Boxen Battles Back

The first thing one would notice when approaching Ron Boxen is his size, but that's understandable since the offensive tackle from Beaver Falls, Pa. High School is 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds.

But if he were to be sized-up from head to toe, the next things to stand out would be his feet. "Size 18,'' Ron Boxen said matter-of-factly. Offensive linemen are known for wearing some big gun boats on their feet, but think aircraft carrier in this case. It also provides an apt parallel for Boxen, who was at the Pittsburgh Prospects Camp Friday, because his career will have to take off from here.

Boxen certainly has the size and raw ability to be a special offensive tackle at the collegiate level, but he'll be a bit of a project. Boxen suffered a broken ankle in the first game as a junior in 2007, so he'll need to perform well in camps like the one at Pitt, as well as during his senior season, to get any scholarship offers.

But Boxen certainly appears to be up for the challenge.

"I don't have any film from my junior season, so that's why I'm here,'' Boxen said. "I have to get out as much as possible and be seen. That's the best thing for me, to come to camps like this one at Pitt and work harder than everyone else who's here. So, that's what I'm going to do.''

Boxen already appeared to impress Pitt defensive line coach Greg Gattuso, who has been recruiting the player's Beaver Falls teammate, four-star wideout Todd Thomas. But it's only from a size and enthusiasm standpoint right now.

"They want to see how quick I am and see if my ankle is 100 percent,'' Boxen said. "That's the main things, how well I can move and if my injury is healed. And I think I can do pretty well in both areas.

"I've been working a lot on my flexibility, to get a lot quicker, and I've gotten a lot stronger from working out and rehabbing the ankle since I was injured last September. So, I'm in pretty good shape right now.''

While Boxen has been under the radar a bit so far, interest in him could take off once he gets through the camp circuit and plays a few games this fall. Then, who knows? The scholarship offers could pour in.

"I would consider Pitt, if they give me an offer, because I really love everything here,'' Boxen said. "The facilities are great. The coaches have been great, too. Coach Gattuso has really been informative, and I met Coach Wannstedt.

"They're both good guys, so we'll see what happens after this camp. I'm open to just about anything. I'm just going to do my best to show everybody what I can do. This is an important time for me, and my senior season will be very important, too. Obviously, I have to do well this season.''

And with Boxen's size and talent, he should stand out on the field as well.

Panther Digest Top Stories