Wood, Boren All Smiles At Ceremony

Jamie Wood and Zach Boren were up bright and early at Pickerington (Ohio) Central High School to talk about Ohio State, as Wood put pen to paper to join the football team and Boren made the trip down from Columbus where he is already taking classes. Wood talked about what the day meant to him and Boren discussed his month-old OSU career.

Two players from one Central Ohio football power yet again put their school on the map this morning, as Pickerington Central High School had an 8 a.m. ceremony for Jamie Wood and Zach Boren to sign national letters of intent for Ohio State.

Though the ceremony was just window dressing for Boren, who enrolled at OSU in January, Wood signed his actual letter of intent in the school's gymnasium in front of a crowd of classmates, friends, family and fellow letter-of-intent signers.

"It feels good," Wood said. "It's finally official. I'm officially a Buckeye now. I've been committed for a while, but this is when it's on paper."

While much of the focus over the past few months has been on the transformation of the Boren family – whose patriarch, Mike, played football at Michigan – from Wolverine to Buckeye, Wood's family contingent was pronounced at the event. Thirteen members of his family surrounded him as he took his letter of intent out of a FedEx envelope and signed it.

"Throughout my whole high school career, my family has been the main support that's been given to me," he said. "To have them here with me is a blessing."

Wood is one of the top-rated Ohioans in the class and one of the top safeties in the country. Scout rates Wood, a four-star prospect, as the No. 9 safety in the country and its No. 131 prospect overall.

The 6-2, 190-pounder committed to Ohio State almost a year ago, doing so in late February 2008. He still admitted being a bit nervous, though, as today's events grew nearer.

"I couldn't sleep last night," he said. "It's the day I make it official, the day of the press conference and everything. I was really excited for this day."

As for why he chose Ohio State, Wood said, "I've grown up a Buckeye fan, always loved Ohio State. To be given the opportunity to become one is a dream come true. The coaches and everything, everything was what I wanted in a school. I couldn't pass it up."

Ohio State returns two safeties who have started each of the past two seasons, but Wood, who plans to enroll in March in time for spring ball, said he would approach the season as though he has a shot at playing time.

A similar refrain was heard from Boren, who has been taking class at Ohio State for a month. The 6-1, 255-pound linebacker has been reunited with his brother, Justin, who made news by transferring from Michigan to Ohio State in the weeks before Zach's commitment to wear scarlet and gray.

Since then, the two have been reunited as teammates as Zach is on campus and rehabbing an injured knee that will keep him to non-contact drills during spring ball.

"I had no idea that I was ever going to be honored enough to be signing with a big college like this, let alone Ohio State, two years ago," Zach Boren said. "I'm so happy to be a Buckeye now. It takes off a lot of pressure knowing that the next four or five years are set in stone. I'm just going to work hard and do everything possible I can to do well up there."

Boren, who was accompanied by his parents at the ceremony, was his team's most valuable player as a senior and played a number of positions, but he'll start at Ohio State as a linebacker. The 6-1, 255-pounder is listed as the No. 45 middle linebacker in the country.

"They told me I'm going to be playing linebacker up there and I'm about to get the playbook soon I think, so I'm going to be learning the system," he said. "I'm definitely excited to play linebacker at Ohio State."

So far, Boren has learned that his new surroundings are not to be taken lightly. He said that Monday, he was up at 5 a.m. for workouts and rehab, and with classes he's not free until after 5 p.m. in the evening. Today, he's due back at Ohio State for classes and the signing day press conference with most of the OSU beat media.

"Justin used to always say that when you get to college, it's more like a job than anything," Zach said. "It's your job to be successful and make sure you're doing everything right. I definitely agree with him 100 percent. It's like a job. You have to do it right or you won't make it."

For a photo gallery of today's proceedings, please click here.

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