Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade: #4 Santonio Holmes

Written August 19th, 2010 by Jim

The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer.  Every Monday and Thursday, Jim will be announcing a new player.  Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th.  Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins.  To view the previous entries in our Top 25, click here.

Santonio Holmes (2004-2005)

Santonio Holmes was the complete package at receiver for the Buckeyes. He ran phenomenal routes that allowed him to consistently break free from even the best DBs. With the addition of  game breaking speed, Holmes cemented himself as one of the top receiving threats in the country throughout his career with the Buckeyes.

I personally think 4th is a bit high in this countdown, but since Santonio was a combination of Anthony Gonzalez’s route running and Ted Ginn’s speed, I will go ahead and view this ranking as a nod to the most talented receiving trio in Ohio State history.

On his own, in the record books and on the field, Santonio Holmes finds himself near the top of the storied receiving tradition at Ohio State. Read More

Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade: #12 Mike Nugent

Written July 22nd, 2010 by Jim

The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer.  Every Monday and Thursday, Jim will be announcing a new player.  Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th.  Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins.  To view the previous entries in our Top 25, click here.

Mike Nugent (2001-2004)

If there has ever been a placekicker more beloved by a fan base than Mike Nugent during his years at Ohio State, I would like to see it. And for good reason, Nugent was the savior of an offense that was at times stagnant during the early years of the decade.

Nugent and Andy Groom formed the best kicking duo in the country in 2002 and were the fuel that made the dominating brand of Tressel Ball v.2002 go, a style that ultimately led to a championship.

In 2003 Nugent teamed up with All-American punter B.J. Sander to once again form one of the best kicking duos in the country and the glory days of Tressel Ball continued.

While 2002 and 2003 were great years for Mike Nugent and the special teams in general, 2004 was Nugent’s crowning achievement at Ohio State. Read More

The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer.  Every Monday and Thursday, Jim will be announcing a new player.  Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th.  Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins.  To view the previous entries in our Top 25, click here.

Vernon Gholston (2006-2007)

Gholston made Henne's fourth loss a memorable one in The Game v.2007.

Vernon Gholston was a quarterback’s worst nightmare for the two years he started at defensive end for the Buckeyes. While Gholston was instantly a fan favorite for his… photogenic musculature, he also backed up the ” gun show” by setting single game and season records for sacking the quarterback at Ohio State.

Vintage gun show.

Gholston broke on to the scene for the Buckeyes in 2006 as a sophomore following a relatively quiet freshman season in ’04 and a broken hand in ’05 that resulted in a redshirt.

He earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors in ’06 after leading the team in tackles for loss with 15 and sacks with 8.5. He was also sixth on the team in total tackles with 49 and hauled in an interception for good measure.

Gholston followed his break-out performance in ’06 with a season for the ages in ’07.

He recorded 14 sacks that year, including 4 sacks against Wisconsin, both of which are the most recorded by a player in a single season or game at Ohio State. Read More

Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade: #22 Nick Mangold

Written June 1st, 2010 by Jim

The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer.  Every Monday through May and June, Jim will be announcing a new player.  Starting in July, we will be announcing new additions on Monday and Thursday.  Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th.  Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins.

Nick Mangold (2003-2005)

A leader on the field and a character off of it.

It is hard to quantify the impact that lineman have on the game due to a lack of stats that are easy to track. Beyond stats, few people pay attention to what is going on along the line unless there are problems, in which case it is naturally entirely the lines fault.

Despite these limitations in exposure and stats, it is safe to say that Nick Mangold was one of the best players to wear the scarlet and gray over the last ten years regardless of position.

A three year starter at center, Mangold was known as much for his humor off the field as for his leadership and tenacity on it. You may also remember him for the playing time he received in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl as a true freshman. Earning playing time so early in his career in such an important game was a sign of things to come.

Mangold was named a First-Team All-American in 2005 and was drafted 29th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.

Apparently he cooks as well. What can't this man do!?

Mangold quickly moved into the starting lineup with the Jets and became a key member of an excellent offensive line. Mangold was a Pro Bowl selection at center in both 2008 and 2009 and is building a reputation as one of the best lineman in the entire NFL.

Center is one of the most crucial positions on offense, and few have played it better than Nick Mangold, in college and in the NFL.

For his leadership of the line in his three years as a starter, for his All-American season in 2005, and for his continued excellence in the NFL, Nick Mangold is number 22 in our countdown of the top 25 players of the last decade.

The greatest moment in Cleveland sports history?

Written May 24th, 2009 by Jeff

By now you’ve seen it several hundred times.  LeBron James burying a buzzer-beating three-point shot to win Game 2 and save the Cavaliers season.

The BBC and many others have quickly labeled it as “The Greatest Moment In Cleveland Sports History”. But is it truly? I’ve spent 36 hours, since the shot went through the rim, debating that very topic. Frankly, I can’t find another moment that would top it.

Yes, I do believe that Cie Grant wrapping his arms around Ken Dorsey and forcing an incomplete pass to win the 2003 Fiesta Bowl (and the National Championship) for Ohio State to be the best moment I have ever experienced in sports….but that’s not Cleveland sports. It’s Ohio State, and many Clevelanders adopt OSU as their second home, yet that moment is not a Cleveland moment.

So, can you find a better moment in Cleveland history? Here’s a few of my personal favorites;

  • Bernie Kosar hitting Webster Slaughter deep down the left sideline against the New York Jets late in a 1987 playoff game. The Jets led by 10 points with just over 2 minutes left, and the Browns won in 2OT, 23-20.
  • Albert Belle slugging a game-tying home run in the 11th inning of Game 1 of the 1995 American League Divisional Playoffs, then flexing his muscles at the Red Sox dugout after Boston stole the bat, claiming it was corked (it wasn’t).
  • The Cavaliers dominating the first five minutes of the 4th quarter of Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals against Detroit, forcing Rasheed Wallace to lose his mind and get ejected on his way to defeat.  The Cavs went on to win the game and the Eastern Conference.
  • Omar Vizquel hitting a bases-loaded triple with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, tying the Seattle Mariners after trailing the game 14-2.
  • A last-second shot by Damon Jones beats the Washington Wizards in overtime of Game 6 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, 114-113.  Just before Jones’ winner, Gilbert Arenas was at the line with a 1-point lead and a chance to make it 3.  LeBron James snuck up behind him and said “if you miss these, you know who’s hitting the game winner”.  Arenas missed both free throws.

All of these moments are legendary in Cleveland.  But do any of them really top what we saw two nights ago?

To be truthful, that hasn’t fully been determined yet.  If the Cavs go on to win the series and the Finals, yes.  Without a doubt.  But as was the case with most great moments, they were wiped away when the corresponding Cleveland team failed in the goal to win a title.

If LeBron James wants his moment to live forever the way it should, he needs 7 more wins to do it.

Tonight, Mr. James, you can defend your moment.  Beat the Magic and continue that goal.

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