Top Five Greatest Buckeye Fullbacks and Tight Ends

David ThurmanCorrespondent IJune 14, 2010
Pete Johnson scoring one of his 58 touchdowns
Dave Thurman (8:44 am)

In this ongoing series we have been considering the ten greatest OSU players at each position.  However, since both tight end and fullback usually have only one player on the field at a time (as opposed to the offensive line which has five), it makes sense to combine these two and limit each to five rather than ten.  Besides, there have been times when Ohio State has not employed a fullback, and when the tight end has been nothing more than a glorified lineman (no wisecracks please).  Anyway, here are the best to don the Scarlet and Gray at these non-glamorous positions:


5. John Brockington - After biding his time while backing up Jim Otis, big John finally got his chance to shine in 1970 and ran for 1142 yards, as Woody loved to feature the fullback dive.  He then went on to a wonderful NFL career with Green Bay.

4. Vaughn Broadnax - Huge (6'2", 252) yet agile, Vaughn starred in the early 80s, opening holes for Tim Spencer and Keith Byars.  When given the chance he could run with the ball, too, and was especially effective near the goal line. 

3. Jim Otis - A three-year starter, Jim was one of the stars of the '68 National Championship team and finished with 2542 yards rushing, before enjoying a successful NFL career.

2. Bob Ferguson - Old-timers say that Ferguson was the perfect fullback, and he was a two-time All-American at Ohio State, who won the Maxwell Award in 1961 and was the runner-up to Ernie Davis for the Heisman.

1. Pete Johnson - In my mind Johnson was the greatest fullback in NCAA history.  Not only did Pete lead the way for Archie Griffin during the latter's two Heisman seasons, but he finished his Buckeye career with 2308 yards rushing and an Ohio State record 58 touchdowns.  The big guy was simply money near the goal line, and scored 26 times in 1975 alone. 

It could be argued that no school has had more fine fullbacks than OSU, which is kind of ironic since the position is so rarely used by the Bucks these days.  Other players considered for this list include Bob White, George Cooper, Scottie Graham, Nicky Sualua, and Jamar Martin.
Tight End:

5. Ed Taggert
- A good blocker and receiver, Ed starred for Earle Bruce during the mid 80s.  Guys like Jeff Ellis and Cedric Saunders may have had flashier numbers in the high octane offenses of the 90s, but Taggert was more of a complete package.

4. Ben Hartsock - A key member of the '02 National Champions, Ben was an excellent blocker, and actually caught 58 career passes (quite a feat considering he played in the Tressel era).

3. Rickey Dudley - After coming to Columbus to play hoops he finally made his way to the gridiron in 1994 and played two seasons of football.  Rickey had 37 receptions for 575 yards and 7 TD's for the powerhouse '95 offense, and though his blocking was pretty average, Dudley is probably the fastest, most athletic TE in OSU history (though Jake Stoneburner may have something to say about that soon).

2. Jan White - The only Buckeye TE to be named first team All-American, Jan was an excellent blocker, who also caught 61 passes in his collegiate career.  In addition, he started for a National Championship team in 1968.

1. John Frank - The complete package, Frank had excellent hands and hauled in 121 catches for nearly 1500 yards, being selected first team All-Big Ten in 1982 and '83.  Not only could he catch, Frank was a physical blocker and went on to play in the NFL, earning a couple of Super Bowl rings.

Others who received consideration include John Lumpkin, Cedric Saunders, Jeff Ellis, Fred Pagac, and Jimmy Moore.

Up Next: Defensive Line