The 2013 Ohio State Buckeye football team returns four out of five starters along the offensive line and a Heisman caliber player at quarterback. This makes it hard for young players to break through and make a name for themselves, especially at a place like Ohio State. One such young athlete is redshirt freshman offensive lineman Pat Elflein, who is still trying to find his way in Columbus.
Pat Elflein was a 3-star recruit according to Rivals.com coming out of Pickerington North High School. Elflein did not get a lot of interest from the nation’s top programs, as he only received offers from four Big Ten schools (Ohio State, Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue) while the rest of his offers were all from MAC schools and Cincinnati (So essentially, all MAC schools). Elflein committed to the Buckeyes in July of 2011, shortly before beginning his senior season at Pickerington North. His senior season was a successful one, as Elflein was named as a 2011 Associated Press first-team Division I all-state offensive lineman alongside fellow 2012 graduate and Buckeye commit Jacoby Boren. In addition to football, Elflein participated and excelled in wrestling and track and field as he earned a total of 12 varsity letters while qualifying for state and national competition as a wrestler.
Elflein’s career at Ohio State thus far has been a slow and painful one. Elflein suffered a foot injury prior to the start of the 2012 season which resulted in a redshirt. During this time, a previously untested offensive line excelled in leading the Buckeyes to the second best rushing attack in the conference. This not only buried Elflein on the depth chart for 2012, it hurt his chances for 2013, as fellow classmate Jacoby Boren who plays the same position, (Center) has established himself as the backup to incoming senior Corey Linsley.
Now entering his redshirt freshman campaign, Elflein must prove to his coaches and Buckeye Nation he is worthy of playing time on this senior laden offensive line. Elflein’s best chance might be at right tackle, which is the one offensive line position the Buckeye’s do not return a starter, as Reid Fragel has since moved on to the National Football League. According to Elflein’s bio on Ohio State’s athletics site, he has practiced some at the right tackle position in spring of 2013 to try and earn a spot in the rotation in what is promising to be a successful season.