Orlando Pace Named to College Football's 2013 Hall of Fame Class

By Jason Priestas on May 7, 2013 at 12:09p
Orlando Pace is Hall of Fame bound

Orlando Pace, the best tackle many of us have ever seen line up for Ohio State – or anyone for that matter – is finally on his way to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Pace, a two-sport star for the Blue Streaks of Sandusky High School was a Parade magazine All-American as an offensive tackle, while also making the USA Today All-American team as a defensive lineman. A priority for John Cooper, Pace signed with the Buckeyes in 1994 and became the second true freshman to ever start the opener for a Buckeye team.

“Orlando Pace is not only the best offensive lineman I have ever coached, but he is the best I have ever seen,” John Cooper, Ohio State coach from 1988-2000 and a 2008 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, said. “Every game was a highlight reel for him. We ran a lot of counter sweeps and a lot of screens, and on many of those plays Orlando had to be out in front of the ball carrier. And we had some pretty good ball carriers.

“I don’t know how you could play the position any better than he did. He was just a fantastic football player. He was the best.”

As a Buckeye, he dominated. He was a two-time consensus first-team All-American, capturing the Outland Trophy in 1996 and the Lombardi Award in 1995 and 1996, becoming the first two-time winner of that award. In 1996, Pace earned Ohio State's team MVP award along with the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football as the Big Ten's most valuable player.

Pace finished fourth in voting for the Heisman trophy as a senior in 1996 and helped encourage the growth of the phrase "pancake block," earning the nickname "Pancake Man" for his style of dismantling opposing players.

Orlando Pace performing a pancake block

Pace did not allow a sack during his final two seasons at Ohio State.

In 1997, Pace was selected first overall in the NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams, where he starred for 12 seasons, capturing NFL All-Pro honors five times, earning seven trips to the Pro Bowl and helped lead the Rams to a win in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Sports Illustrated selected Pace as a starting offensive tackle on their "NCAA Football All-Century Team" in 1999 and he was later named to the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team.

Two years ago, Pace was honored by the Buckeyes with an induction into Ohio State's Sports Hall of Fame. This summer, he'll take his place in the College Football Hall of Fame and we can only assume his next stop will be Canton.

Congratulations, Big O.


Comments Show All Comments

dubjayfootball90's picture

YES!!!! Congrats big fella!!!!! That is awesome news!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

Hovenaut's picture

Much deserved, congrats to Orlando Pace.

Here's a link to the National Football Foundation website, and their article on the inductees:


Hockey Buck's picture

Way over due. Congrats Pankcake Maker OP.

actionstanleyjackson's picture

I was at OSU the same time as Pace. I vividly remember him waiting for the campus bus one day. The guy was a huge human being...the best player in the country and he was just waiting to catch the bus. 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

ATXbucknut's picture

This should have happened even while he was playing at OSU (eligibility for induction be damned). There has been no better collegiate offensive lineman in my lifetime.

Philly White's picture

"He'd've made it 5 years sooner if I got my hands on him!" the walrussy man on the stool said to the disinterested East Lansing bartender. 

IBleedSandG's picture

The Motha Effin Pancake Man! Congrats, Orlando!


BuckeyeChief's picture

Well deserved! Congrats!!!

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

bukyze's picture

When was the first year that he could've been eligible?  Is there a certain waiting period?

Crimson's picture

The criteria are in Hovenaut's link.

2. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation's honors courts ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played.

jeremytwoface's picture


And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.

AJW_16's picture

How the hell did it take this long? Congrats to Orlando Pace! I just may have pancakes tomorrow morning for breakfast to commemorate this...

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

dubjayfootball90's picture

May 7th is now pancake morning in my household for future years. Every year on May7, I will make pancakes in the morning. YES, SIR!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

AJW_16's picture

...and lunch and dinner...

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

2014nationalchamps's picture

IHOP or wafflehouse should make the Orlando Pace Pancake special. Have it shaped like a block O to honor this great player. 

O-H-I-O  for life

Keith's picture

The best block I have for Orlando is in the link below, from the same game as the GIF above.  As dominating of a run block you'll ever see IMO.   Pace emptied a lot of 55 gallon drums of WP (whoop ass) while on the gridiron>

2014nationalchamps's picture

i remember seeing Orlando play in HS. His hs team was in my hs conference and I used to go and watch this mammoth in HS. Whats funny is the most impressive thing I saw out of him was power dunking during the hs basketball game. Dude was a beast and unstoppable in both sports. Congrats to one of the best athletes to ever don the scarlet and gray. 

O-H-I-O  for life

Scott's picture

2014: Where did you go to school? I'm from Port Clinton.

Class of 2008

2014nationalchamps's picture


O-H-I-O  for life

tdible2132's picture

So glad Orlando finally got the nod.  He got hosed a few times before this, and I'm glad he is finally in. 

Doc's picture

Congratulations Orlando!  Pancakes all around.  The guy was a beast.  I was fortunate enough to have my student tickets for the years he was there.  Thanks for the memories.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

osubuck57's picture

Glad to see he finally got the recognition he deserved!! Well over-due!! He'll be a first ballot into Canton !!Most dominating linemen we've ever had.


bbase22's picture

Should've won The Heisman.
He was hands down the best player in college football.

lamplighter's picture

^^^ that says it - none better

cplunk's picture

He should have been the only player in his hall of fame class; he was always in a class of his own.
No non-skill position player ever deserved a Heisman more. He was awesome.

cajunbuckeye's picture

The best offensive tackle to run on to the field at the 'Shoe. Ever.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

ohiowhitesnake's picture

Mmmm Pancakes

I finally got a set of Gold Pants!

Buckeye Chuck's picture

I was looking over the potential nominees the other day, and it occurred to me that homerism aside, Pace may very well have been the most qualified player on that list. Even at the Hall of Fame level, there aren't going to be many players where you could legitimately ask "Was he the best to ever play his position?" But Pace is on that short list when it comes to tackles.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

CC's picture

OP would have kicked Clowney's tail and I can say that without hesitation.

Ahh Saturday's picture

People are used to seeing intimidating linemen on the defensive side of the ball, but rarely do we think of even the top OL as intimidating. Orlando Pace was intimidating. Imagine lining up across from him and knowing that once he got ahold of you, it was over.

teddyballgame's picture

Well deserved.
Interesting little fact from his wiki, but now I'm curious as to who the other player was...

He was only the second true freshman ever to start on opening day for the Buckeyes football team.

Should have known....Andy Katzenmoyer
Not a bad little group to belong to.