Deep Threat

By Joe Beale on May 23, 2012 at 10:00a
The cutoff jersey shows off his abs.Galloway dominated the Spartans in 1993.

Some players who come to Ohio State as superstars fail to live up to the hype, often due to injury problems. Others simply cannot catch on to the complexity of the playbooks or cannot catch up to the speed of the game at the college level. But there are others who simply will not be denied, persevering through all the difficulties and sometimes even setting a whole new speed for the game. One of those players was wide receiver Joey Galloway.

Joey Galloway grew up in Bellaire OH, a small village in Belmont County on the Ohio River, just across from Wheeling WV. Bellaire is not what you call a "boom town"; it's population has been in decline for the last 90 years and as of 2010 it is less than 5000. More than a quarter of the people who reside there are living in poverty. 

Nevertheless, Galloway caught the eye of college recruiters during his senior season when he caught 32 passes for 608 yards and 8 TD's. He came to Ohio State and made an impact immediately as a freshman, catching 14 passes for 255 yards (18.2 average) and a TD. The one touchdown reception gave OSU fans a taste of what was to come, as Galloway sailed past defenders for a 44-yard reception in a losing cause at Illinois.  

Going into his sophmore campaign, it appeared that Galloway was on the cusp of greatness. In the opening game against Louisville, he took a reverse and sped 50 yards down the field for a TD, once again leaving defenders dazed in his trail. But in game 2, he suffered a setback. Catching a pass down the field and heading for the sideline, Galloway was hit low by a Bowling Green defender and injured his knee. He would miss the rest of the season, and helplessly watched as the team struggled to throw the football down the field without their best deep threat.

A weaker person might have been discouraged and ready to give up the game after this kind of serious injury. But having fought through hard times for much of his life, Galloway was prepared to do whatever it took to succeed at Ohio State. He worked so hard through his rehabilitation that those who observed him said he was now faster than he had ever been. In 1993, Joey Galloway was completely recovered from his knee surgery and ready to jump into the college football spotlight in a big way.

In the opener against Rice, Galloway showed that he was all the way back by hauling in a 48-yard bomb from Bret Powers to help the Buckeyes defeat the Owls 34-7. But things would get a lot tougher in week 2 as the #12 ranked Washington Huskies came to town. Washington had gone undefeated in 1991 and finished #2 in the national polls. In 1992, they won the Pac-10 again but lost to Michigan in the Rose Bowl to finish 9-3 on the season and ranked #11. Just prior to the 1993 season, long-time coach Don James, who had been a candidate to succeed Woody Hayes back in 1979, had resigned.

Still, Washington was a formidable squad and this would be the first test of the young season for OSU's new system of scripting plays and the quarterback platoon of Powers and Bobby Hoying. Starting with the football, OSU began with a pass as Hoying hit Galloway down the middle for 18 yards. Moving down the field methodically, Hoying hit Galloway again from the UW 35 and he carried it down to the 15. Raymont Harris scored 3 plays later to put OSU up 7-0. The Huskies were forced to punt on their first possession, but Galloway fumbled the punt away and set UW up for a field goal.  

The two teams traded possessions for a while, but then the junior receiver had a chance to make amends for his fumble. On 4th and 2 from the Washington 35, OSU coach John Cooper decided to go for it and he called a pass play. Rolling to his right, Hoying hit Galloway on a drag route for a first down at the 25. But Galloway was not done; he turned upfield and broke a tackle, then outraced the remaining Washington defenders all the way to the end zone. The TD put the Buckeyes up 14-3 and they cruised from there to a 21-12 victory. The game was played at night and televised nationally, which alerted the entire college football world that a talented speedster was tearing it up at Ohio State.

After easy victories over Pitt and Northwestern, the Buckeyes pulled out a nervous 20-12 win at Illinois. Going home to face Michigan State for homecoming, Ohio State was now ranked #5. The 3-1 Spartans were #25 and they brought their high-flying passing game to a rainy Ohio Stadium with a vengeance. MSU QB Jim Miller took advantage of the slipping OSU defenders on his way to 360 yards passing, but on the other side was a weapon that they could not deal with.

His arms were chiseled out of granite, in case you were wondering.Playing with the Bucs gave his career new life.

Joey Galloway had his best day as a Buckeye against Michigan State, hauling in 9 passes for 186 yards and 3 TD's. On the last TD, Bret Powers hit him in stride and he out-raced the Spartan defenders for a 64-yard bomb, the longest play from scrimmage that season. The nationally televised game further cemented Galloway's reputation and moved OSU up to #3 in the rankings.

The Buckeyes would go on to collect easy wins against Purdue and Penn State (!!!) but a showdown with #15 Wisconsin in Madison loomed in week 9. The Badgers had defeated OSU the previous season and in one of those conference scheduling quirks Ohio State would have to play at their place for the 2nd year in a row. 

The game degenerated into a defensive struggle until late in the 4th quarter when Wisconsin, leading 14-7, pinned OSU at their own 1-yard line with only 4:34 left in the game. Hoying had been ineffective, and so Cooper inserted Powers, and he promptly moved the ball down the field. First he hit Galloway for 15 yards to the sideline, then he went deep to Galloway for 47 yards down the left side of the field. After throwing to tight end Cedric Saunders for 11 yards, Powers connected with Galloway again to the end zone to tie the score at 14. Marlon Kerner would block a Wisky field goal attempt to preserve the tie, and OSU walked out of Madison still undefeated.

Of course, the undefeated season came to an end with a resounding thud as the Buckeyes fell 28-0 at Michigan two weeks later, but Galloway had played brilliantly coming off a serious injury the previous year. He would finish the season with 47 catches for 946 yards and 11 TD's, plus he ran for 58 yards and 2 TD's on 9 carries. He would come back for his senior season, but a 2-game suspension for taking money from an agent would limit his production. Still, he finished that year with 44 catches for 669 yards and 7 TD's. 

Galloway was drafted 8th overall in the first round of the NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks, and he played there for 5 seasons. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys the next season, but he tore his ACL in the first game and once again had to sit out a year and rehab. Proving his mettle once again, he returned and played for 10 more years, with his best season coming with Tampa Bay at the age of 33. Overall, Galloway played in the NFL for 16 seasons, hauling in 701 receptions for 10,950 yards and 77 TD's.  He also rushed for 496 yards on 63 carries with 1 TD. Galloway is proof that talent plus hard work and perseverence can prevail over difficult circumstances.


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German Buckeye's picture

One of the guys I've always rooted for in the NFL and proud to show my Scarlet and Grey whenever he's mentioned. 

ARMYBUCK's picture

Good article, Galloway has always been one of my favorite buckeyes.  He was the epitomy of electric.  I remember getting goosebumps the first time I saw him on a huge billboard that read "The Speed of Galloway".

sir rickithda3rd's picture

stud absolute stud loved him.... i was also a big fan of terry glenn. Both of them insanely gifted at getting the ball at its highest point and great body control. galloway may be the most gifted athlete ive ever seen (besides LeBron).

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

hodge's picture

Man, Tim Spencer from St. Clairsville, then Joey Galloway from Bellaire?  I'm sensing an Ohio Valley infatuation, Joe!
Great piece, as always.  Just an idea, it might be kind of interesting to take a look at all of Ohio's geographical reigions, and picking a top five from each area (kind of like Mt. Buckmore).

Joe Beale's picture

Believe it or not, it's just a coincidence. I had already settled on Galloway as the subject, but I had no idea where Bellaire was before I started doing the research for the article. When I looked and saw that it was in Belmont County I thought to myself "what are the odds of that?" 

It is also a coincidence that I passed through the area twice a couple weekends ago when my wife and I went to the Nemacolin resort for a getaway. Both times through, we stopped for lunch at the Cracker Barrel next to the Ohio Valley Mall.

As for your idea, maybe one of the other writers will pick that one up. During this series I've been doing for the past few weeks, I have tried to pick players from different eras to keep up the variety, with more of a focus on what was going on at the time. But whenever it seems appropriate, I sneak in a few facts about where they grew up just to add some flavor.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Nice write up on Galloway.
Man, I haven't heard the name Bret Powers in years. I had kinda forgotten that Powers split time with Hoying at QB in 93. 
You mentioned the tie with Wisconsin and its funny to think of a game ending in a tie now, but overtime rules have only been in place in college for what 15 years or so?

snoodogg22's picture

I saw Galloway in a bar in Wheeling last year and he is still in great shape. Looks like he could still play!

Tough times never last, tough people do

BuckeyeSki's picture

Pro-Combat > Belly Jersey's

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

Lol, I crack up everytime I see those midriff jersey's from the 80s early 90s.
It's like the daisy duke shorts of football.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Raymont Harris! The Quiet Storm ,  Joey Galloway, B-Hoying, B-Powers,Terry Glenn, love hearing these names!   Thanks Joe, great article.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

i still have my game day program from when we stomped the nerds that year.   it has raymont looking like a total bad-ass carrying the ball, cutting to one side and wearing the helmet w/ the viser. 

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

mshaf's picture

Besides Galloway and Spencer, Bridgeport Oh is in between Bellaire and St.Clairsville.Phil and Joe Neikro and John Havlicek came from this school.This town is about 2000 people.The Ohio Valley has produced some quality atheletes for such small towns.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Toss in Martins Ferry and I believe Lou Groza was from there. 

timdogdad's picture

'93 was the start of better seasons for the bucks. the mid to late 80's were just ok and the early 90's were kind of average. qb herby didn't really help.  but undefeated up the scum game in '93, 94 was good and '95 was maybe the most loaded team ever. along with '98. '96 and '97 were good too and then into  the tressel years.   i really think the program has gotten better with each decade 80's-90's -00's(nat'l champ) and lets see if we can keep improving. a 2-1 win ratio over scum(at least), a number of big ten titles, and (i hope) a crystal football would be awesome.  

Doug Buckles's picture

Tim Moxley from Barnesville. Washington Redskins
Ben Taylor/Nate Davis from Bellaire as well. Browns/Packers, Davis practice squad mode.
Few more Ohio Valley players who cup of tea'd the league.

O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

Joey and I were in the same graduation class in St. John's Arena.
He's a cool cat. He showed up to a HS practice one day and tossed his former coach a set of keys for a new truck (or SUV, can't remember which). Pay it forward and backward. 

SPreston2001's picture

Its official, #7 is the elected "speed" jersey and can only be worn if you have the wheels to carry on the tradition! Galloway, Chris Gamble, Tedd Ginn Jr.... Nuff said!!

Codeezy's picture

I always thought we had an unusual amount of luck with number 7 wearers with a G last name.
Corny Green
Told ya.

DJ Byrnes's picture

How bad-ass (read: nineties) were those mid-cut jerseys? Also, my friend used to play pick-up basketball with Joey Galloway at a Dublin rec center and I guess Galloway used to destroy ppl.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Codeezy's picture

Just would like to say something to you Joe, hope you read this.
When I was younger, mainly at the age of 7, is when I fell in love with Ohio State football, but more specifically, with Joey Galloway. I was 7, his number was 7, and he was blazing fast. I remember asking my Grandma who number 7 was, and her replying "Joey Galloway". I never forgot the name. God bless my grandma, she drove down to columbus, knowing there was some sort of banquet she could attend, and found Mr. Galloway, then a college kid, and had him sign a program, personalized to me. This is my most cherished belonging to this day. My love for the sport and The Ohio State University is because of him. Even at 24 now, I own 6 Galloway jerseys, over 900 different JG cards, and in every sport I've played my whole life, including my flag football league today, I wear number 7. Ask me why, Ill say "Joey Galloway". Ive always wanted to write him a letter, and just thank him but i never found out how. Maybe I'm a freak. Maybe I picked a sports hero that wasn't Steve Young or Michael Jordan. With all this being said, I'd like to thank you for this article. My grandmother passed away 2 months ago, and while all this cammotion around our program right now is very interesting, and I am on the site daily, no article has been more well-timed and personally resounding. A series of these would be amazing, especially like a "Where are they now" type of thing. Remember Greg Bellasari? Just guys like that. I've spewed enough, if you read this all the way through I truly thank you. Time to go back to playing NCAA with a User-created team and my reigning Heisman winning QB, number 7, Joey Galloway.

Joe Beale's picture

JG is the kind of player that you truly could grow up emulating, a guy who fought through tough breaks and triumphed over it all. This is the 4th post in the series I've been doing that covers OSU heroes from the past. I'm very glad to see that this one arrived at just the right time. I wasn't originally planning a post for this week but our dubcast was delayed for a week and so Johnny asked me to cover the slot. I would have done JG next week in any event, but I'm glad that Providence intervened so that you could read this one sooner. And thanks for reading; your comment made my day.