March 22, 2018

Zach Boren, More Than Just a Fullback

Boren at Ohio State

Boren at Ohio State

If there is one thing for sure, the Houston Texans are one of a handful of teams that still utilize the fullback position, and rookie Zach Boren is the exact definition of a fullback. The rookie from Ohio State measures in 6-0 and 255 lbs. and fits right into what the Texans are looking for at the position.

Boren was a team captain for the Buckeyes team in 2012 and was a key piece to the Buckeyes 12-0 season. He started 30 games at fullback at Ohio State and when the linebacker position hit a rash of injuries, the fullback was asked by Head Coach Urban Meyer to make a position switch 6 games into the season, and he did with no issue.



How important was Boren to the 2012 Buckeyes season?

Boren on offense: Braxton Miller averaged 7.2 yards per carry with Boren, 4.2 after Boren switched to linebacker.

Boren on defense: the Buckeyes allowed 386.5 yards per game before Boren arrived and 331.7 in his six games on defense. Boren started 4 games at linebacker.

Boren recorded 50 tackles in six games for the Buckeyes and on offense he had 11 carries for 33 yards and two touchdowns.


The Texans signed a leader after the draft and he has been working hard to make an impression on the Texans. Boren arrived in Houston and has been working since rookie-mini camp and took part in all of the OTAs and Mandatory mini-camp practices. Boren talked about the Texans’ core group and what it felt like to finally see them together as a group:

“It’s good. It’s finally good to get out here and compete with these guys. Especially after rookie mini camp, it is good to work with the older guys and see how they communicate.”



Zach Boren, Greg Jones and Tyler Clutts, Texans Fullbacks at OTAs

Zach Boren, Greg Jones and Tyler Clutts, Texans Fullbacks at OTAs

Learning From the Veterans

It is a tough stretch for the guy that makes his living off of banging heads in the trenches, and the fullback position is no different. Fullbacks are gauged on their ability to root players out of the hole and live for contact. With no contact in the early going, Boren took time to learn the offense from the two veterans Greg Jones and Tyler Clutts. 

“I am doing well (on learning the offense). Tyler (Clutts), Greg (Jones) and I are working great together. We are always bouncing stuff off each other. That is the hardest thing about being a full back, being out here with no pads on. Not being able to bang around and open holes for running backs. We are doing everything we can right now from working on steps and hand placement.”

Boren, just like the majority of the youngsters on the team, is learning from seasoned veterans in front of him. He has used Clutts and Jones in every way possible from asking questions about situations on the field and listening to what they have to say.

“They have taught me how to be a pro. How to come out here and work and the mental side of things in the office and watching film and things like that. They are great guys. After a rep on the field, they come and talk to me about different looks.”

With Jones being brought in this off season to be the penciled in starter, Boren has taken notice of one of the top fullbacks in the game.

“Greg being in his 11th year and knowing the defenses so well and how they are going to play it, helps young guys like me. In college, it is different. Here in Houston and the NFL, it is all about technique and guys are playing their gap so well. They are in their gap for a reason. In college they are running around without purpose.”



Zach Boren, #45

Zach Boren, #45

The Ohio State of the South

DeVier Posey was drafted in 2012 out of The Ohio State University and this year he was joined by a few of his college teammates in Boren and defensive back Orhian Johnson and Travis Howard.  The group is tight knit and they are always talking to each other when they can.

Boren talked to us about his fellow Buckeyes being in Houston with him:

“It is really cool and this is the first time from being away from home. I grew up in Columbus. To have those guys with me, it brought a little home with me. When I start feeling a little home sick and I need someone to talk to, I lean on those guys. They are like brothers. It is a special time for me here.”


Boren’s chance will come in training camp to make the impression he needs to make for the Texans. His value as a fullback will be put on display and his youth could be a big factor moving forward with his future with the Texans and in the NFL. One thing is for certain, Boren’s makeup is one that is hard to doubt on the field and when training camp arrives he will be back in his comfort zone.

Playing physical.



You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.


One Response to “Zach Boren, More Than Just a Fullback”
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  1. […] The battering ram at fullback was a bright spot in the first two preseason games. He is what you want in a football player and he is always looking for contact. He also showed he can catch the ball out of the backfield, which is a necessity from fullbacks in the offense. Boren has been linked to the practice squad since he was let go in the first cuts to get to 75. […]

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