Outgoing Ohio State fullback/linebacker Zach Boren met with the media Friday afternoon at the NFL Draft Combine at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
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Boren’s football career took a turn at midseason this past year when he moved from fullback to linebacker. He was invited to the combine to work out as a fullback. However, he has not ruled out the possibility of playing linebacker at the professional level. He will do workouts on both sides of the ball at OSU’s pro day on March 8. (Check out our video interview with Boren above.)
“I really didn’t have a choice,” Boren said. “They sent me an invitation as a fullback. I was happy to just get invited to the combine, whether it was as a linebacker, fullback or running back. Whatever it was, I’m just excited to be here.
“At the pro day, I will be doing a little bit of both. But here I will just be doing fullback.”
Boren moved to fullback at midseason after starter Etienne Sabino suffered a broken leg. He ended up sixth on the team in tackles with 50 and also had 3-1/2 tackles-for-loss. He was a catalyst for an OSU defense that major improvement down the stretch in a 12-0 season.
“I grew up playing linebacker my whole life,” Boren said. “I started at age 5 playing linebacker. When I went to college, I went to fullback. Then I went to linebacker and now I’m back at fullback. I’ve made a couple switches.
“But I don’t know. I kind of think they are the same position. You have to have the same mentality playing linebacker and fullback. You have to love to hit people and that’s what I love to do.”
Boren was asked if he would possibly play both ways in the NFL.
“I would love to,” he said. “If the team that drafts me thought I had the capability and the skill to do that. I played six weeks of last season at linebacker. I thought every week I got stronger and stronger and learning the system and getting a feel for it. It was rough halting that at the end of the season after the Michigan game and not being able to play again.”
Boren made the switch to linebacker when requested by Urban Meyer
Boren said one of his coaches at OSU mentioned how the Cleveland Browns expressed an interest in Boren. Boren said he had talked to reps from the Cincinnati Bengals.
“(The Browns) are a great organization,” Boren said. “I grew up a Cleveland Indians fan my whole life. I have a bunch of family from Cleveland. I know they just drafted a fullback a couple of years with (Stanford’s Owen Marecic). They have Trent Richardson. Who wouldn’t want to be in front of him and blocking for him?”
Boren’s ties to Cleveland include his great-grandfather, Lefty Weisman, who was a trainer for the Indians in the 1940s and 1950s.
Boren said he hopes to run a sub-4.8 time in the 40.
“It’s different on testing day when you have your adrenaline going and your form gives out,” he said. “In the bench, I am hoping to get 35 reps. When I left (Columbus), I was training at 32 or 33. Now I’m on five days rest. I know the record for a running back is 32, so I am hoping to get 35.”
According to nfldraftscout.com, Boren is rated as the No. 4 fullback prospect in the draft. He currently ranks as a seventh-round pick in their ratings. Pro Football Weekly’s draft guide has Boren as the No. 5 fullback and as either a sixth- or seventh-round selection.
Also Check Out
Boren is one of seven Ohio State players at the combine through early next week. He will be joined by OT Reid Fragel, TE Jake Stoneburner, LB Etienne Sabino, DE-LB John Simon, JT Johnathan Hankins and DE Nathan Williams.
We hope to have interviews with Sabino and the linemen on Saturday.
Click here for our interview with Fragel.
Click here for our interview with Stoneburner.
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