Coach Talk: Brian Bobek

When he committed to Ohio State, he was an unranked center prospect. Now he is the nation's top prospect at his position. In this installment of "Coach Talk," find out what Bobek's high school coach thinks of his ability, his career and his potential.

When Brian Bobek went from an unranked prospect to's No. 1 center following a verbal commitment to Ohio State, more than a few people raised their eyebrows.

But back home in Palatine, Ill., the four-star prospect from William Fremd had at least one fan in his corner.

"He's very, very smart," Fremd head coach Mike Donatucci told "He's very, very strong and he has excellent feet. He's explosive and he works well in space. He has a 32-inch vertical jump and benches 450 (pounds).

"He's kind of a freak."

The Buckeyes were among the first schools to get in on the 6-2½, 278-pound Bobek. Not included on that list were Illinois and Northwestern, although they tried to get in late, Donatucci said.

Although he still fields the occasional call from a college other than OSU, Donatucci said his answer is always the same: he remains firmly committed to the Buckeyes.

Bobek's coach described Fremd as a "zone team," which he feels plays to Bobek's strengths.

"Because he's so good in space, the zone was good for him," Donatucci said. "This year we'll go to more pulling schemes with him because he runs so well."

Last year's offense skewed more to the run than the pass with about 70 percent of the plays coming on the ground, but this year's attack figures to be more balanced. As a junior, Bobek recorded around 35 pancake blocks.

"It's got to be to the ground and you've got to be dominating him," Donatucci said. "That's three per game. That's pretty good."

In addition to playing on the defensive line, Bobek also throws shot put and discus for his school's track team. Coupled with a 3.2 grade-point average and a score of 25 on the ACT, Donatucci described Bobek as a well-rounded kid.

"He has worked for everything he's got," the coach said. "He's been a kid who just keeps his nose to the grindstone every day. He lives and dies with athletics, football in particular. He's a good student."

That does not necessarily translate into being a talkative player. More a quiet leader than one of the outspoken variety, Bobek prefers to lead by example. That figures to be easier after having issued a verbal commitment March 16.

"I want him to enjoy his senior year," his coach said. "The opportunity that Ohio State gave him to commit early and have such a high-value scholarship, he's looking forward to playing with his pals."

Asked what kind of ceiling Bobek possesses, Donatucci said, "I think when you look at him, there's not going to be anyone stronger. He's going to fill out more. Right now he's about 275 (pounds) and because he's so strong and explosive in both the upper body and lower body – when you take his football IQ, he can be a very, very good one."

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