At least one Jewish collegiate football player -- Zach Boren, the fullback/linebacker from The Ohio State University Buckeyes -- will be attending the February 23-26 NFL Scouting Combine, after which he's schedule to sign autographs at the Cleveland Auto Show.
A tenacious blocker and stalwart defender, who was key in helping the Buckeyes to an undefeated season in 2012, Boren is the younger brother of Justin Boren -- a former Michigan transfer and OSU player.
An offensive lineman, Justin went undrafted in 2011 and has been signed by the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos, but has seen no game action.
Zach and Justin's father is former Michigan linebacker Mike Boren.I met Zach during a December 16, 2012 appearance and autograph signing at Giant Eagle (a large chain of Midwest grocery stores) in Zach's hometown of Pickerington, Ohio. It was there that I obtained the above signed photo of him standing over Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, who Boren blasted on a sack during the 2012 OSU/Michigan game.
During our brief conversation, I told Boren about JewishSportsCollectibles.com and asked him if I could feature him on the web site.
Zack said that while he didn't actively practice Judaism, “being on the website would make my elders proud.”
Jewish football enthusiasts have the opportunity to add numerous Boren photos to their collections.
The Columbus Dispatch Photo Store offers a wide variety of images featuring Boren available for purchase. These include offense and defensive action shots, like the iconic image of Boren standing over Michigan quarterback Gardner from “The Game”), as well as more casual sideline shots of Boren with teammates.
Boren has been a regular on the signing circuit this winter in Central Ohio. He's done public signings at a variety of sports memorabilia stores, including Sports Possessions, and shows. For a complete list of Boren's past and future appearances, visit SigningsHotline.com or BuckeyeSignings.com.
Boren is scheduled to appear at the Cleveland Auto Show after the Combine on Tuesday, February 26 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Autographs at the show are limited to one per person and are not guaranteed.
Collectors who have the chance to meet Boren will likely come away from the experience pleased.
Boren was pleasant during our brief meeting at Giant Eagle in December. He took photos and chatted with fans throughout the time I observed him.
The same was true when I had occasion to meet Zach and Justin at a charitable function in 2009. The Boren Brothers each graciously signed OSU pocket schedules for me at that time.
Zach's 2012 autograph looks very similar to his 2009 signature.
Beyond the photos of Boren from the Columbus Dispatch, I know of no other collectibles for the versatile Buckeye .
Other items, including team programs, yearbooks, magazines, etc., must certainly exist.
A search of the OSU Official Online Store for Boren items yielded no results. The online shop does, however, offer collectors the ability to purchase a memorabilia suitable for getting autographed by Boren and other players, including a variety of 2012 undefeated season items.
If Boren performs well at the combine and sees action in the NFL -- where he'd join fellow Buckeye and Jewish football player Nate Ebner of the New England Patriots -- he'll likely be the subject of future football cards.
In the meantime, fans can follow Boren on Twitter.
Do any JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers have any Boren memorabilia in their collections? Let JSC know by commenting below.