"So you want me to play fullback? If you want, I can play linebacker too. Give me a few weeks and a weight gaining program, I can probably pick up the guard position," the future Zach Boren would probably say eagerly battling for playing time on his future NFL team.
Zach Boren is listed anywhere from 5-11.5 and 238 pounds to 6-1 and 245 pounds. Regardless of his measurables, one thing is certain: he will attack every play with animosity second to none. Whether he is on the offensive side of the ball or the defensive side, Zach Boren is a born playmaker, as he started at least 5 games every season since his freshman year.
Originally recruited as a linebacker, the four-year, two-way fullback/linebacker starter from Pickerington High School Central was immediately ready to contribute. He saw action as a freshman, rotating with the tight ends and wide receivers, then switched exclusively to fullback over the next two years. Despite not receiving a carry in 2011, Boren was honored with the Rex Kern Award as the team's outstanding offensive back for his impeccable blocking ability. Despite this impressive award, things changed drastically for him the minute Urban Meyer stepped on campus.
In 2012, Boren played the first six games at fullback, providing key blocking for Braxton Miller to achieve a 7.2 yards/carry average. After those first six games, however, Boren made the shocking switch to linebacker for the first time in his collegiate career, due to the team's needs. After Boren's switch, the defense went from allowing 386.5 yards per game to 331.7 yards per game. Another notable statistic: after Boren left Miller to fend for himself on the offensive side of the ball, his yards/carry average dropped to a measly 4.2.
Now Mr. Boren did not have the NFL combine performance that he had hoped for, as he finished last among the fullbacks in the three-cone drill and the broad jump. But he did post impressive recordings in the 20-yard shuttle, bench press, and vertical jump. Those statistics may deem irrelevant, as the NFL team who takes Boren will not be drafting or picking him up for his combine numbers, but rather for his experience, intellect, and hard-nosed reputation.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. lists Boren as the third-best fullback option ($) for NFL teams in the draft, stating that Boren "filled in well as a linebacker for Ohio State so his draft value actually increases, given his versatility." Now fullbacks aren't typically a hot commodity come draft day, so Boren may not be taken in the actual draft. However, I, as well as many others, am very confident that Zach finds a home on an NFL roster. Anyone who casually followed his career as a Buckeye knows this: Zach Boren is a versatile competitor who will do whatever it takes to help his team win.