Countdown: 63 Days Until Ohio State Football

Remy's picture
June 28, 2014 at 1:13a
12 Comments
Ohio State at Navy

In nine Saturdays Ohio State will open the season at Navy. After the brutal winter we suffered through, Central Ohio is being rewarded with another great weather Saturday. Today's article will list the 30 players who wore No. 63 for Ohio State. Featured players are Jim Reichenbach, Doug Adams and Kirk Lowdermilk.

Today's Trivia Questions:
Can you name the Hall of Fame player that Jim Reichenbach coached at Glenwood High School?

What B1G school does Kirk Lowdermilk's son play cornerback for?
 

Players who Wore No. 63 for Ohio State
Player Worn All-American All-B1G Captain Academic AA Ac All-B1G Letter
James Hull 1937            
Paul Vittek 1938            
David Mires 1940            
Angelo Gaudio 1946           1946
Richard O'Hanlon* 1947           1947
George Endres 1950           1950
Richard Tice 1951            
Jim Reichenbach 1951-54 1954 1952       1951-54
Bill Jobko* 1955           1955
Ernest Wright 1958           1958
Aaron Swartz 1960            
Robert Vogel* 1960           1960
Albert Parker 1962           1962
William Eachus 1965-66           1965-66
Brian Clark 1967            
Doug Adams 1968-70   1969 1970     1968-70
James Kregel* 1971-72           1971-72
Darryl Weston 1974-75            
Scott Burris 1978-80           1978-80
Kirk Lowdermilk 1981-84   1984 1984     1981-84
Bill Krill 1984            
Dedrick Howard* 1985-86            
Roy Nichols 1989-90           1989-90
Neil Hawkins 1992-93            
Jason Cook* 1995            
Kurt Murphy 1996-99         1997, 1998, 1999 1996-99
Adrien Clarke 2000-03           2000-03
Ben Person 2004-08           2005-08
Ivon Blackman* 2010            
Michael Bennett 2011-13           2011-12

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 63
I do not have the list of 2013 varsity letter winners
Sources- Buckeyextra and The Ohio State Team Guide
 

Jim Reichenbach

Jim Reichenbach, OG (1951-54)
High School: Massillon Washington
Death: May 2009 (Massillon)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 26-9-2
First freshman offensive lineman to start at Ohio State.
1954 National Champions.
1954 Big Ten Title.
Defeated USC 20-7 in the 1955 Rose Bowl.
Went 2-2 against That Team.

Honors
1954 All-American.
1952 All-Big Ten.
2005 Inducted into the Stark County High School Football Hall of Fame.

Miscellaneous
Was Dan Dierdorf's high school coach at Glenwood.

Jim Reichebach's Ohio State career per an article written by Chris Easterling of indeonline.com:
 

Ohio State at Wisconsin 1953

After graduating from Washington High School, Reichenbach arrived on Ohio State’s campus and almost immediately stepped foot into the Buckeyes’ starting lineup. During the early 1950s, freshmen were eligible to play for the varsity team due to the Korean War.

So, when starter Thor Ronemus suffered an injury during the preseason, Reichenbach was right there waiting for the chance. And when the Buckeyes opened the season against Southern Methodist at Ohio Stadium – in Woody Hayes’ first game as head coach – Reichenbach made history as the first freshman offensive lineman to start at the school.

“It was very exciting to say the least,” Reichenbach said in a 1994 interview with The Independent. “Chuck Mather and the other coaches told me I could play and I did.”

He would be joined that season in the lineup by another former Tiger teammate and classmate, Jerry Krisher. Krisher, who also lettered four years for Ohio State from 1951-54, played at the other guard spot. ...

The Massillon Wall

...Reichenbach and Krisher were sandwiched around another former Tiger, Mike Takacs, at center.

“They called it the ‘Massillon Wall,’” Krisher recalled.

The Buckeyes won the national championship in 1954, the final year for Reichenbach and Krisher in Columbus. After graduation, Reichenbach went into the Air Force and was elevated to captain before leaving the service and returning to Massillon.




Jim Reichenbach's life per an article written by Todd Porter of cantonrep.com

Jim Reichenbach

Long after Jim Reichenbach finished plowing fields and defenders for Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, he still plowed the fields. Reichenbach, who farmed 125 acres while he was raising Stark County football players as one of the area’s best coaches, died Monday morning after a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 76.

Not many freshmen started for Woody Hayes at Ohio State. Reichenbach did. He was prepared to play early at Washington High School under Chuck Mather during one of the greatest periods in Tiger football.

With Reichenbach at one guard and Jim Parker the other, they paved the way for Cassady and helped Hayes earn fans. Hayes struggled a bit in his first three years, until 1954.

Reichenbach was an All-American on Ohio State’s ’54 national championship team.
 

Lee Tressel

After his playing days, Reichenbach coached briefly at Baldwin-Wallace College under Lee Tressel. Then he returned to his Stark County roots and coached and taught high school football here for nearly 30 years until 1988. He coached at Glenwood, McKinley, Tuslaw and Dover.

“You grow up, and I don’t think I’ll ever change very much from when I was 16 years old playing for Coach Reichenbach,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf, who played at Glenwood for Reichenbach. “I was deathly afraid of him. He looked to me ... to be eight feet tall. He was an imposing guy.

“He got me ready to play for Bo Schembechler. (Reichenbach) was such a taskmaster ... but he wasn’t stern. He wasn’t mean. When I played for him, I preferred he didn’t know my name.”

Dierdorf laughed ... but at 16 years old, it wasn’t a joke.

Glenwood players were well aware of their coach’s background. They knew he was an All-American for the Buckeyes. They knew he played for Hayes.

What they didn’t know then, however, was just how hard their head coach worked.

Beef Farm

He maintained a beef farm during his coaching career and up until 1997. Typical work days, his son Jim recalled, started at 6 in the morning and often didn’t end until 1 or 2 in the morning after watching game film.

“We were a hard-working family,” Jim Reichenbach said. “We were very busy during football, and dad never got out of farming. We did it together. There were a lot of late nights, but football was the priority.

“I developed my work ethic from him. I couldn’t have asked for a better father.”

Reichenbach was inducted into the Stark County High School Football Hall of Fame in 2005. In his three years playing at Massillon, the Tigers lost just two games.

Dan Dierdorf on Jim Reichenbach per Todd Porter of cantonrep.com:

Hard Practice

“When I was a kid, I tried to never make eye contact with him,” Dierdorf said. “He wasn’t mean, but he was stern. He taught us a lesson, and it was the first time I learned that how you practice the game is a direct correlation to how you play it.

“Later on, when I got to know him, he was the type of guy who would look you in the eyes when he asked a question, and he wasn’t just making cocktail talk. It was because he wanted to know something about you.”

More than anything, Reichenbach was an honest man. He never tried to steer Dierdorf to Ohio State or sway his decision to attend rival Michigan.

But it wasn’t a choice Dierdorf had to make. Ohio State never made him an offer.

Ohio State didn't offer

“How do I thank him? By going to Michigan,” Dierdorf said, laughing. “He and I were always at peace with that decision because Ohio State didn’t offer me. But I was always glad I never had to sit across from him at a table with a Michigan offer in one hand and an Ohio State offer in the other. Honestly, though, I think he would have looked at me and said, ‘Dan, it’s your decision.’ And I know he would have convinced me it was my decision, and he wouldn’t have tried to steer me to Ohio State. He was bigger than that.”

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide, cantonprep.com, indeonline.com
 

Doug Adams

Doug Adams, Linebacker (1968-70)
High School: Xenia
Died: 1997

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 27-2 with Adams on the team.
1968 National Champions.
1970 National Champions.
1968 Big Ten Title.
1969 Big Ten Title.
1970 Big Ten Title.
Defeated USC 27-16 in the 1969 Rose Bowl.
Went 2-1 against That Team.

Honors
1970 Captain.
1969 All-Big Ten.

Miscellaneous
Selected by the Broncos in the 7th round of the 1971 NFL Draft.

Doug Adams was killed at the age of 48. A tired driver hit Adams while he was riding his bike in 1997.

The Doug Adams Fitness Center opened in 2000 in his honor.

Ben Person honors Doug Adams per an article by Ken Gordon of The Columbus Dispatch (12-26-08):

Ben Person Wore No. 63 for a Reason

Other Ohio State players will wear jersey No. 63, no doubt, but when guard Ben Person takes the field for the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 5, Armic and Edna Adams might feel a twinge of emotion.

It will be the final game of Person's five-year career, and the final chance to honor Armic and Edna's late son Doug, a Xenia schoolboy star who went on to play for Ohio State, just like Person. Doug Adams was one of the famous "Super Sophs," a starting linebacker who helped lead the Buckeyes to the 1968 national title.

He was killed in a bicycle accident in 1997, and when Person signed to play for OSU in 2004, he chose to wear Adams' old number in memoriam to his hometown hero.

"It meant a lot to us," Edna Adams said of Person's tribute. "It was so nice for Ben to do that." ...

...But it also has produced more than its share of good football players.

Adams

Doug Adams was one of those. An undersized overachiever -- barely 6 feet tall and maybe 200 pounds -- he threw himself into workouts and made the most of his abilities.

He started for three seasons at OSU, helping the Buckeyes compile a 27-2 record. He then spent four years with the Cincinnati Bengals before retiring at age 25 and going back to OSU for a dental degree.

He was a dentist in suburban Cincinnati when he was hit by a car while riding his bike. He was 48.

More on Doug Adams from Tom Archdeacon of the daytondailynews.com

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide, columbusdispatch.com
 

Kirk Lowdermilk

Kirk Lowdermilk, C (1981-84)
Born: 1963 (Canton)
High School: Salem

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 36-12 with Lowdermilk on the team.
Ohio State went 9-3 every year Lowdermilk played.
1981 Big Ten Title.
1984 Big Ten Title.
Defeated Navy 31-28 to win the 1981 Liberty Bowl.
Defeated BYU 47-17 to win the 1982 Holiday Bowl.
Defeated BYU 10-7 to win the 1985 Citrus Bowl.
Went 3-1 against That Team.

Honors
1984 Captain.
1984 All-Big Ten.

Miscellaneous
Selected by the Vikings in the 3rd round of the 1985 NFL Draft.

Kirk Lowdermilk's recruitment and Ohio State career per Ryan Buck of vindy.com:

Despite being dominant as a two-way lineman, the overlooked Lowdermilk says he had exactly one Division I offer after his senior football season in 1980.

“My only choice was the University of Toledo until after wrestling season,” Lowdermilk said.

Earle Bruce

A friend from Salem, Dr. Henry Maxim, tipped off his friend in Columbus, then-Ohio State coach Earle Bruce.

“Dr. Maxim called him and said, ‘You might want to take a look at this guy.’ So they came and watched me wrestle at the state tournament,” Lowdermilk said.

Lowdermilk dominated, winning the heavyweight division at St. John Arena on Ohio State’s campus.

He had earned his offer, thanks to the wrestling prowess he credits with enriching his football abilities.

“You learn about balance, especially for linemen and linebackers,” Lowdermilk said. “It’s probably the best thing for football. You learn about leverage and how to use it.”


 

Lowdermilk

He signed a letter of intent before he and his family left Columbus, then returned in the fall.

Lowdermilk anchored the Buckeyes’ offensive line for four seasons and earned All-Big Ten honors as a senior in 1984. That same season, he helped Ohio State to a berth in the Rose Bowl.

“The experience, as you can imagine, was fabulous,” he said.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide, vindy.com and Wikipedia
 

No. 63 in the NFL Draft
Name Year Round Pick Position Team
Bill Jobko* 1958 7 80 OG Rams
Ernest Wright 1961 15 200 OT Rams
Bob Vogel** 1963 1 5 OT Colts
Doug Adams 1971 7 165 LB Broncos
Jim Kregel*** 1974 10 243 OG Steelers
Kirk Lowdermilk 1985 3 59 C Vikings
Adrien Clarke 2004 7 227 G Eagles

*Wore No. 65 when drafted.
**Wore No. 73 when drafted. Selected by the Patriots in the 3rd round of the 1963 AFL Draft.
***Wore No. 62 when drafted.

Dierdorf

Today's Trivia Answers:
Can you name the Hall of Fame player that Jim Reichenbach coached at Glenwood High School? Dan Dierdorf.

What B1G school does Kirk Lowdermilk's son play cornerback for? John Lowdermilk plays for Iowa.

The Game

153 days until The Game.

Comments

Remy's picture

Let me know If there are any errors. Michael Bennett would have been featured, but Reichenbach, Adams and Lowdermilk were longer than expected.

Sorry Mike, please don't be mad at me

 

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." ~ Mitch Hedberg

+5 HS
BroJim's picture

"freshmen were eligible to play for the varsity team due to the Korean War"

I could not imagine this in 2014. It seems like war use to be a national effort requiring sacrifice by civilians. Now. . . it is what it is.

Thanks, Remy.

I season my simple food with hunger

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Bennett can be featured next year after his All American campaign in 2014. 

+3 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

  I never understood how a team featuring Kirk Lowdermilk, Jim Lachey, and Jeff Ulenhake (albeit a freshman), on the O-line with Chris Carter at split-end and Keith Byers and Tim Spencer in the backfield, was so inconsistent moving the ball.  It almost makes you wonder how good they could've been.

That '85 Rose Bowl against USC was pure torture.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+2 HS
Hovenaut's picture

My uncle felt the same about that '84 team...and Byers should have won the Heisman (Flutie and that f'n Hail Mary).

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

+2 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

Yes, Hove..  I felt that way about Byers as well. Thought, at least in college, he compared very favorably to Herschel Walker.  Very quick and nimble for a big running back.

I got to meet him as a child before a home game and got my t-shirt autographed (sadly it became a hand-me down to my brother).  I remember thinking that he must've had the biggest hands I've ever seen on a man.  Probably why he was such a great receiver out of the backfield.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+1 HS
Remy's picture

I was 8 when Ohio State played USC in the '85 Rose Bowl. That was the first time the Buckeyes played in the Rose Bowl in my lifetime and I wanted them to win so bad. Still can't believe that Tomczak and company couldn't pull it out. At that time I would have never guessed that it would take 12 years for them to make it back to "The Granddaddy of Them All". The wait was worth it.

Worth the Wait.

Byars was hosed by Flutie's "Miracle". I believe that was a time when it was frowned upon to give the Heisman to an underclassman.

Byars stats from the 1984 season:
Rushing: 1,764 yards, 22 touchdowns, 5.3 ypc
Receiving: 479 yards, 42 receptions, 2 touchdowns, 11.4 ypr.

Total: 2,243 yards, 8.5 yards per touch, 24 touchdowns.

Should Have Won the 1984 Heisman

 

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." ~ Mitch Hedberg

+1 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

They did play in the 1980 Rose Bowl also, Remy.

But I get what you are saying.. The one in '85 is the first one in memory banks also.  We've been so very blessed as Buckeye fans..  But we've also faced more levels of pure hell than even Dante had to endure.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+1 HS
Remy's picture

VintonCountyBuck, You're right they did play in the 1980 Rose Bowl. I didn't watch that Rose Bowl because my dad worked that day. When you're three you don't have much say on what your mom watches on tv. However, I did watch The Game in 1979 and that memory inspired this from last year's article Urban Meyer and the Village:

I remember watching my first Game at the age of three. I distinctly remember sitting with my dad in my grandpa’s 1960s styled basement. My grandpa, parked in a brown leather La-Z-Boy and sipping on a glass of Tuborg, said “Little man, that team in blue and yellow, with the ugly helmets, is the team you hate.” I asked him “why?” and he replied “Because Woody and God say so."
 

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." ~ Mitch Hedberg

+1 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

Great piece as always Remy.

It is amazing how much THAT game, The Game defines our season year end and year out.  And how much it can even affect the REST of our year afterwards..

From my own profile:

...Watching the Buckeyes Replays on WOSU Sunday mornings at 9am were always the highlights of the fall in my opinion. And we NEVER missed them. Sometimes even being late for Church on occasion. Well..the Pastor at our church made the mistake of asking my Dad to try and be a little earlier next time on this one particular Sunday.This happened to be the Sunday before Thanksgiving and as it turns out was the same Sunday of WOSU's replay of the '87 TSUN game, Erle Bruce's last as Head Coach..My father quite emphatically explained to the entire congregation that his God..Our God is indeed a Buckeye!! And the very mere request of such a preacher could only be the work of those Devilish wolverine fans..Needless to say, we never stepped foot back inside his church. So for me, Buckeye Football is as close to religion as there is.

 

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+1 HS
Remy's picture

.My father quite emphatically explained to the entire congregation that his God..Our God is indeed a Buckeye!! And the very mere request of such a preacher could only be the work of those Devilish wolverine fans..

Classic. Your dad is a great Buckeye. 

I also remember anticipating watching the games on WOSU when they weren't aired live on television. Even though I already listened to the game on the radio and read about the outcome in The Dispatch there was something special about watching the replay. I despised it when the voice over said something like "not much happened over the next several drives so we will fast forward to this series." After watching the replay I would go to my friend's house and play backyard football and try to relive what we just watched the Buckeyes do.

VCB, Thanks for taking me back to my childhood.

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." ~ Mitch Hedberg

+1 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

Haha.  No problem.

Thank you, good sir, for this countdown.

These are some great memories to relive.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+1 HS