Ohio State Football: The All-Time Dream Team

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IAugust 15, 2012

Ohio State Football: The All-Time Dream Team

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    When you think of a "Dream Team" you start to name a handful of players that immediately belong on the list.

    But as time goes on, the hard part is deciding which guys to leave off.

    When it comes to Ohio State, the list is so difficult because of the history and players that the school has produced.

    Coming up with a list of 24 starters is difficult to do, but here is the Ohio State Buckeyes dream team.

QB: Troy Smith

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    Of all the Heisman Trophy winners in the school's history, Troy Smith is the only quarterback to bring home the hardware.

    Smith's senior season, sans the national championship game, was incredible and almost set the standard for what a true dual-threat quarterback should be able to do.

    Smith racked up about 8,000 yards of total offense and 68 touchdowns in his career, 31 of which came in the 2006 season.

    Ohio State has had some solid quarterbacks in recent years, but Smith has been a cut above the rest, and he should be the standard for how Buckeye quarterbacks should play.

RBs: Archie Griffin, Eddie George

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    Speaking of Heisman Trophies, Ohio State is the school that produced a two-man backfield in a football history that included three Heisman Trophies.

    OSU has that and then some, with Archie Griffin and Eddie George leading the way.

    Griffin is the greatest player in OSU history, winning two Heismans and finding the end zone 26 times in his final three seasons. He is the school's career leader in yards (5,589) and the most 100-yard games (32).

    George blasted his way to the Heisman in 1995, rushing for 1,927 yards—317 of which came in one game against Illinois—and 24 touchdowns.

WRs: Cris Carter, Ted Ginn, Jr.; TE: John Frank

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    Ohio State has produced as many good receivers in the past 25 years as any other school in the country, and the two best from those eras couldn't be more different.

    Cris Carter was a possession receiver, who set the bar for what receivers with his size need to do. He had 168 receptions as a Buckeye and became the first OSU receiver to be an All-American.

    Ted Ginn, Jr. may have been the fastest receiver in school history, with an ability to get behind almost any DB at will.

    Ginn finished his career with over 4,000 all-purpose yards and 26 touchdowns between rushing, receiving and returning.

    His last touchdown was a kickoff return against the Florida Gators in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. Unfortunately, he got injured and missed the rest of the game.

    Ohio State has not had a great history of TEs, but John Frank was an excellent player at the position.

    Frank is the career leader among TEs in receptions (121) and yards with 1,481. He was a two-time All-American.

OT: Orlando Pace, Jim Marshall; OG: Jim Lachey, Jim Parker; C: LeCharles Bentley

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    Orlando Pace was the type of left tackle who not only defined what the position is today, but also redefined what offensive linemen can look like. He was the second-true freshman to start in Ohio State history in 1994, and he was also a two-time Lombardi Award winner.

    Pace was one of two starting OTs to be named to Sports Illustrated's All-Century Team.

    His bookend at OT is Jim Marshall, who we all remember for running the wrong way while with the Vikings.

    Marshall helped lead three very good teams at Ohio State and was one of three All-Americans on the team in 1958.

    On the inside, Jim Parker was a two-time All-American, and Jim Lachey was a first-round NFL draft pick in 1985 and a three-time All-Pro.

    LeCharles Bentley was also a two-time All-American and the Rimington Award winner in 2001 for best center in the country.

    These five linemen are as good a crop as you might be able to find at any school in the country.

DL: Mike Vrabel, Dan Wilkinson, Jim Stillwagon, Bill Willis

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    The defensive front four of the OSU Dream Team is full of relentless, athletic players that made plays in both the running game as well as while rushing the passer.

    Mike Vrabel, now an assistant with the Buckeyes, recorded 33 sacks and 66 TFLs in his career, both of which are school records. He then went on to help New England win three Super Bowls.

    Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson was a dominant force at DT, recording 90 tackles, 23.5 for a loss in his two years at Ohio State. He was an All-American in 1993 and was drafted first overall in the 1994 NFL Draft.

    Jim Stillwagon was as good a leader as Ohio State ever had and won 27 of 29 games as a part of the famed "Super Soph" class from 1968-1970. He was a two-time All-American and won both the Outland and Lombardi Trophies.

    Bill Willis helped break the college football color barrier, and was a dominant force in his career because of his incredible speed. That speed helped OSU win the 1942 national championship.

    He was All-Big Ten in 1943 and an All-American in 1944.

LBs: Chris Spielman, Andy Katzenmoyer, A.J. Hawk

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    Ohio State has long been a linebacker powerhouse and produced three amazingly talented linebackers in three respective decades.

    Chris Spielman was arguably the best defensive player in school history after an incredible career in the mid-1980s. Spielman is the career leader in solo tackles with 286 and was a two-time All-American.

    His heart may have been the biggest of any player, and he was the heart and soul of the defense every year that he played.

    Andy Katzenmoyer may have been the most imposing linebacker in school history, as "Big Kat" towered over opposing offenses.

    He started 37 games from 1994-96 and recorded 197 tackles, 50 of which were losses and 18 sacks. He was also the first inside linebacker in school history to win the Butkus Award.

    A.J. Hawk's story is as impressive as any because he went from an unheralded 1-star recruit to two-time Big Ten Defensive MVP in 2004 and 2005.

    He ended his incredible OSU career with 394 tackles, 15 sacks and seven interceptions.

DBs: Jack Tatum, Mike Doss, Chris Gamble, Shawn Springs

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    The late Jack Tatum may have been one of the most intimidating defensive backs in history. Known as "The Assassin," Tatum was a three-time All-Big Ten selection and an All-American in 1968 and 1970.

    Tatum was the type of hitter that delivered crushing blows anytime he got a receiver or back lined up in the open field.

    Thirty years later, Mike Doss brought a similar style from the safety position to the Buckeye defense with big results.

    Doss was a three-time All-American safety, and finished his career with 331 tackles, eight interceptions and six sacks.

    At the corner position, both Chris Gamble and Shawn Springs were both very strong cover corners.

    Gamble was a two-way player, a third-team All-American in 2002 and finished with 21 passes defended and eight interceptions. Springs was a very decorated corner, starting 37 games and winning Big Ten Defensive MVP honor in 1996.

K: Mike Nugent; P: Tom Tupa

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    When it comes to kickers at Ohio State, Mike Nugent was as reliable as they come.

    Nugent has the career marks in FG percentage (.818) and scoring with 365 points. He also won the Lou Groza Award and was named a first-team All-American in 2004.

    Tom Tupa was very reliable as well, not just as a punter but also as a quarterback.

    He threw for 1,786 seasons and 12 TDs as a senior in 1987, starting both at quarterback and at punter. Tupa enjoyed an 18-year career in the NFL with a career average of 43.4 yards per punt.


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