Monday, April 5, 2010

BOREN'S A PHYSICAL GUY, 'THAT'S IT'

COLUMBUS — Ohio State senior Justin Boren may quite possibly be the best left guard in all of college football.

He's big, he's physical, he's mean and even though he used to play for 'That School Up North,' he has fit in perfectly on the Buckeyes interior line, which may also be the best group in the nation, when adding in junior center Michael Brewster and senior right guard Bryant Browning.

Why are they possibly the best group around?

Boren stated that the interior trio — which some have labeled as 'The Killer B's — have used their time and experience together to create an extremely tight bond in the trenches.

"We have a lot of confidence coming out of last year," Boren said. "We have kind of bonded as a unit. Whenever you have three guys who have played together the entire previous season, you bond and you feel comfortable with those guys.

"Now we can work on the small things, which makes it better. Like when we're concentrating on watching film, we know what's going to happen before it happens. When you can do that, it improves us (as a unit) tremendously."

After playing his first two seasons in Michigan, starting at left guard for former Wolverines head coach Lloyd Carr, Boren decided to bolt from Ann Arbor after the school replaced his mentor with current boss Rich Rodriguez.

Because of the NCAA transfer rule, Boren had to sit out the entire 2008 season before he could suit up in the Scarlet and Gray. It didn't make the big man too happy, which paid off huge dividends for the Buckeyes when he finally did get on the field in 2009.

"It was great to get back out there (last season)," Boren said. "Taking a year off was rough. Just watching the guys going out there each Saturday was not fun. But, I ended up having a decent season. There are definitely some things I can improve on this year, it just felt great being able to go out there last year and playing a full season."

Boren will be one of the main players with the huge responsibility to keep the Buckeyes biggest star, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, standing upright and healthy in 2010, a season that many across the country feel could end in Glendale, Arizona — home of this year's BCS Championship Game.

"It's a lot easier for Terrelle if we give him time to throw and time to make decisions," Boren said. "If we are allowing guys to get in his face, it's not going to be good. So our goal is to give him some more time, let him sit back there. If we can do that he'll do very good. He's probably the most capable athlete on this team."

The 6-foot-3, 320-pounder said that he has seen a huge change in his quarterback during the past couple seasons in Columbus.

"He's matured, Terrelle's such a great kid," Boren said. "He's always out there encouraging us and everything. He's a great player, I mean, you guys know what kind of athlete he is.

"During his rookie year (in 2008) he took things a little too seriously. And now, he just lets it run off his back a little easier. He's just ... he's unbelievable."

Although the Buckeyes are a bit uncertain as to whom will be the starting tackles this season, one thing's for sure — the left guard spot is set in stone.

So what makes him possibly the best guard around? According to Boren, it's simple.

"I'm a pretty physical person," Boren said. "I just try to knock the guy off across from me on every play.

"That's it."