-2, 283-pounds, Boren's size wouldn't seem to be an issue. However, as he was recruited by former OSU head coach Jim Tressel, the No. 1 concern for the offensive line prospect was his lack of height.
Even Meyer made a reference to his lack of size, but that hasn't been a factor when considering the type of role he could play as a freshman for the Buckeyes.
"They want him to be the second-string center and back up the offensive line," Zach said. "If anything happens on the offensive line, he can jump right in. They wanted him to get it (the surgery) out of the way."
Despite being confined to a sling, Boren was out last week with the rest of the Gray Team raking and mulching the Buckeye Grove, Meyer's punishment to the losing team in Ohio State's annual spring game.
Boren, who used right arm solely with the yard work, said he was glad to be in a situation where competitiveness is a mainstay in daily activities. In that situation, Boren said he's confident he can make positive strides in his playing career.
"It was competitive, for sure," Boren said when describing his limited taste of OSU's spring practices. "It was a lot different than things went in high school. The way they arranged practice, you're competing every single day with the winners and the losers. I love competing and doing all that stuff, so it was definitely good experience and it gave me a taste of what is to come."
Still not sure how quickly he'll be cleared for full contact, Boren is concentrated on his rehab assignments. Looking back at the way he performed in the action he did have this spring, Boren is pleased with the strides that he made.
Now he hopes to be back in time to be an instant contributor to Ohio State's offensive line as a freshman.
"I was happy with the way I performed," Boren said. "There are definitely things I need to improve on and things I am going to work on during the off-season. I have a ways to go, but I know what I have to focus on and I plan on competing when I get back."