Given the furor of the past week, today's installment of the countdown takes on an unusual significance. The incumbent at #34, depending the outcome of his current legal troubles, could well become one of the greatest running backs in Buckeye history. Carlos "El Guapo" Hyde was certainly integral to Ohio State's "play angry" undefeated 12-game streak last season, stepping up to become a ground-pounding big back who should have earned 1,000 yards last season (damn he was close) and managed to get his name mentioned alongside the phrase "Heisman contender" once or twice in the offseason.
Instead of discussing the damage he could cause opposing defenses this fall, however, we've spent the last several days discussing the very real prospect that his future might not include an Ohio State jersey at all. With conflicting media reports and terabytes of speculation, the strange case of "did he slap her" has taken on an aura of "it depends on what your definition of 'is,' is."
One thing we know for sure: Carlos Hyde is not the only big name Buckeye to wear #34.
Tackle Charles E. Hamrick was the third Buckeye ever to be drafted by the National Football League (guard Inwood Smith was taken by the Cleveland Rams in the fifth round that year, and end Merle Wendt went to Green Bay in the sixth). The 216-lb. Charley played for Ohio State from 1934-1936, earning All-American and All-Big Ten honors during his senior season. He was selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 1937 NFL Draft.
Ohio State played a home-and-home with Notre Dame in '35 and '36, sadly winning both contests. The first game, at The Shoe, was a great game, with Ohio State leading 13-0 in the fourth quarter in front of a record crowd (81,018). The Irish staged a three touchdown comeback, however, winning the game 18-13. The rematch in South Bend was less of a contest, with Hamrick blocked a Notre Dame punt for a safety, scoring Ohio State's only points. The Irish had the game’s only touchdown on a 4-yard run by Nevin “Bunny” McCormick.
Hamrick's name shows up one more time in the history books, reminding us that player compensation and benefits has been a controversial topic for nearly 100 years (if not longer). In October 1935, Ohio Governor Martin Davey revealed that at least 25 Ohio State football players were on the state payroll; University and Big Ten officials determined there was no need for an investigation, however, because the players earned their pay by actually working at the jobs for which they were hired.
History also shows that the state and university have long been at odds over college funding, as Davey pushed a $1.27 million cut to the University's appropriations in a publicized feud with University President George Rightmire. Hamrick told the Milwaukee Journal that the Governor had "never done anything for me, or for any of the boys...I'm on the state payroll, and I've been there since my freshman year, but Davey never had anything to do with it."
Hamrick worked as an assistant bill clerk, and earned $6 per day while the legislature was in session. Quarterback Tippy Dye made $3 per day as a House page; fullback Vic Dorris made $1,020 per year as a part-time tax division clerk.
The next All-American to wear #34 was running back Jeff Logan, who stalked the Buckeye backfield from 1974-1977. Serving as backup for the legendary Archie Griffin, Logan started his final two seasons, and while serving as a senior captain earned All-American, All-Big Ten, and Academic All-Big Ten honors. He is the 19th leading rusher in Ohio State history, compiling a respectable 2,026 yards on 349 carries, scoring 11 touchdowns in the process.
During his four years, Ohio State teams won four Big Ten Championships and played in four bowl games, including two Rose Bowls. Jeff and his father Dick were one of only two father/son combinations to both play under Woody Hayes. Following a short career in professional football with the Baltimore Colts (he was selected in the seventh round of the 1978 NFL Draft), Jeff returned to Columbus and founded Jeffrey D. Logan and Company.
Jeff married Dena, a varsity cheerleader; his father and mother likewise met at Ohio State while the elder Logan was a player for Hayes (Dick also had a stint in the pros, playing for the Green Bay Packers). The family lives out Woody's motto to "Pay it forward" through the Logan Family Foundation, founded in 2004. The Foundation uses fund raising activities to assist selected beneficiaries, most notably via their annual sports celebrity golf tournament, dinner and auction event, which has been a tremendous success in its first five years. The tournament's honorary chairs have included Jim Tressel, Archie Griffin, Thad Matta, Clark Kellogg and Todd Blackledge.
Logan played alongside Coach Urban Meyer earlier this year in the 11th annual Chick-Fil-A Bowl golf challenge, earning $20,000 in scholarships for Ohio State in the process.
Finishing his collegiate career with 2,649 yards, Loraine native Raymont LaShawn Harris is Ohio State's 8th leading rusher in school history. Playing for John Cooper's Buckeyes from 1990-1993, Harris set the school record for most rushing yards in a bowl game (235) and scored 28 touchdowns in his four years. Largely unheralded, being passed over for all but Academic All-Big Ten honors, the 1993 Buckeye MVP was nonetheless selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 1994 NFL Draft.
"The quiet storm" became da Bears' starting fullback after Merril Hoge suffered a career-ending injury, and was an integral part of the 1994 playoff team. He went on to lead the Bears in rushing for the 1996 NFL season, and had a career best season in 1997 when he had a career high of 276 rushing carries for 1,033 rushing yards, and finished tied for sixth in the NFL with ten rushing touchdowns.
After four seasons with the Bears, he finished his career with injury-riddled stops at Green Bay, Denver and New England, finally retiring in 2001 with 2,509 career rushing yards, 114 receptions for 739 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Following his separation from the NFL, Harris tried his hand at various gigs including broadcasting and mortgage lending, before arriving back at Ohio State.
Harris took an entry level position with the Fisher College of Business a few years back, and learned everything he needed to know about development while he moving up the ladder. After gaining that critical fundraising experience, Harris accepted a position with Ohio State Athletics, and is now the director of development responsible for major gifts for all 36 intercollegiate sports.
So that'll do it for today's installment of the countdown. If you've missed it so far, here is the archive of the series for your reading/viewing enjoyment:
- Seven weeks to go: Days 50, 49, 48, 47, 46, 45, 44 and 43.
- Six weeks to go: Days 42, 41, 40, 39, 38, 37 and 36.
- Five weeks to go: Day 35.