AndyVance's picture
July 19, 2013 at 12:14p

Editor's note: This feature, a pictorial countdown to the kickoff of the 2013 Buckeye football season, was originally spawned in the Forums, but a fellow 11dubber suggested that it move to the blogs - so, here it is. Also, apologies for the tardiness of today's posting, but, well... I have a job, so... sorry. Enjoy today's installment of the countdown.

Some numbers are bigger than others. After two days of pretty epic installments of the countdown, featuring a slew of All-Americans, a legendary former coach, one of the greatest NFL defensive coordinators of all time, and the nation's only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, there was bound to be something of a letdown. And yet, at every number of the Buckeyes' roster over the history of Ohio State football, you'll find some measure of greatness.

For example, no fewer than four men to wear #43 earned the distinction of being an Academic All-Conference honoree. Three men to wear the number have been team Captains, including 1937 First Team All-American Carl G. Kaplanoff. Because Kaplanoff played in the mid-1930s, finding information on him has proven to be somewhat of a challenge - named to the All-Time Captain list at Ohio State, the 6-foot, 235 lb. tackle was drafted in the 12th round of the 1939 NFL Draft by the Brooklyn Dodgers. Not that Brooklyn Dodgers, this Brooklyn Dodgers.

Kaplanoff apparently played just one season for the Dodgers, and the team went 4-6-1, tying for 3rd in the East Division.

The next major standout at #43 didn't come along for another 40 years. Tailback Calvin Murray lettered at Ohio State from 1977-1980, and was named All-Big Ten in his senior season. Among his highlights, Murray set a school record for longest pass reception, hauling in an 86-yard pass from future convict Art Schlichter in a 1979 game against Washington State. Murray led the Buckeyes in rushing in 1979 and 1980, and led the Big Ten in rushing in 1980. He was named team MVP for his efforts that season.

Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 1981 NFL Draft, Murray's career didn't amount to much, despite the promise showed during his final seasons in Columbus. He was released by the team prior to the start of the 1981 season, but was re-signed on October 28 when Louie Giammona was knocked out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. He rushed for 134 yards, and spent the next year, the final of his career, playing for the Chicago Blitz of the USFL.

The most recent standout to wear #43 is fan favorite Nathan Williams. The Defensive End from Miami Trace high school spent five seasons with the Buckeyes and lettered four years. Williams successfully came back from season-ending surgery in 2011 to play in 10 games for the undefeated Buckeyes in 2012, recording 40 tackles, including 3.5 for loss, two sacks, and one pass batted away.

Williams finished his career a veteran of 45 Ohio State games and 20 starting assignments. He tallied 25 career tackles-for-loss and 12 quarterback sacks, both totals second among current Buckeyes, as well as 132 career tackles. During his four seasons on the field, he also had an interception, five pass break-ups, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

After going unselected in the 2013 NFL Draft, Williams agreed to an undrafted free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings in April, planting the OSU flag on a team with no other Buckeyes on the active roster. Rated as the 28th best outside linebacker in this year's draft class by SB Nation, Williams' injury history was looked upon with some concern by league GMs. Here's hoping the story has a happy ending in Minnesota.

With that, we'll close today's installment of the countdown. If you've missed it so far, here are days 50, 49, 48, 47, 46, 45 and 44. Go Buckeyes!


Unky Buck's picture

I've been waiting for this all morning, Andy. Almost started a forum asking if Andy had gone missing and where day 43 was. God knows what kind of hell (or awesomeness...depending on how you view it) that would've turned into, but I was close.
Haha, but thanks many times over for doing this. These are great.

If you jiggle your monitor, does that make a jiggly gif?

AndyVance's picture

I started writing this one early this morning, but Friday is our big deadline day for putting out the paper each week, so my real work had to come first :)
Your comment about starting a thread had me laughing out loud - the dog officially thinks I'm off my meds now.

Idaho Helga's picture

Andy...Andy...ANDY.  Geeze, WHEN will you get your priorities in line?    ;)
p.s. how's the kid and wife?

AndyVance's picture

Priorities, tell me about it :)
The Fetching Mrs. Vance and the Little Princess are doing really well - we actually had a "date night" tonight, which consisted of dinner at Cap City Diner (the "Big Cup O' Chocolate - molten fudge cake in a mug - was A-MAZ-ING) and doing our biweekly trip to Kroger... It was really something without the Little One in tow!

Idaho Helga's picture

Sounds like fun. As I have said before, my hubby and I relate our social life as 
"B.C."-  Before Children
"A.D." - After Diapers
There is no social life in between.  That's ok.  It's fun to be a Mommy & Daddy!

Hovenaut's picture APB for AV.


More numerical goodness. I believe Nathan Williams would have been in the record books had his knees kept up with his motor. A real testament to his drive and determination to come back from microfracture surgery - I think he has a legit opportunity to make it with the Vikings.

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

Earle's picture

There it is!  Thanks, Andy.  I was starting to get the shakes...

Your Noble Savage is a Straw Yeti.

Michibuck's picture

Whew, it's arrived.

TheShookster's picture

oh man, I was really hoping to learn more about my personal favorite #43...brandon schnittker...he would probably be converted to a linebacker in urban's offense.

He ain't even stretch doe!!

AndyVance's picture

I almost wrote about Schnittker, actually, so sorry to disappoint! I've been trying to make sure to include some of the older players and not just focus on more recent stock, but Schnittker was definitely someone I considered writing about!

TheShookster's picture

It's all good! Half joking half serious anyways.

He ain't even stretch doe!!

AndyVance's picture

I was so late getting today's edition out that I didn't get to spend nearly as much time on it as the last two days' posts. Tomorrow, however, is another day.

cajunbuckeye's picture

Excellent work as always, Andy. Job well done!

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

buckguyfan1's picture

Thanks for including Calvin Murray.  He was a true Buckeye all of us could appreciate!

pjtobin's picture

This is the first one of the countdowns I have seen. I am going to look the other ones up. Simply because this is buckeye awesomeness !! Thanks Andy. We all appreciate your time. And enjoy reading anything you type. 
Edit. I hadn't had the chance till tonight to read all of the countdowns. Reading #37 reminded me to do so. I am so thankful I did. These countdown pieces have been pure OSU gold. Thank you Andy. 

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

AndyVance's picture

Thanks for reading them :) I've really enjoyed writing this series.