Buckeyes Getting Hard Hitter In Boren

Zach Boren is more than just one-half of what appeared to be a package deal to Ohio State along with his older brother, Justin. Take a look at what kind of player Zach is and what both he and his high school coach think he will be able to accomplish when he arrives in Columbus this winter.

Pickerington (Ohio) Central head coach Jay Sharrett has a pretty good idea of what type of player Ohio State is getting in Zach Boren.

"The first thing that jumps out is how much he likes physical play," Sharrett told BuckeyeSports.com. "He will go out there and wrestle with guys and throw them around, but he brings the impact hits to our team. He has all season, he has for the three years he's played for us and I'm sure he'll continue that on."

Of course, given Boren's upbringing, that sentiment is not much of a surprise. His father, Mike, was a letter-winning linebacker at Michigan during the 1980s. His older brother, Justin, is an offensive lineman at OSU after starting his career with the Wolverines. His younger brother, Jacoby, was a freshman starter this season at Central.

A household like that stressed toughness while growing up.

"We were just brought up to be tough," Zach Boren said. "If we had a cut or something when we were young we were told to suck it up. It's just something that all the Borens have."

That toughness has helped make him a three-star linebacker prospect with the potential to play a few roles on the field. As a senior, Boren played linebacker and fullback and delivered plenty of bruising hits on both sides of the ball.

Scout.com ranks him as the No. 47 middle linebacker prospect in the country, and it appears that is where he will begin his OSU career.

"They've not come straight out and told me, but I'm pretty sure they're going to start me off at linebacker and I'll go from there," he said. "If they need help at linebacker, that's where I'll play but if the need help at fullback I'm more than happy to go over and help them out there. Wherever they need me most, I'm willing to contribute anywhere."

Sharrett said he could fit a number of roles in college based on his hitting ability.

"Wherever they put him, it's going to be a physical position because the kid is (tough) and likes to hit," Sharrett said. "Whether they play him at linebacker or running back or H-back, he's got really good hands and great body coordination. I think he could fit some different holes."

While playing for Central, Boren played 100 percent on defense and 60-70 percent on offense either running the ball or playing some tight end, Sharrett said.

A 6-2, 255-pound prospect, Boren will graduate early from Central and plans on enrolling in winter courses in Columbus.

"I'm just hoping to get in there and work out and get bigger and learn the system before normal freshmen go in," he said. "I want to get in there and learn the system as soon as possible and contribute to the team next year if they want me to or if they need me to."

That sentiment goes along with what Boren himself feels he does best on the field. While his coach was quick to praise Boren's ability to be physical, the future Buckeye said he is most proud of his ability to lead his teammates.

"It's something that I like doing," Boren said. "I don't like singling out one thing I do best on the field. I like knowing that I help everyone out around me and that I help the team get to one goal, and that's winning every week."

That goal came to an end when Central fell in a Nov. 22 state semifinal game. The Tigers dropped a 24-10 decision to Cincinnati Elder just a few hours after Justin Boren watched his Buckeyes defeat the Wolverines.

Prior to the season-ending loss, Sharrett described Zach as the type of player all coaches love to have.

"We like having guys like that on our team, I can tell you that," he said. "Besides him enjoying football, he's coachable. He does the intangibles. He leads by example, all the things that go into a great season."

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