Pat Elflein is headed way north.
The 2016 recipient of the Rimington Trophy as college football's best center and anchor of Ohio State's offensive line last season, Elflein was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 70th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Friday. Elflein is the sixth Buckeye to come off the board in this year's draft, joining Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, Curtis Samuel and Raekwon McMillan.
Having played both guard and center during a brilliant five-year Ohio State career, Elflein becomes the second Buckeye offensive lineman taken in as many years and fourth in the last four. Taylor Decker went 16th overall last year to Detroit while Indianapolis picked Jack Mewhort 59th and Green Bay chose center Corey Linsley in the fifth round in 2014.
A unanimous All-American and three-time first-team All-Big Ten player, Elflein won the conference's Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year Award in 2016. He is the second center taken in this year's draft behind LSU's Ethan Pocic who went 58th to Seattle.
Elflein started for three full seasons in Columbus beginning in Ohio State's 2014 national championship season, shortly after stepping in and thriving during the 2013 Michigan game after referees ejected Marcus Hall.
A team spokesman, leader and any other intangible you can think of, Elflein started 40 games for the Buckeyes and saw action in 53 overall. A native of nearby Pickerington, Ohio, he elected to return to Ohio State and finish his career by leading the Buckeyes back to the College Football Playoff. He did just that.