This is part two in my series on who we should honor next in the retire or not to retire saga at THE Ohio State University. Last week I covered the basketball greats here. This week I am going to take a stab at football and really, for all intents and purposes, this should be called #Who2TheHorseshoeRafters. This can be done in a lot of ways but the “ring of Honor” has already started with the Heisman Trophy winners: Horvath, Janowicz, Hop Cassidy, Archie Griffin, Eddie George, along with Bill Willis’ #99 and Chic Harley’s #47. We have to assume that Troy Smith’s #10 will be there soon, so this will give us a look at the rest of the candidates.
Lets begin with one of the most coveted awards outside of the Heisman Trophy. The Lombardi Award is awarded annually to the best lineman or linebacker. It has gone to Ohio State six times, with one of them winning it twice with Orlando Pace, at one time considered a no brainer for jersey retirement. Jim Stillwagon won the first ever in 1970.
1970 Jim Stillwagon 1973 John Hicks 1987 Chris Spielman
1995 and 96 Orlando Pace 2005 A.J. Hawk
Next is the Maxwell Award, given to the top player in the country annually. Three of the four players who have won this award have jerseys already hanging from the walls. Bob Ferguson will go down as the greatest fullback to ever play at Ohio State. In both 1960 and 1961 Ferguson was a unanimous All-American selection. In 1961 he won the UPI College Football Player of the Year, the Maxwell Award, and was the runner up to Ernie Davis for the Heisman Trophy. The 1961 Heisman vote was the second closest in the history of the award, with Davis edging Ferguson by 53 points.
1955 Hop Cassidy 1961 Bob Ferguson
1975 Archie Griffin 1995 Eddie George
The Outland Trophy is an award that is rewarded to the best interior lineman in the nation, and Ohio State has had four players win this honor. Jim Parker won it in 1956 and would have certainly won the Lombardi had it existed. This would have given Ohio State a rare feat, as all four of their winners would have won both awards in the same year.
1956 Jim Parker 1970 Jim Stillwagon
1973 John Hicks 1996 Orlando Pace
To me it seems very simple who we should honor on the interior lines. These four would be well deserving to be hung in the horseshoe.
The next task would be much more difficult. Honoring the skill players at Ohio State would take a lot of research by the committee and would be required to come up with an acceptable standard. The rest of the awards that honor these types of players are few and far between, but here we go.
First the football players who have been inducted into the College Football HOF. I have removed the players already mentioned and/or are already retired. And yes Wes Fesler was on the basketball list as well.
Wes Fesler – Gaylord Stinchcomb – Gust Zarnas – Jim Daniell
Gomer Jones – Warren Amling – Randy Gradishar – Jack Tatum
Jim Houston – Rex Kern
Other award winners that could be considered but not limited to are as follows.
Bilitnekoff – Terry Glenn 1995
Lou Groza – Mike Nugent 2004
Butkus – Andy Katzenmoyer 1997 and James Laurinaitus 2007
Lott Trophy – James Laurinaitis 2008
Thorpe – Antoine Winfield 1998 and Malcolm Jenkins 2008
Rimington – Lecharles Bentley 2001
Davey O’Brien – Troy Smith 2006
Bronko Nagurski – James Laurinaitis 2007
Ray Guy – B.J. Sander 2003
Lowe’s Sr. Class – James Laurinaitis 2008
There you have it. The “list” of which to work from to make your decision of which jerseys could be hung in the “Ring of Honor” in the horseshoe. We welcome your comments and look forward to them.
and remember . . .