Tradition Helped Sway Bobek To Buckeyes

When four-star center prospect Brian Bobek issued a verbal commitment to Ohio State, he turned down a Buckeye rival to the north. In this update, find out who came in second for Bobek's services, why he picked the Buckeyes and what sort of relationship he has built with his future position coach in Columbus.

Ohio State is accustomed to battling a school from Michigan for recruits, but its recruitment of Brian Bobek was different from most.

This time, the Wolverines did not factor into the equation. Bobek's decision came down to OSU and Michigan State, with the Buckeyes winning out for the nation's top center prospect thanks to their history on the gridiron.

"The tradition of Ohio State football is great," Bobek told "That was the deciding factor that made me really want to go there because it was between Michigan State and Ohio State really. In the end, both of them had great people but what made me lean toward Ohio State was just the tradition of Ohio State football."

Listed at 6-2½, 278 pounds, Bobek was part of a verbal commitment parade for the Buckeyes that saw five juniors issue pledges to join the program during the span of two days. One day before Bobek pulled the trigger, OSU received verbal commitments from two other offensive linemen: Chris Carter from Cleveland John F. Kennedy and Antonio Underwood from Shaker Heights, Ohio.

He was not quite ready to commit, but the situation helped push Bobek over the edge.

"I was thinking I was going to wait for probably three or four more weeks and take some more visits, and then my mom got an e-mail from one of her friends who is an Ohio State fan saying that two offensive linemen committed," he said. "I called up (offensive line coach Jim) Bollman the next day and asked him if that affected me at all and he said, ‘No, that doesn't affect you at all.' I just decided it felt right so I wanted to commit anyway."

Until that point, the plan was to try and make a decision before his senior season began.

Both Carter and Underwood are projected by as guards. It is a position Bobek predominantly played until his sophomore season at Palatine (Ill.) William Fremd, when he was switched to center.

Looking back, Bobek said it was not a difficult transition.

"I think I'm more of a natural center," he said. "It really wasn't that hard of a transition. Really, the only thing I had to learn how to do was I had to get my shotgun snaps perfect rather than just good. It was pretty natural for me."

Bobek said he has spoken with incumbent starting center Michael Brewster as well as redshirt freshmen Sam Longo and Corey Linsley throughout his recruitment. His primary recruiter was Bollman, who also played a key role in Bobek's commitment.

"I know that he's been very good at developing centers, and so that was a positive," he said. "I don't really know how to describe the personality. I just felt at home when I was there. I couldn't see myself ever not getting along with him on anything. As we got to know each other more, it backed up my decision even more. I feel really comfortable in that area."

Fremd primarily uses zone blocking schemes in its offensive attack. Bobek said that approach fits his skill set – a viewpoint he said was echoed by the coaches who recruited him.

"I think the offense is pretty much perfect for me," he said. "I think I work well in space because I'm a more athletic lineman. I'm not quite as big, but I make up for it with athleticism and strength."

This fall, Bobek will also be lining up as a defensive lineman. His goal for the summer is to improve his conditioning to the point where he can play the entire game and give maximum effort on both sides of the ball.

Then it will be onto college, where he is excited to join the Buckeyes.

"It was definitely the people (at OSU)," he said. "That was huge. Everyone there is just great and I could relate to them all very well. We have the same values and everything, so that made me feel really comfortable there."

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