Thursday night I participated in a draft for an event this weekend at my golf course. I prepared for the draft like I do these articles, a little overboard. The draft got me thinking about a player who wore No. 78 for Ohio State...Korey Stringer. Who would I take first in a draft? Korey Stringer or Orlando Pace? Pace gets more praise and won more awards, but an argument can be made that the older Stringer paved the way for Pace (sorry about the pun).
I don't think you can go wrong with either player. Ohio State was lucky to have them both on the field at the same time in 1994. Had tragedy not struck Korey Stringer I believe the debate would be a little more heated. Anyways, the golf draft just got me thinking.
Today's article will list the 23 players who wore the No. 78 for Ohio State. Featured players are Daniel Porretta, Korey Stringer and Andrew Norwell. Both the Daniel Porretta and Korey Stringer stories are well worth the reads. Hopefully the tragedies that have struck the No. 78 are over.
|Player||Worn||All-American||All-B1G||Captain||Academic AA||Ac. All-B1G||Letter|
|Garth Cox||1974, 75-76||1974, 75-76|
|Korey Stringer||1992-94||1993, 1994||1993, 1994||1992-94|
|Andrew Norwell||2010-13||2012, 2013||2010-12|
Daniel Porretta, OL (1962-64)
Born: 1944 (Clairton, PA)
Died: 2009 (Holland, MI)
The Buckeyes were 18-8-1 with Porretta on the team.
Porretta was 2-1 against That Team.
1964 All-Big Ten.
Played both offense and defense his freshman and sophomore years.
Taught Physical Education at West Middle School in Holland, MI.
Lost a son to bone cancer in 1986.
Dan Porreata's football career per lifestory.com:
Dan attended local schools including a high school that was a perennial football powerhouse, which is where his love for the game was truly born. On one occasion when Dan was sent to football camp he faked an injury in order to come home. When his brother-in-law and role model, Jim Juliot, caught Dan goofing off, he invited Dan to go camping, but instead took him right back to football camp!
He became quite the football player and was eventually recruited by Woody Hayes from Ohio State University. Dan's father insisted that his football not get in the way of graduating, and Woody obliged by watching Dan's grades very closely.
Dan played on both the defensive and offensive teams until his junior year when he played only offense with Bo Schembecler as one of his coaches. Nera the end of his college career he tried to play football for the Canadian Football League but because they already had their quota of Americans, he returned to Ohio State to help coach the freshmen and graduate in 1966.
Dan Porretta's Life Story per lifestorynet.com:
Sometimes when people experience success it can change them into someone who thinks they are larger than life or at times, make them a bit arrogant. This is not who Daniel Porretta was at all since he used his talents and gifts as a tool to inspire others to achieve the same dream he was a part of for a time. Dan was large in stature, yet kind and tender on the inside, a gentle giant if ever there was one. He was a man of faith whose life reflected the beliefs that were engraved upon his heart - a true example of what it means to be the hands and feet of God.
Tragedy strikes the Porretta family per lifestory.com:
Life drastically changed for the Porretta family when Danny (Porretta's son) was diagnosed with bone cancer. For the next five years Danny fought hard while the rest of the family remained strong while by his side. Sadly, Danny's body could not conquer what his will was strong enough to overcome and he died in 1986. Although this was the most trying time parents can ever be required to experience, Dan and Deb found strength in both each other and in their faith.
Woody Hayes meets with Daniel Porretta and his cancer-stricken son Danny at Ohio Stadium in spring of 1985. *The audio is not the best.
Korey Stringer, OT (1992-94)
Born: 1974 (Warren, Ohio)
Died: 2001 (Mankato, MN)
High School: Warren Harding
The Buckeyes were 27-8-2 with Stringer on the team.
Defeated BYU 28-21 in the 1993 Holiday Bowl.
Stringer was 1-1-1 against That Team.
1994 Team MVP.
1993 All-Big Ten.
1994 All-Big Ten.
His wife, Kelci Stringer, founded the Korey Stringer Institute at UConn in 2011.
Ohio State was in the middle of preparations for the 1996 Citrus Bowl but all was not fun in the sun in Orlando, Fla. A roster full of homesick 20-year-olds was virtually locked away in a hotel, far from their families over the holidays. Despite the ribbing he took from teammates, Korey Stringer pulled on a Santa Claus costume and handed out presents at the team Christmas party.
It was vintage Stringer, the Minnesota Vikings' tackle who died suddenly Wednesday morning.
Stringer suffered from heat stroke during Tuesday's workouts and was rushed to a hospital. The 27-year-old husband and father died after his vital organs shut down one by one.
"He was a gentle heart, very approachable," said Steven Arnold, an assistant coach during Stringer's days at Harding High School in Warren, Ohio.
That never changed, even after he was taken in the first round of the 1995 draft by the Vikings, after he signed big-money contracts, after he developed into one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL.
Arnold said he saw Stringer last week and mentioned the equipment needs of a local youth football team. "He went to his truck and said, 'Here.' He endorsed his Pro Bowl check, Arnold said.
At 6-foot-4 and 335 pounds, Stringer was someone who was quick with a laugh and hard to forget.
For three years with the Buckeyes, Eddie George - now with the Tennessee Titans - ran through holes in the line created by the massive Stringer.
"He was probably the greatest tackle in Ohio State history as far as athletic ability and attitude," George said. "He brought that toughness to the line and (was) a great guy to be around in the locker room."
Derrick Alexander, a Cleveland Browns scout who was drafted by the Vikings the same year as Stringer, said his lasting memory is of Stringer's smile -even on a day when he was manhandled by Green Bay's Reggie White.
"Korey had his worst game and Reggie White had his best game," Alexander said. "But he was on the sideline and, regardless of how bad the situation was, he lightened the blow. Korey found a way to lighten the loss and that's just the kind of character and person that he is."
A former linemate with the Vikings, Everett Lindsay, said of Stringer: "He was a comedian. He was really funny. He would make you laugh all the time. He would meet a new guy and after only two minutes he could do a great imitation of him."
Stringer started at right tackle the past two years for the Vikings, making his home in the Twin Cities area and giving his time to local charities.
He left behind a wife and young son.
Corey Fuller, now a cornerback with the Browns, was a friend of Stringer's when he played with the Vikings. After hearing of Stringer's death, he spent Wednesday morning crying with two other former Minnesota teammates, Dwayne Rudd and Stalin Colinet.
"He left a great legacy for his son, a lot of great things for his son to be proud of," Fuller said. "He didn't come into this league and walk his way through it. He played hard."
Andrew Norwell, OG0 (2010-2013)
High School: Anderson (Cincinnati)
The Buckeyes were 42-10* with Norwell on the team.
Defeated Arkansas 31-26 in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
Went 12-0 on 2012.
3-1 against That Team.
*NCAA's 2010 vacated wins be damned.
Andrew Norwell's Ohio State career per The Ohio State Team Guide:
Andrew Norwell is a key leader on the 2013
Ohio State football team, having battled in the trenches in 36 games
and with a team-best total (along with Jack Mewhort) of 25 starting
assignments, all of them consecutive and with the last 20 starts
at the left guard position …
Norwell’s importance to the team and
fine play has not gone unnoticed: he was named first-team all-Big
Ten Conference (media voters) following the Buckeyes’ undefeated
2012 season, he was an honorable mention all-Big Ten selection as
a sophomore in 2011 (coaches and media) and he was named by
Rivals.com to a Big Ten all-freshman team in 2010 …
Norwell played more downs on offense last season – 862 – than any other Buckeye, and he played so well the Ohio State coaches named him the
team’s co-offensive lineman of the year (along with Mewhort) … he
was on the line for a mind-boggling 827 of the team’s 837 offensive
plays (98.8 percent) from scrimmage last year (as were line mates
Mewhort and Marcus Hall) …
Norwell & Co. helped the Ohio State offense average 242.2 yards per game rushing (10th nationally) in 2012, lead the Big Ten in scoring at 37.1 points per game and score a 34-year team high 37 rushing touchdowns … Norwell played in all 13 games in 2011 and started at both the left guard and left
tackle positions …
he started the season at left tackle for the first five games and then moved to left guard, where he started the final eight games … he was the primary backup at right tackle in 2010 as a true freshman, playing in 11 games … he has not had a haircut since enrolling at Ohio State in August 2010.
Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide
168 days until The Game.