Buckeyes, Headlines

Ohio State’s Pat Elflein named the best center in college football

Adam Cairns / The Columbus Dispatch
Adam Cairns / The Columbus Dispatch

For the first time since 2008, an Ohio State Buckeyes football player has won a national award. During Thursday night’s College Football Awards Show, Ohio State center Pat Elflein was selected as the Rimington Trophy winner, given to the best center in college football.

Named an All-American by virtually all lists that were published, the fifth-year senior has started 41 games during his career as a Buckeye. One of two returning starters on the offensive line, he made the transition from guard to center prior to the season, knowing that the rest of the offensive line was going to be young. In his first season at the position, he was named the best player in the country.

Incredible, right? It truly shows how good of a player Elflein is, and he will be awarded in the upcoming NFL Draft, along with whatever the Buckeyes do in the College Football Playoff to conclude this season.

As the anchor of the offensive line, he and the other “slobs” paved the way for Mike Weber and company, who averaged 258.3 rushing yards per game. While opening up holes for the running game, including both Weber and quarterback J.T. Barrett, he also helped Ohio State average 42.7 points per game. Just how good was the Buckeyes ground attack, partially due to the offensive line? Their 3,100 yards on the ground were the most in the Big Ten (by a wide margin) and 10th in the country.

Elflein unfortunately fell short of winning the Outland Trophy, which is given to the best interior lineman in the country. Alabama’s Cam Robinson was the winner of that award. He could possibly have a shot to prove that he is the better interior lineman if the two teams win their respective semifinal games and meet in the national championship.1

Prior to Elflein, the last Buckeye to win a national award was cornerback Malcolm Jenkins (Jim Thorp Award for the country’s top cornerback) in 2008. He is the second Ohio State center to win the award, joining LeCharles Bentley (2001).

  1. For what it’s worth, Robinson comes in 15th on Todd McShay’s Big Board, while Eflein falls in somewhere outside of the top 32. []

  • Garry_Owen

    I hope the Browns are paying attention. How about Garrett at #1, Elflein at #7 (or wherever the Eagles end up)?

    I’m not even wearing my scarlet-tinted glasses.

  • RGB

    I’m all in on SAMM, errrr, Garrett a #1, and Cam Robinson (if available) at #Philly.
    From what I’ve seen, Elflein will be available at the top of the second-round.

  • mgbode

    Yeah, centers don’t go high in Round 1. Someone might take Elflein late first, but then you just move onto the next best guy.

    I like your plan though I’d probably take either Peppers or Adams

  • tsm

    Agree. Kiper & McShay state this is a defensive draft. Get Garrett or Allen from Bama – whichever is the better player after a COMPLETE investigation into their character and work ethic as well as the obvious skills, then the next best BPA, probably one of the two you mentioned. We can get OL with our 2 2nd round picks.

  • Garry_Owen

    I trust you, but even the consensus best center in college football for a team that desperately needs a center to replace the all pro that walked? (Don’t make me play the gif.)

  • mgbode

    Getting desperate for a center is how you draft Cameron Erving in Round 1

    (hey, I tried to not say it — tried, you forced it)

  • mgbode

    it’s Garrett

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