Countdown: 41 Days Until Ohio State Football

Remy's picture
July 20, 2014 at 12:42a


We are now 41 days away from Ohio State's 2014 season opener at Navy. Below you will find a list of the 31 players to wear No. 41 for Ohio State. Today's featured players are Regis Monahan, Tom Matte and Keith Byars.  Two of today's featured players were born in Pittsburgh. I was at Ohio Stadium with my family on Friday and took these pictures of South Stands. Craig Krenzel decided to tag along.

Today's Trivia Question:
What B1G school is Keith Byars' son, Keith Byars II, a running back for? 




Players who Wore No. 41 for Ohio State
Player Worn All-American All-B1G Captain Academic AA AC All-B1G Letter
John Regis Monahan 1932-34 1934 1934 1934     1932-34
Thomas Monahan 1937           1937
William Bennett 1938-39            
Vic Janowicz* 1951   1951       1951
John Curtis 1956            
Gary Ballinger* 1957            
Thomas Matte 1958-60   1960       1958-60
Matthew Snell 1961-63     1963     1961-63
Rudy Hubbard 1965-67           1965-67
Tim Wagner 1968            
Woodrow Roach 1973-75           1973-75
James Caruso 1977            
Mark Eberts 1981           1981
Keith Byars 1982-85 1984 1983, 1984 1985     1982-85
Jaymes Bryant 1986-89           1986-89
Will Hill 1991-92            
Brad Pope* 1992           1992
Tommy Willis 1993            
Brent Bartholomew 1995-98   1997       1995-98
Patrick Doyle 1995            
Keith Walker 1996-97            
Jim Kortovich* 1999            
Thomas Matthews 2000-04           2002-04
Andre Griffin* 2000           2000
Jonathan Skeete 2004            
De'Angelo Haslam 2004-07            
Michael Mattimoe 2005-08            
Tony Jackson 2008-11           2010-11
Jermil Martin 2008-09            
Bryce Haynes* 2012-13           2012
Aaron Mawhirter 2013            

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 41
I do not have the list of 2013 varsity letter winners
Buckeyextra and The Ohio State Team Guide

Regis Monahan

John Regis Monahan, Kicker and Guard (1932-34)
Born: 1908 (Pittsburgh)
Died: 1979 (Royal Oak, That State)

Ohio State:
The Buckeyes were 18-3-3 with Monahan on the team.
1934 Defeated That Team 34-0.

1934 Captain.
1934 All-American.
1935 Picture on the front of Wheaties box.

Regis Monahan's Ohio State and NFL career per Wikipedia:





A native of Pittsburgh's Greenfield neighborhood, Monahan traveled to Ohio State where he played for the Buckeyes. He was a guard and tackle who doubled as a kicker.

Monahan on the 1935 Wheaties box.
Monahan on the 1935 Wheaties box.

In 1934 he became captain of the buckeyes and an All-American. He was featured on the front of the 1935 Wheaties box.

Monahan played four seasons with the Detroit Lions from 1935 until 1938. He was part of the 1935 Lions team that won the NFL championship. Monahan played two additional games with the Chicago Cardinals during the 1939 NFL season.

Sources: The Ohio State Team Guide and Wikipedia




Tom Matte

Tom Matte, RB and QB (1958-60)

Born: 1939 (Pittsburgh)
High School: Shaw (East Cleveland)

Ohio State:
The Buckeyes were 16-8-1 with Matte on the team.
Went 2-1 against That Team.

1960 Team MVP.
1960 All-Big Ten.
2003 Inducted into the Varsity O Hall of Fame

Tom Matte's Ohio State career per

When playing quarterback Matte was known more for his running than passing.
When playing quarterback Matte was known more for his running than passing.

Started with the Buckeyes as a running back, but halfway through the season switched to the quarterback position ... finished the 1959 season with 439 passing yards and 190 rushing yards ... recorded 737 passing yards and 682 yards rushing for the 1960 season ...

First Team All-Big Ten quarterback, team MVP, Football News All-American and East-West Shrine Game MVP in 1960 ... was drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Colts and played both running back and quarterback during his tenure with the Colts.

Tom Matte's NFL career per Wikipedia:

Tom Matte's 10.5 yards per carry is still a Super Bowl record.
Tom Matte's 10.5 yards per carry is still a Super Bowl record.

Matte's 12-year pro career was spent with the Baltimore Colts where he posted career stats of 4,646 rushing yards, 249 receptions for 2,869 yards, 1,367 yards returning kickoffs, and 57 touchdowns (45 rushing, 12 receiving).

Late in the 1965 season, Matte also memorably filled in as an emergency quarterback when Colts QBs Johnny Unitas and Gary Cuozzo went down with season-ending injuries in consecutive home losses to the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, respectively. For the Colts' regular-season finale (a 20-17 win) against the Los Angeles Rams and the following weekend's one-game playoff at Green Bay (a 13-10 overtime loss), Colts head coach Don Shula put a list of plays on a wristband that Matte wore. The wristband is now on display at thePro Football Hall of Fame.

Later in his career, Matte was immortalized on the cover of Sports Illustrated, scoring his third touchdown of the afternoon in the NFL Championship Game against the Cleveland Browns, January 5, 1969.

Matte on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1969.
Matte on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1969.

Matte played in Super Bowl III in 1969 when the Colts were famously upset by Joe Namath and the New York Jets. Matte played well, rushing for 116 yards and catching two passes for thirty yards, while setting record for highest per-carry rushing average in a Super Bowl game: 10.5 (116 yards in only 11 carries) which still stands today. He also broke a long run of 53 yards (a record at the time). 


Matte was injured in the first game of the 1970 season against San Diego and therefore did not play when the Colts returned to Super Bowl V at the end of that season and beat the Dallas Cowboys. Still he was part of the team and so he was awarded a Superbowl ring.

Matte was selected to the 1968 and 1969 Pro Bowl teams.



Matte's broadcasting career and recent activities per Wikipedia:

Matte does Broadcasting.

Matte briefly was a color analyst on CBS coverage of football games. From 1996-2005, Matte teamed with Baltimore sportscaster Scott Garceau in broadcasting Baltimore Ravens games on local radio. He also pursues local business interests and is in demand as a celebrity endorser.

Matte is working on a project that focuses on aiding retired players. He is part of a team that created a new to market NFL collectible in which a portion of the proceeds go to the Player Care Foundation.

Sources: The Ohio State Team Guide, and Wikipedia


Byars finished his Ohio State career with 3,200 yards rushing and 50 touchdowns.
Byars finished his Ohio State career with 3,200 yards rushing and 50 touchdowns.

Keith Byars, RB (1982-85)
1963 (Dayton)
High School: Roth and Trotwood Madison

Ohio State:
The Buckeyes were 36-12 with Byars on the team.
1984 Big Ten Title.
1982 Defeated BYU 47-17 to win the Holiday Bowl.
1984 Defeated Pitt 28-23 to win the Fiesta Bowl.
1985 Defeated BYU 10-7 to win the Citrus Bowl.

1985 Captain.
1984 Heisman Runner-up.
1984 All-American.
1984 Big Ten Most Valuable Player.
1984 Team MVP.
2000 Inducted into the Varsity O Hall of Fame.


Keith Byars' Ohio State career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

Byars was named an All-American as a junior.
Byars was named an All-American as a junior.

Keith Byars earned first team All-America honors, was Big Ten MVP and runner-up for the Heisman Trophy (to Boston College’s Doug Flutie) in 1984, when he rushed for a then-school record 1,764 yards and 22 touchdowns. That season, he led the nation in rushing, scoring
(144 points) and all-purpose running (2,441). Included in those totals were 274 yards and five TDs against Illinois in one of the most brilliant individual performances in OSU annals.

The Fighting Illini led 24-0, but Byars’ fourth TD was a spectacular 67-yard run in which he completely reversed his field and lost a shoe at the Illinois 35, but still outran the Illini secondary. His fifth touchdown of the day was the game winner. Byars, who missed most of his senior year with a broken foot, is still fourth on the all-time rushing list with 3,200 yards.

Shoeless Keith Byars

The Dayton, Ohio, native played 13 seasons in the NFL. He was elected to the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.

Byars' injury and senior season per Wikipedia:

Byars was a preseason favorite for the 1985 Heisman, but fractured the bone in his right foot near the little toe in preseason practice. He missed the first five games of the 1985 season, and returned too early. He reinjured the broken bone in his second game back and missed the remainder of the regular season. He attempted to return for the Citrus Bowl game on December 28, but reinjured his foot again in the second Ohio State offensive series of the game. Many observers note that throughout the remainder of his football career Byars was never as dominant a player as he had been in 1984.

Despite losing almost his entire senior year, Byars finished his college career at Ohio State with 4,369 total yards, 3,200 rushing yards, and 50 touchdowns. His 50 touchdowns remain the second most in school history.

Keith Byars' NFL career per Wikipedia:

Byars played 13 seasons in the NFL.
Byars played 13 seasons in the NFL.

As a professional, he played fullback and tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles(1986–1992), Miami Dolphins (1993–1996), New England Patriots (1996–1997), and the New York Jets (1998). Byars was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1993.


In his 13 seasons, Byars rushed for 3,109 yards, caught 610 passes for 5,661 yards, returned five kickoffs for 94 yards, and completed 6 of 13 passes for 119 yards and six touchdowns, with one interception. He also scored 54 touchdowns (23 rushing and 31 receiving). His six passing touchdowns are the third highest total by a running back in NFL history.

With the 1984 Fiesta Bowl tied at 14-14 in the 4th quarter Keith Byars ripped the heart out of the Pitt Panthers:

Sources: The Ohio State Team Guide and Wikipedia


No. 41 in the NFL Draft
Name Year Round Pick Position Team
Vic Janowicz* 1952 7 79 RB Redskins
Tom Matte 1961 1 7 RB Colts
Matt Snell 1964 4 49 RB Jets
Keith Byars 1986 1 10 RB Eagles
Brent Bartholomew 1999 6 192 P Dolphins

*Wore No. 31 when drafted.
The Ohio State Team Guide and Jason Priestas

Today's Trivia Answer:
What B1G school is Keith Byars' son, Keith Byars II, a running back for?  
Purdue. He signed in 2013. Go here to read the article from

The Game.

131 days until The Game.


Remy's picture

Let me know If there are any errors. Keith Byars should have won the Heisman in 1984. I was looking for video of his shoeless touchdown against Illinois, but could not find it.

The 1985 season was derailed when Byars broke his foot. Byars was supposed to win the Heisman and the Buckeyes would have returned to the Rose Bowl.

This is a tv piece about Byars coaching his son:

"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

+2 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

Byars was one bad mamma jamma. Cool piece,highly appreciated.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

+1 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

John Monahan was a bit before my time, but we lived for 5 years in Pittsburgh (early 1980s) right next to the Greenfield neighborhood. I always enjoyed Big Jim's on the run.

+1 HS
Keith Byars is the man's picture

I have great memories Keith Byars at OSU. I remember the run and for that matter that game. One incredible game for him rushing. We were getting pounded by Illinois and the shoe was filled with the boo birds then #41 took over and victory was in hand. I remember meeting his dad at a tailgate before a game. He was an outstanding basketball player also at Dayton Roth which later consolidated into Dayton Dunbar. Saw him play at the state basketball tourney. 

Nothing is Impossible!!!

+1 HS
Remy's picture

I was hoping Keith Byars Is The Man would reply to this article. I'm sure you will never forget being at the Illinois game. My memory of the game was watching it on the WOSU replay Sunday morning.

"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

Keith Byars is the man's picture

I used to love watching replays on wosu on Sunday's with my dad. I have great memories with my dad and ohio state football. As I get older the more I appreciate the time my dad and I spent together at OSU games growing up. Still don't really like Doug Flutie to this day for stealing the Heisman from Keith Byars with the hail Mary play. 

Nothing is Impossible!!!

+2 HS
Keith Byars is the man's picture

I've enjoyed these posts Remy as it has brought back a lot of great memories from OSU football.

Nothing is Impossible!!!

+1 HS
Habu71's picture

One of my all time favorite Buckeyes. It was always my belief that Doug Flutie's last second TD (a great great play) not happened, Keith Byars would have won the Heisman.  I'm going to guess someone like Seattle Linga will help me with this memory, as I'm not certain (refer to the post about getting old). We were losing badly and the cameras panned the OSU bench. There sat a confident Keith Byars looking into the camera, encouraging us all not to worry saying "we're coming back". I think it was at halftime during the Illinois game, just before he ran out of his shoe. Just an awesome moment and incredible game. 

+1 HS