Sophomore Center Bobek to Transfer
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State will have another scholarship available for the class of 2013, but the Buckeyes will be a little thinner on the offensive line this fall.
The extra scholarship was made available by the departure of backup center Brian Bobek, who will leave the program and seek a transfer, a team spokesman confirmed to The-Ozone on Sunday.
Once considered to be the likely successor to four-year starter Michael Brewster, Bobek fell out of contention for the starting center spot during the spring. He opened camp behind redshirt junior Corey Linsley as the team’s No. 2 center, but eventually found himself behind true freshman Jacoby Boren.
The staff liked Boren so much in his first spring at Ohio State, they asked him to have surgery on his previous torn labrum so that he would be back at full strength by the fall. That opened the door for Bobek to slide back into the No. 2 center spot behind Linsley, but it became clear he was not going to have a chance to compete for the starting spot.
“I think the old staff had left sort of a ‘who they thought would fit best’ and Coach Ed Warinner told me the first day they’re going to put me at center,” Linsley said recently.
“Now that I have really solidified my spot as the starting center, I think my goals are just be All-Big Ten, I guess I got those goals, and be the best possible center I can possibly be.”
A sophomore out of Palatine, Ill., just outside Chicago, Bobek was a 4-star prospect during his days at William Fremd High School. He was three-year starter for Coach Mike Donatucci, and a U.S. Army All-American as a senior.
He picked Ohio State over Michigan State and Purdue, but is reportedly looking at a possible transfer to either West Virginia University or another unnamed Big Ten school. Brian’s brother, Jeff, is a senior fullback for Mark Dantonio at Michigan State, while both of his parents are alumni of the University of Iowa.
His father, Jeff, was a linebacker for the Hawkeyes and his mother, Terri, played women’s basketball at Iowa.
Bobek will have to sit out this coming season as a part of his transfer, but he will be eligible to play in 2013 with three more years of eligibility for whatever school he chooses.
Along with Boren, who should be healthy for the start of fall camp, the Buckeyes may also use incoming freshman Joey O’Connor or Pat Elflein as an emergency center behind Linsley.
Bobek is the eighth player to leave the OSU football program since Urban Meyer took over in January, and the first since the conclusion of spring practice back in April.
Backup quarterback Taylor Graham was the first player to leave, asking for his release in early January so he could seek a transfer to Hawaii. Graham was followed shortly by defensive backs Dominic Clarke and DerJuan Gambrell — both of whom were released from their scholarships by Meyer for violating team rules (both players were arrested in January).
Since then, defensive back Jeremy Cash and fullback David Durham have also asked for their release to seek a transfer, while tailback Jaamal Berry was told he will not be allowed to return to the team as he awaits his legal fate.
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