The 2013 Buckeyes: Help From the Wayback Machine

By Michael Citro on June 17, 2013 at 11:30a

One of the great things about having a forum here at 11W is that it gives me the opportunity to think up interesting scenarios that I might otherwise never consider.

Urban Meyer would love this guy on his team.Spielman in his prime at Mike linebacker this year? Swoon.

As I wandered through my father’s day festivities with the family, I kept thinking about how the Buckeyes will more or less need to finish undefeated again to have a shot at the BCS National Championship.

While the current roster may be sufficient to accomplish the feat, I can’t help but wonder how the 2013 Buckeyes might be upgraded in some key areas. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to dream up five players I’d love to bring forward in a time machine to shore up this team’s weaknesses.

The generally accepted weaknesses of the 2013 Buckeyes are linebacker depth, youth on the defensive line, right tackle, wide receiver, and punter. I started pondering the five trips I’d get in my mythical time machine and which guys would best fill the holes on the current roster.

This is a completely subjective exercise, obviously, so feel free to weigh in with your alternates. Here are the five guys I’d bring forward with my limited number of TARDIS trips:

Korey Stringer (right tackle)

Orlando Pace is perhaps an obvious choice here, but I don’t want to upset the chemistry of the returning four offensive line starters. If Pace came forward, Urban Meyer would no doubt want to use him at left tackle, and that could alter the way all five positions get played.

Instead, Korey Stringer would be an outstanding addition here. He played right tackle opposite Pace and was nearly as much of a beast as the pancake man. He’d end the battle for that spot pretty quick, allowing Taylor Decker to develop further and provide greater depth in case of injury.

This still makes me happy.A guy like David Boston could prove useful in 2013.

Chris Spielman (“Mike” linebacker)

When I think of the stability that Zach Boren brought to the defense, especially the linebackers, last season, it reminded me a bit of the way Spielman was the rock of his defenses in the 80s. Meyer would love Spielman’s leadership and preparation, and Urban would no doubt be gushing about how he’d like to name a son after Spiels before it was all said and done.

Imagine Spielman and Shazier on the same defense and try not to get goosebumps.

Ryan Pickett (defensive line)

I feel like many of the greatest defensive linemen in OSU history suited up in the 60s and 70s and might be a bit undersized for today’s game. I further decided that bringing back John Simon so quickly would be kind of like cheating. So to add help and leadership to a young defensive line, it really came down to Cam Heyward, Ryan Pickett, and Will Smith, for me.

Pickett is intriguing especially because a solid college interior tackle can really make a defense better. I feel like Smith may have the better motor than Heyward. Smith was equally capable of occupying blockers to allow the linebackers to make plays and blowing up linemen to get to the quarterback or running backs. His presence would be a big boost for Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Michael Bennett. In the end, I’m going with Pickett for his ability to jam up the run game, which is a big question mark for this year’s group. He skipped his senior season so he’d also have an extra year of eligibility.

David Boston (wide receiver)

One thing David Boston could bring to Ohio State’s current receiving corps is size. Not only was Boston a big target, but he ran good routes and was versatile enough to catch balls over the middle or beat defenders deep.

I think the Buckeyes have a very solid foundation at the receiver position, but much of the talent is very young and inexperienced. A year or two of Boston in the lineup would allow that group to mature.

Tom Skladany (punter)

No Johnny Townsend? No problem. Just plug in a three-time All American and NFL Pro Bowler. Skladany would hopefully not be called upon often in 2013, but his skills would be welcome in a year where the punting position has a lot of questions to answer.

So that’s my five. Which five would you bring forward to help the 2013 Buckeyes challenge for a title?



Comments Show All Comments

Buckeye06's picture

I'd take:
Pace - Right or left tackle, he could likely play both at an amazingly high level
Ginn - He was shotginning before the "Harvin" position even existed.  He could spread the field better than any of our current guys as well, and would give us a proven kick returner
Spiels - No explanation needed
Winfield - Give me him with Roby all day, 1 on 1 shut down guys
Wilkinson - Plug my holes in the middle with Spence Washington wrecking people

Buckeye06's picture

6th for me may be Nugent...guy was one of the most clutch kickers of all time

dan_isaacs's picture

This may be heresy, but given the offenses we face, I'd kinda prefer having Lauranitis over Speilman.  But that may just have been the stupidest thing I ever wrote.


Dan Isaacs

tennbuckeye19's picture

Not stupid at all. I don't know that I'd prefer one over the other. I mean, can you go wrong? 
Laurinaitis was a 3 time All American and one of the best linebackers ever to play @ OSU. Spielman was a 2 time All American and not only a great player, but also a beloved fan favorite with a compelling life story. 

Earle's picture

Both of you are dead to me.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

tennbuckeye19's picture

For sentimental reasons I'd take Spielman, but really they're both fantastic linebackers. That was my point. 

Buckeyeneer's picture

As good as Laurinaitis was, in recent memory I would still take Katzenmoyer or Hawk over him. I remember him being good, but not the dominant player those two were.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

Earle's picture

Nothing but love for Laurinaitus, but sentiment aside, I would take Spielman for football reasons, for leadership reasons, for toughness reasons, and any other reasons of which I could conceive.  What I would pay to see him line up against Alabama in the NC game in his prime.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

CC's picture

I'm sorry but I don't put James L. in the same class as Spielman.
I would rate them:
James L.

chirobuck's picture

this is a good ranking, I would have it almost the same except switch hawk and RDS, thats how I see it, I feel hawk dominated just a tiny bit more but I think you could have a debate between just those two and it would be a good one


^ best post ever ^

dan_isaacs's picture

Yeah, I know.  Sorry.  Have an upvote.

Dan Isaacs

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I was in the front row endzone in AA for Earle Bruce's last game!  Chris Spielman was a f@#$ing beast that day and I have never seen anything like that before or after.  During 1 timeout, scUM had the balll inside the 5.  EVERYBODY had their helmet off and/or on one knee trying to catch their breath.  Not Spielman - he was intensely pacing back and forth in the endzone screaming at himself and beating his helmet with his hands.  It was cold so you could see the steam coming out of his helmet.  It was f@#$ing intense to watch.  There has never been a player so committed, talented, and just plain OSU than Chris Spielman!!!  He is the ultimate Buckeye warrior

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Stinson's picture

1. Chris Spielman - Paired with Shazier? Stop it.
2. Ted Ginn, Jr. - Mainly for special teams purposes. Could help at WR.
3. David Boston - Size at receiver much needed.
4. Antoine Winfield - (see above post)
5. Orlando Pace - Chemistry < This:

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

CC's picture

When people don't put Orlando at the top of any list it makes me think they didn't watch him when it happened.
He was one of the 5 most dominating players I have ever seen in college football.  The others (that I saw) off the top of my head:  Suh, Tommy Frazier, Tebow, Barry Sanders.

Michael Citro's picture

Orlando Pace was the best. My reasoning was to bring in a new right tackle and preserve the outstanding chemistry developed last year with the four very capable returning starters. The goal was not to just bring in ringers to remake the current team, but to enhance what's already in place.

Also, Korey Stringer was a beast in his own right and not many people remember that because of Pace.

Stinson's picture

I agree on Pace. This list is in no particular order.

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

pjtobin's picture

What a way to spend Father's Day. Dreaming up the best Buckeye team ever, maybe? My only change would be Ginn instead of Boston. I just love watching Ginn play. Just imagine how UFM would use him!! Great read as always. Thanks. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

Hovenaut's picture

Jack Tatum.

The Assassin to open the hit clinic at STAR and show the new blood how its done.

The Nuge, until Sean Nuernberger is ready.

And suit Vrabel up, career sack leader to also mentor the young 'uns. He could back off the line at outside 'backer.

buckeyepastor's picture

Pace - The term "pancake" was pretty much made for him.   Resolve our tackle concerns.    
AJ Hawk - His instincts and drive would not only shore up the LB corp, but bring a big dose of leadership to the entire defensive side of the ball   
Ginn - Teddy Ginn occupied 2, sometimes 3, people on the defensive side of the ball.   Haven't seen the likes of him since.  With all respect to Boston, Glenn, Carter, Galloway, and the others, he had a knack for making plays that was really unique.   
Chris Gamble - I know that our secondary is pretty solid, but a lock-down corner the likes of a Gamble (or Winfield or Whitner, really) would allow our talented safeties to just swarm the field like a plague.   
John Simon - He's the biggest loss from last year's defense, and as long as we're fantasizing about the impact former players could have......

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

CC's picture

Not "pretty much", it was literally a stat made for him.  Wasn't used before or since as a calculated stat.

almurray10's picture

I'll go with players from my generation of buckeyes:
1. Linebacker:  AJ Hawk - Straight up dominated the game, and I'll never forget his performance against Brady Quinn and the Irish in the '05 Fiesta Bowl
2. O-line:  Nick Mangold - Dude was a straight beast (and still is in the NFL) and I'm sure Urban could find a way to work him into the line
3. WR:  Teddy Ginn - One of the most exciting Buckeyes I've ever seen, and could provide support with kick/punt returns as well
4. D-line:  Vernon Gholston - May have been a bust in the NFL, but I'll never forget his domination of Chad Henne in '07
5. Punter:  Andy Groom - The punter for the only Tressel-led BCS Championship team. Need I say more?

Buckeye06's picture

If I'm taking a punter it's going to be BJ Sander cause of his first 2 initials.
Funny story about him; I was at the 03 Iowa game and same guy who obviously had no clue what he was talking about said "BJ Sucks."  OSU was in 4th down inside their own like 10 and about to punt.  Next thing you know, BJ gets his leg into one and Iowa is starting at like its own 20.  Legit 65-75 yard punt and my friend and I look at each other and say "Yea BJ Sander sucks dude"

Bucksfan's picture

1) Mike Nugent.  All time leading point scorer in Buckeye history.  It's a lot of fun to see Urban going for it on 4th down, but it'd be even nicer knowing you're coming away with 3 points from any distance, and then kick the ball out of the endzone.
2) Jack Tatum.  Need better players in the secondary.  The team got better as the season went on last year, but any little bit helps.  Tatum would help a LOT.
3) Chris Spielman.  Duh.  Though Tom Cousineau and AJ Hawk wouldn't be bad choices.
4) Maurice Clarett.  Because.
5) Ted Ginn, Jr.  Again...because.

almurray10's picture

That Ted Ginn highlight video has been one of my favorites for years. I seem to stumble across it at least once or twice a year (especially during this time of the year when I am in desperate need of some sort of Buckeye football)

CC's picture

Have to agree on all.  I'm too young to remember Tatum.
The only thing I would say about your list is that the difference between MC and Carlos isn't as HUGE as the difference between Spielman and any other mike on this team.
MC was nasty though.

mh277907's picture

Gonzo at WR would be a nice pick up for this team. Or Chris Gamble to sure up both the WR and the DB position.


zjhousley's picture

Pace, Eddie George, Joey Galloway, Wilkinson, Andy Katzenmoyer

Bucksfan's picture

Party like it's 1995?

73buckeye's picture

There are a ton of guys that'd be great additions, but I'd take Orlando Pace, Randy Gradishar, Ryan Pickett, Big Daddy Wilkinson, and Jack Tatum. Defense and o-line wins titles.  Add these guys and I think we go to war with anybody.


CC's picture

O-Pace combined with the other 4 plus Carlos and Braxton - please!

otrain2416's picture

Based purely on what I consider needs or question marks Pace- OT Ginn-WR/KR Winfield-DB Hawk-MLB Heyward/Hankins-DT

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

Buckeye06's picture

I also thought about a Mike Doss or a Will Smith type.  Guys on that 2002 team who were real leaders on the field.
I'm happy with my original 5 though

gumtape's picture

Tom Tupa was a better athlete than Skladany, and he could both throw and punt the ball about 70 yards through the air, dude had an absolute cannon for an arm.
He was a pro-bowl punter and a journeyman backup NFL QB.

High and tight boo boo

Northbrook's picture

Pace: Mewhort, I love you but move your ass right.
Wilhelm: I like his game in the D we play.
Pitcock: Absolutely agree
Boston: Absolutely agree.
Troy Smith: Ooooh, controversy! Heisman baby!

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Agree with Spielman and Stringer (though a Jim Lachey wouldn't be bad either at tackle!); would have to go with "Big Daddy" on D-line, Tupa at punter and CC at wide out ("All he does is catch touchdowns!").

Northbrook's picture

You are keeping it old school.

Oldschoolbuck's picture

I'm so old my wrinkles have wrinkles!

TMac's picture

With no disrespect to the current O-Line, I'd bring;
Orlando Pace at Left Tackle, Corey Stringer at Right Tackle and LeCharles Bentley at Center
Chris Spielman at Mike and
Dan Wilkinson at DT
Control the line, control the game!

ONE Not Done!

BengalErnst's picture

No need to add a punter, after adding Orlando Pace, Eddie George and David Boston to this offense.  Big Daddy to stop the run and Chris Spielman to lead the defense. 
I supposed if pressed I may replace my favorite buckeye of all-time for a CB.  Our secondary is a little weaker than our backfield so a Winfield, Clements, Springs, Gamble or Jenkins may give us the better overall team.

Nicholas l Ernst

jmoore3309's picture

Cris Carter - if it is anywhere in the field of play, he could catch it
Chris Speilman - leadership, hated losing and a motor that never quit
Shawn Springs - if you want to lock down half of the field, he was my favorite.  He and Roby would make a formidable pair.
Orlando Pace - Even as a freshmen, he was like a man playing with boys.  I can still see him leading Pepe Pearson 60 yards down the field making blocks.
The last position is the toughest, because I think an addition to the D-Line would be important, but those I want to add, predominantly play on the outside, where I think we are young but in good shape.  Big Daddy would be the obvious choice from a pure talent standpoint, but I would also be ok with Cam Heywood, or many of the other mentioned including John Simon and Ryan Pickett. 

Go Bucks!

jccavanaugh's picture

Cris Carter at WR?

bucks_lax_14's picture

I will go with former players that could step in and play right now, so current NFLers:
AJ Hawk and James Lauranitis.  Hawk plays inside now, but could move back outside. Pair them with Shazier and we are set.
Malcolm Jenkins. I know he plays safety now and Doran Grant should be ready to step in, but imagine him alongside Roby as starting CBs.  Who could throw on us?
Cam Heyward and Big Hank staying for Senior year.  Beasts up front. And much needed leadership.
No offensive guys, but that's because with so many returning starters I would rather totally shore up the Defense.

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

In 1973, John Hicks played RT.  So, John Hicks---no brainer.
I agree on Spielman.  maybe the most intense and focused player ever.
Mike Vrabel on the DLine
Chris Carter for WR.
Tom "Thunderfoot" Tupa at punter.  Skladany sometimes had some wierd shanks. IIRC

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

45has2's picture

Speils (TOSU'S Chuck Norris),  Big O (I'll clear my side to the field)  Chris Carter (was he really the 1st to utter: Thee Ohio State University during NFL intros?), Mike Vrabel (All time sack leader, y'all)  and Tommy Tupa. You just know UFM would pull some shenanigans with Tupa punting.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

CC's picture

Chris Gamble - 2 players for the price of one.

Young_Turk's picture

This reminds me of one of my few recurring dreams (really a nightmare of sorts).  
The dream goes along the lines of... I get a notice that say's due to some anomaly, they've discovered I have one more year of high school eligibility.  I go back to play football for that last year, thinking I'm going to dominate.  What sucks, and it always happens in this dream, is that I suck that last year.  Can't do anything!  
My list would include...
Sure tacklers:  The beginning of last year is still a clear memory.  Big plays against our defense due to poor technique.  
Solution - Mike Doss
Middle cloggers:  Gotta have strength against the road graders in Madison and Ann Arbor.  
Solution - Luke Fickel.  More of a tribute to this man for his class.  But, let's not forget he did anchor the defensive line for 50 starts, and led us to 4 bowl games.
Turnover machine:  I think our turnover margin last year was not up to par.  I'd like to see our defense get their hands on ball more.  I'd like our defensive backfield cause some fumbles on the passes that are caught in front of them.
Solution - This is a bit of a stretch, but I remember a defensive back from I think the late eighties that was a 1 man demolition derby.  I could be wrong, I think his name is Terry White.  Not sure about the name, but I definitely remember him crumbling receiver after receiver with his foundation-rocking strikes.  
Field Position:  Another tribute, this time to Andy Grooms and Jim Tressel.  We all know and hold to be true that the most important play in football is the punt.  Winning the battle of field position, most especially in those really tight games against equally matched rivals, very directly leads to victory.  
Solution:  Andy Grooms
Offensive Line/Receiver:  How about a tight end to serve a dual function.  A 2nd option to reliably converting 3rd downs as well as optional assistance in the role of pass blocking.  I suppose the same could be done from the backfield.
Solution:  I was going to go with John Frank here, but talked myself into Keith Byers as a blocking/pass catching option out of the backfield on 3rd down.  


Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Nice name from the past with Terry White.  Only problem is, he transferred to WVU when he got into off the field trouble.  He was a hitter.  But still, a better hitter and better Buckeye would be the original...Jack Tatum.  If you ever saw him play for tOSU, (I did) you would never, ever put another player in that role.  Terry White was a hitter.  So was Andy Katzenmoyer.  They would need to bring a hammer onto the field to equal the hitting power of The Assassin.  All American football players would trip and fall to avoid getting hit by Jack.  This is not an exaggeration.  Leroy Keyes and Mike Phipps both did it in games when Jack was approaching.  Remember the scene in Master and Commander, when the opposing ship fired a salvo and the crew braced/waited for the impact?  That's what it was like for RBs and WRs when Tatum was approaching.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

This is a great topic and fun to think about...
Okay, the players that I would bring in to help out would be:
Speilman - only one of the greatest Buckeyes ever.
Keith Byars - his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and his running game were great.  Imagine him in the H back position. 
Orlando Pace - a mountain of a man at tackle, was one of the best in the NFL.
Vrabel - Would love to have him on the D-Line
Joey Galloway - Speed!  Joey had more speed than most SEC WRs hope to ever have. 
That's my five.  There are so many out there that makes this fun to think about. 
Great topic!

AJW_16's picture

The RDS and Speils combo...

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

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I'm throwing Archie Griffin into the party!  He is, after all, the only 2 time Heisman Trophy winner.... he was pretty good!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

unholy bucknut's picture

1) Big Daddy Dan Wilkerson
2) Lil Animal James Laurinitis
3) Ted Ginn Jr.
4) Jack Tatum
5) Orlando Pace... could you imagine Braxton having a security blanket like that. OMG

Knarcisi's picture

Spielman (MLB), Pace (OT), Winfield (CB), Tatum (S), Glenn (WR).  Tried to think of places where we could use an "upgrade".  Fun thought. 

HighBallAce's picture

Orlando Pace, Korey Stringer, Eddie George, Shawn Springs and Joey Galloway! Now if my time machine was running on Kryptonite, I think I would also bring back Teddy Ginn, Terry Glenn, David Boston. On defense would be A.J. Hawk, James Laurinitis, Chris Spielman, Chris Gamble, Dan Wilkinson, Cam Heyward, Damon Moore, Antoine Winfield, awww what the heck, Archie Griffin!....hehe Ok, I broke the rules but seriously, who could pick just 5?

Goose's picture

I think defensive end is getting really undervalued.  With all of the increased emphasis on passing offenses, we really need a Mike Vrabel or Will Smith coming off the edge to take some pressure off Spence.
Hard to argue with Spielman.  We had other LBs that were good, but none that combined the production and leadership like him.
I really like the Korey Stringer vote.  I think he gets overlooked and underrated so much because of how good Pace was.  You couldn't go wrong with either of them.
I also liked the Damon Moore suggestion.  It always seemed like that defense was in the right position to make a play and from all accounts he was the guy making that happen.
I really like our offensive skill position players this year, but anyone with some moxie, experience and leadership would really help that group gel.  How about Dane Sanzenbacher.