Who are NE Ohio's top 50 football players of the past 50 years?

By Ramzy Nasrallah on June 30, 2013 at 2:54p

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's offseason football topic game is as strong as it is local.

Lebron James: Also the king of the fade route.

Over the next several weeks they will be seeking the feedback, intelligence and (likely) outright trolling from informed readers across the region to determine what this list should look like.

While the span from 1963 - 2013 is wide and transcends NE Ohio's boom and bust, the importance of high school football to that part of the state and the quality of players that it produced has never wavered. There are a lot of eventual Buckeyes on the list of finalists. There are also many more non-Buckeyes.

You have until July 8 to add to the list of finalists, who must have played football in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage or Summit county. Also important: Their college and/or NFL careers are inconsequential to the list, though that's a bias that may be hard for many to suppress.

The 172 finalists chosen by the Plain Dealer include legends and former legends alike. But for most Ohio high school football aficionados nearly every name will be familiar:

Stow's Larry Csonka in the '60s, St. Edward linebacker Tom Cousineau in the '70s, Desmond Howard of St. Joseph in the '80s, St. Ignatius QB Dave Ragone in the '90s, Glenville QB Troy Smith in the 2000s

Never heard of this "Desmond Howard." He probably doesn't exist.


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Urban Nation Army's picture

Beanie Wells is hard to beat
Year     Attempts Yards Average TD
Freshman   104     576      5.5        7
Sophomore  90     900     10.0       15
Junior      212    1,939    9.1      20
Senior     223    2,134    9.6       27

Bet you can't say "Bert Bielma is a bumbling buffoon" five times fast.

otrain2416's picture

I beg to differ on the numbers Tyrell Sutton's numbers make those look like nothing state record 9,426 total rushing yards 117 total career TDs 2 time Mr. Football. Senior year ran for 3,241 yards 38 TDs. I played against Bennie a few times and with Sutton, Sutton was a far superior RB in high school can't say the same thing in college and pro career though.  
Edit: Also Lebrons name doesn't belong on that top 50 list he only played through his junior year and he was a good player in HS but not top 50 good.

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

Urban Nation Army's picture

wow, ok then I stand corrected. I guess I was just inclined to pick a recent ohio state player without enough knowledge of who else compared.

Bet you can't say "Bert Bielma is a bumbling buffoon" five times fast.

otrain2416's picture

no worries only reason I knew that was cuz I played with him. Bennie was a tank in HS when we played him if we'd stuff him at the line of scrimmage and he'd fall forward for 3 yards. He probably would have had better numbers if he had a decent OL. Loved him running for the buckeyes though

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

ODEEZ330's picture

Leaving stark.county out is a travesty wow birth place of football people.

stark county football

Fear The Elf's picture

This from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The CPD's coverage area is limited to Cuyahoga, Summitt, Lake, Geauga, Lorain, Portage, and Medina counties. Stark County and Mahoning Valley (Youngstown) aren't included

Kurt's picture

Wow.  That's pretty amazing that the list is that extensive and yet leaves out Mahoning and Stark Counties.  Damn.

JollyFatMan's picture

Lets not forget Trumbull. WGH has produced a few good players over the years. 

How firm thy friendship..

BuckeyeChief's picture

Glad I read the whole article before complaining. I would've came off really dumb since I read the list and wondered where all the Columbus guys were. That would've been really embarassing!

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

pjtobin's picture

That's a neat idea. Maybe we could do one here at 11w for the whole state? Just a thought. 

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

Hovenaut's picture

I'm sorry.

Desmond who?

bbase22's picture

Pretty unbelievable list

abrahajc's picture

Ray Williams from benedictine.  Guy was unbelievable, but if you recall there was some issue with the law that derailed his career before it got started.  
In terms of numbers it is hard to go against Sutton from Hoban.

JollyFatMan's picture

Played against him. Dude could MOVE. Too bad though.. coulda been great. 

How firm thy friendship..

JYBUCKEYE's picture

No Pepe Pearson?  

abrahajc's picture

he was on the list

JYBUCKEYE's picture

Ooops.  I found him.  

pcuzz1's picture

I am interested to see where Trubisky ranks. I am 21 so there are a limited amount of players on that list I have seen play. I did however play against bellamy. Not expecting to see him on the list.

pat cozzens