PALATINE, Ill. - It hasn't exactly been the best of seasons so far for Palatine (Ill.) Fremd four-star center Brian Bobek. Yet, at least for a few minutes on Thursday afternoon, the 6-foot-2, 278-pounder took his mind off the task at hand - trying to help his team dig out of a 1-4 start - during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl presentation.
"I'm just really excited to have an opportunity to play in such a big game," Bobek said. "It gives me a chance to play against some of the best guys in the country and it should give me a great head start for college. It's a great honor to be selected to play in this game."
Bobek is the second player in as many years from Fremd playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, following former Fremd Viking and current Notre Dame offensive guard Christian Lombard, who played in the annual all-star game last January.
"I went to the U.S. Army combine last year and I watched Christian go through it all last year and I know what to expect," Bobek said. "The idea of actually getting the chance to play in the game was pretty out there but in the back of my mind I felt that if I kept working hard I could maybe get a chance to play in the game. It's an honor to represent my team and my school in San Antonio in this game."
On the field, it's not so bright. The Fremd Vikings (1-4) are literally fighting to keep their playoff chances alive Friday night against Hoffman Estates (0-5).
"I'm really enjoying today, but I'm still thinking about my team and what we need to do to get things turned around this year," he said. "Our goal is to just win one game at a time and we need to win out the rest of the regular season to have a chance at a playoff bid. Our focus is on Hoffman and getting a win. I'm trying to be the best leader I can to help the team. My biggest challenge has always been to be more of a vocal leader. I'm sort of a quiet kid and I'm really trying to be much more vocal for my team this season."
Bobek is glad that he has one less reason to worry this fall when he made his early verbal commitment to Ohio State.
"I'm glad I committed to Ohio State early," he said. "Making my decision as early as I did just let me focus on my season and school. It was also good to get the offer from Ohio State early and that really made me want to make my final choice sooner.
"The phone has actually been pretty quiet and I really only talk to the Ohio State coaches each week. I'm very solid to Ohio State."