The former Ohio State fullback and linebacker is participating in a local version of "The Bachelor."
Former Ohio State football player Zach Boren is looking for love today.
And he's turning to "The Bachelor" — at least a local television version called "The Buckeye Bachelor" — for help.
The former fullback and linebacker, who attended Pickerington High School Central before playing football at OSU from 2009 to 2012, will be choosing his scarlet-and-gray lady Saturday from video submissions sent into "Good Day Columbus," which airs on ABC-affiliate WSYX-TV (Channel 6) and Fox-affiliate WTTE-TV (Channel 28).
The show set Boren, 27, up with a local matchmaker Elizabeth Cobey-Piper and her team at Dating Directions to help hone in on what he's looking for in a partner. Then, Cobey-Piper narrowed down the dozens of entries received during the first week of the month to just three from which Boren will select the woman he'll take out for a night on the town.
The Dispatch caught up with the former Buckeye ahead of his big date:
Q: Why did you decide to do participate in this?
A: I thought, you know what, I'd love to meet with this matchmaker and see what she has to say. I met with her and her team for 2 1/2 hours. I think they understood my past dating experiences. I haven't been in a serious relationship for three years and have lost hope in Columbus. I thought I'd have to go outside of Columbus, but they told me, "We think we can help you find a girl in Columbus."
Q: Has it really been that hard to find love as a former Ohio State football player?
A: It definitely has. I've talked to a lot of friends about this. I network so much for my business (a waste management company he runs with his brother, Justin), sports and everything. Columbus is a big city with small circles, and it's hard to date in that circle. ... I've been in my circle for so long that I think I need to get out of my circle. To find that person, I need an outside person to help me. The matchmakers will hopefully get me out of my circle.
Q: While this experience won't be exactly like "The Bachelor," with weekly rose ceremonies, are you a fan of its inspiration?
A: I'm a sucker for any of the dating reality shows. I don't know why, but maybe it's because my dating life has been so unsuccessful that these shows have some mystical success in them. Right now, I'm watching "Temptation Island," which is a little different, but it gets me somehow.
Q: What are three qualities you'll look for in this match?
A: I really want someone who is family-oriented. I have a big family and I like to do things with them, so I want someone who has that type of family as well. I definitely want someone who is outgoing. I network a lot, partner with organizations, am involved with charities so I want someone who is able to go to those events and have fun and talk to people. I want someone who is well-rounded and a good person inside and out.
Q: She should probably be a big football fan, too, right?
A: All she needs to be able to do is drink beer and hang out at a football game. I'm not even over the top about it anymore. Now, I do football more as a way to relax so she just needs to be able to have fun with it.
Q: What's your ideal first date?
A: I'm totally a dinner guy. My generation is all about just getting drinks, but I want to sit down, have dinner and talk for an hour or two to get to know a person. My top three spots in Columbus are Lindey's, Basi Italia and the Pearl.
Q: How much did pressure from both your married brothers (Justin, 30, and Jacoby, 24) and/or your mom play into your decision to do this?
A: Everyone gives you a hard time, but it's something I want. That's totally the reason why I'm jumping out on a limb to do this. I don't want everyone to know my dating life has sucked, but it's out there now, because I want someone to spend the rest of my life with.