Central Ohio is all abuzz today as former Michigan offensive lineman has done the unthinkable: He’s transferring to Ohio State. Justin Boren, unhappy with the new Rich Rodriguez-led regime in Ann Arbor, will have sit out a year and, thanks to Big 10 rules, can never go on scholarship while suiting up for the Buckeyes.
So even though Boren is no all-american prospect**, he’s still a first class practice player for Jim Tressel. And a free player who doesn’t count against the team’s scholarship numbers.
We worked on the Ohio State radio network for five years (hosting Buckeye football pre- and postgame talk shows and co-hosting a daily radio show with Kirk Herbstreit) and can’t remember every hearing about a UM player transferring to Columbus. Or vice versa.
The COLUMBUS DISPATCH did some digging though, and the results as somewhat astonishing.
(Jack) Park, considered the walking encyclopedia of OSU football, said he can’t recall another high-profile player transferring from Michigan to Ohio State, and certainly not since World War II.
“He is just one player, but I think it’s a major moment (in the history of the rivalry),” Park said. “Just that it would happen is one thing. Then you throw in the fact his father (Mike Boren, who played linebacker for Bo Schembechler) had been at Michigan just makes it all the more interesting.”
Park pointed out that two players in the 1940s started their college careers at OSU, went to World War II, then played at Michigan upon their return. Howard Yerges Jr. was the starting quarterback and J.T. White the starting center for the Wolverines’ 1947 national championship team.
That’s it? So post-leather helmets, there’s nobody. That’s not to say that there wasn’t at least one player Buckeye fans wish they could’ve shipped north of the border:
But that’s another topic for another day.*
* We know, he helped with the national title run. But what about now, Bucks fans?
** There’s some dispute to that claim from the Buckeye and Wolverine fans we’ve heard from. Boren’s bio. Some of those emailers also claim that Boren left UM because he didn’t want to participate in the intense offseason conditioning routine instituted by Rodriguez, which doesn’t bode well for his OSU career.