Saturday, June 23, 2012

ALL-TIME OHIO STATE FOOTBALL TEAM: TIGHT END, OFFENSIVE LINE

Ohio State has had its fair share of great college football players over the years.

Seven Heisman Trophy winners, more than 180 All-Americans and hundreds of All-Big Ten selections, as well as a strong contingent of first round NFL draft picks.

There's certainly no shortage of Scarlet and Gray legends to choose from, that's for sure. But is it possible to label the best of the best? You know, an All-Time, All-Buckeye squad?

Over the next several days, I am going to compile my all-time team — position-by-position, including head coach. I will identify my starters, give a brief summary and the reason why they are a part of my team.

Today I will begin by naming my starting offensive line and tight end.

So without further ado, I give you my All-Buckeye team ...

John Frank
TIGHT END: John Frank (1980-83)

Frank is the Buckeyes all-time leader for tight ends in receptions (121) and yards (1,481). He was a two-time first team All-Big Ten selection (82-83) and was voted a captain and the team's most valuable player in 1983. He was a second round selection of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1984 NFL Draft.

I SELECTED HIM BECAUSE ... Dr. Frank is hands down the greatest tight end the Buckeyes have ever possessed. He caught a tight end-record 45 receptions in a season — twice. It still stands today in this pass-happy era.

Orlando Pace
LEFT TACKLE: Orlando Pace (1993-96)

Pace was a two-time first team All-American and the only two-time winner of the Lombardi Award (nation's best lineman/linebacker) in college football history. He was the 1996 Outland Trophy winner (nation's best interior lineman) and a Heisman Trophy finalist. He was the first overall selection by the St. Louis Rams in the 1997 NFL Draft.

I SELECTED HIM BECAUSE ... I have never seen a college offensive lineman take over a game the way Pace did in Columbus. He was a 6-foot-7, 320-pound freak of an athlete who made the "pancake block" an actual statistic. He isn't just on my all-time OSU squad ... he's on my all-time college football team.

Jim Parker
LEFT GUARD: Jim Parker (1954-56)

Parker is a member of both the college and professional football hall of fame. Like Pace, Parker won the Outland Trophy and was a finalist for the Heisman. He was voted an All-American in 1956. Parker was the eighth overall selection of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts.

I SELECTED HIM BECAUSE ... It's Jim Parker, people. Absolutely no explanation needed for his inclusion.

LeCharles Bentley
CENTER: LeCharles Bentley (1998-2001)

Bentley was a consensus first team All-American and the recipient of the Rimington Trophy (nation's best center) in 2001. He was also a two-time All-Big Ten selection (2000-01). He was a two-time NFL pro bowler before having to retire due to injury after just six seasons.

I SELECTED HIM BECAUSE ... He is one the most athletic centers I have seen at the collegiate level. At 6-foot-2, 300- pounds, Bentley could get to the next level of a defense like a tight end. If he would've been on the national championship team following his senior year in 2002, I believe Bentley's legacy at OSU could have been Pace-Parker-Hicks like.

Warren Amling
RIGHT GUARD: Warren Amling (1944-46)

Amling is yet another former OSU lineman who was selected as an All-American and a finalist for the Heisman Trophy (1945) as a guard. During his senior season in 1946, Amling switched outside to tackle where he copped another spot on the All-American team. He was the Buckeyes lone captain in 1946 and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

I SELECTED HIM BECAUSE ... I love athletic, versatile linemen and Amling was the epitome. He was a three-year letterman for the Buckeyes basketball team from 1945-47 and was starter on the 1946 squad that lost to North Carolina in the final four. Amling is the only member of the College Football Hall of Fame to have also started in a final four.

John Hicks
RIGHT TACKLE: John Hicks (1970-73)

Hicks was the original Orlando Pace. He was big (for the time period) at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, as well as athletic and mean. Hicks was a two-time All-American and All-Big Ten selection for legendary head coach Woody Hayes and was the winner of both the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy. He was also a finalist for the Heisman in 1973. In fact, he was voted runner-up to Penn State tailback John Cappelletti. He was selected third overall by the New York Giants in the 1974 NFL Draft.

I SELECTED HIM BECAUSE ... Hicks is a legend in Columbus. Not only was he recognized as All-American and All-Conference twice and a finalist for the Heisman, he also helped lead the Buckeyes' lethal ground attack to three straight Rose Bowl appearances, including a 42-21 win over Southern California in his senior year. He was the first player in history to start in three Rose Bowl games.


If you would like to comment, debate or offer up your opinions, you can contact me at leehudnell@thebuckeyetimes.com or on Twitter @LeeHudnell_TBT.