Future Forecast: Brian Bobek

The next subject of our ongoing series is Brian Bobek, a four-star center prospect from the Land of Lincoln who can boast being rated No. 1 on the boards of Ohio State and Scout.com alike.

With four-star prospect Brian Bobek telling BuckeyeSports.com earlier this year that he is Ohio State's only center recruit in the class of 2011, projecting where the Palatine (Ill.) William Fremd offensive lineman will play in scarlet and gray is not difficult.

When he gets on the field could be debated, however.

Current Buckeye center Michael Brewster has two years of eligibility remaining as of this writing, and though he could leave early to enter the 2011 NFL draft, that is not a move many true junior offensive lineman make. Potential labor strife in pro football could deter prospects from skipping their senior years as well.

Should Brewster play out the string, Bobek figures to have a hard time working his way into the two-deep as a true freshman unless projected No. 2 center Corey Linsley (who will have three years of eligibility left when Bobek arrives on campus) is needed elsewhere on the line. That, too, seems unlikely if everyone is healthy, so Bobek could be in line for a bit of an apprenticeship.

Whenever he is needed on the field, there seems to be little doubt Bobek has the skills to be a major contributor and continue the long line of successful centers to be tutored by Ohio State head coach Jim Bollman.

Bobek's high school coach told BuckeyeSports.com his pupil is an explosive, powerful athletic lineman with great strength, and his junior highlights bear that out.

The 6-2 1/2 , 278-pounder excels against multiple types of defensive front, looking just as comfortable with a man lined up on his nose as he is having to go find one downfield.

He gets low and drives defenders to the whistle when taking on down linemen and shows a good knack for latching on to linebackers in space.

In both instances, he gets his hands on defenders quickly and uses his power to steer them where he wants to go.

Since it is a highlight tape, that Bobek can be seen piling up pancake blocks comes as no surprise, but something else less obvious also bodes well for his future success: Bobek does not give up on plays once his first job is finished. Multiple times he can be seen hustling after plays and trying to get blocks downfield no matter how much ground he needs to make up to do so.

Mobility, aggressiveness and hustle figure to be key for Bobek, who will undoubtedly gain some weight but figures always to be a smallish offensive lineman in this day and age of college football.

Interviews he has given with BuckeyeSports.com in the past indicate he understands the importance of using knowledge and leverage to his advantage, something that bodes well for him in Columbus.

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