Tick.....tock.........tick............tock time seems to be slowing down as we inch closer and closer to the start of the 2014 season. 53 more days until Ohio State travels east to play Navy. Below you will find a list of the 31 players who wore the No. 53 for the Buckeyes. Today's featured players are Dwight "Ike" Kelley and Randy Gradishar.
Something I found interesting is that Les Horvath started his career wearing the No. 53 in 1940. Horvath would later wear the No. 22 and have it retired in his honor.
Today's Trivia Question:
Can you name the Ohio State alum who is the all-time leader in tackles for the Denver Broncos?
|Player||Worn||All-American||All-B1G||Captain||Academic AA||Ac All-B1G||Letter|
|Ike Kelley||1963-65||1964, 1965||1964, 1965||1965||1963-65|
|Randy Gradishar||1971-73||1972, 1973||1971, 1972, 1973||1973||1973||1971-73|
|Scott Sharp||1988, 1990|
|Garrett Goebel||2008-12||2012||2009, 2010||2009-12|
Dwight “Ike” Kelley, LB (1963-65)
Born: 1944 (Ludington, That State)
High School: Bremen (Ohio)
The Buckeyes were 19-7-1 with Kelley on the team.
Went 2-1 against That Team.
1965 All-Big Ten.
1964 All-Big Ten.
2008 Received Ohio Gold Award.
Ike Kelley career summary by 10tv.com
Dwight "Ike" Kelley was the first Buckeye standout at the position that became to be known as linebacker. The Bremen, Ohio, native played in an era when the game of football was evolving.
Kelley was All-Big Ten and All-American in 1964 and 65, and served as the Buckeyes' co-captain his senior year.
Ike Kelley's Ohio State and Philadelphia Eagles career per Jim Gehman of philadelphiaeagles.com:
On the field, Dwight "Ike" Kelley was a two-time All-America linebacker at Ohio State who was also a standout performer on special teams. So much so that the university has an award named after him which is presented each year to the team's top special teams player.
Fortunately for the Eagles, Kelley proved to have the ideal size needed to continue his spectacular special teams contributions at the professional football level.
"I just took advantage of an opportunity," he said. "I didn't realize that they put most of the rookies on special teams. I'd always learned that that was like an offensive play or a defensive play. You could make or break a game with any given special teams play out there. And so I gave it my all and had some success as a rookie."
And what was the rookie's mindset?
"Just be crazy and fly down there with reckless abandon and complete disregard for personal safety and make a tackle or do whatever was necessary," Kelley said. "Whether it was on a punt or a kickoff or a kickoff return, you make a block or two. We had pretty good special teams all around with the Eagles back in the '60s and early '70s."
"Probably the fondest (memory I have) is never having been booed at Franklin Field or Veterans Stadium. Because you know the Philadelphia fans can be brutal sometimes," laughed Kelley. "They use to throw two banners over the side (of the stadium's concourse walls). One was 'Captain Crunch' and [had Kelley's number] 51 on it with a football player. And the other one said 'Kelley's Killers.' That's what the special teams were known as back in those days. It was kind of neat, it really was. Philly fans are great fans and they'll come to cheer you or boo you, or both - sometimes in the same game."
Kelley's life after football per philadelphiaeagles.com:
Following the final cheer or boo he received as an Eagle, Kelley turned to his college roots and made his home in Columbus, Ohio, where he continued to demonstrate the same work ethic for Worthington Industries that made him a poster boy in Philadelphia.
"It is light manufacturing, steel processing company. We branched out into where we manufacture liquid propane gas cylinders, the tanks you find on gas grills. We make those things by the thousands. And we are now in the metal framing business and have several joint ventures. We're about a $3 billion organization and have 7,500 to 8,000 employees.
"I worked for (them for) 35, 36 years and took an early retirement package back in November 2007 and now I'm doing some part-time work for them on a project-type basis. There are three guys who are retired and we go around and do some training at our different steel locations."
Kelley and his wife, Barb, continue to make their home in suburban Columbus. They have two children: Kerrie and Brian; and six grandchildren.
Randy Gradishar, LB (1971-73)
Born: 1952 (Warren, Ohio)
High School: Champion
The Buckeyes were 25-6 with Grandishar on the team.
1972 Big Ten Title.
1973 Big Ten Title.
Defeated USC 42-21 to win the 1974 Rose Bowl.
1973 defense held the first ten opponents to 43 total points.
Finished 6th in the 1973 Heisman voting.
1973 Academic All-American.
1973 All-Big Ten.
1973 Academic All-Big Ten.
1972 All-Big Ten.
1971 All-Big Ten.
1983 Inducted into the Ohio State Varisty O Hall of Fame.
1987 Inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
1992 Inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
1998 Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
2000 Named to the Ohio State Football All-Century Team.
2000 Named to ABC Sports All-Century Team as inside linebacker.
Ohio State's outstanding linebacker award is named the Randy Gradishar Award.
Randy Grandishar's career per The Ohio State Team Guide:
Randy Gradishar was referred to by Woody Hayes as “the best linebacker I ever coached at Ohio State.” He was a two-time All-American and is considered one of the most versatile, mobile and complete linebackers ever to play college football.
Gradishar was a three-year starter between 1971 and 1973 and recorded 320 total tackles. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting as a senior and was the backbone of the 1973 defense, which recorded four shutouts and allowed just 64 points. After graduation, he played 10 years with the Denver Broncos.
During his career, he was a seven-time Pro Bowler, the second most by any Bronco at the end of his career, and he also is the all-time leader in tackles for Denver with 1,958.
He was inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1992. In December of 1998, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Gradishar's thoughts on the 1973 team deserving a national title per Tom Dienhart of BTN.com:
Because of the tie and because we handily beat USC, we thought we would be voted No. 1. But then Notre Dame beats No. 1 Alabama and they ended up No. 1. That was depressing. Still, we felt good about representing the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl and winning that game.
*Wore No. 22 when drafted.
Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Jason Priestas
Today's Trivia Answer:
Can you name the Ohio State alum who is the all-time leader in tackles for the Denver Broncos? Randy Gradishar holds the Denver record with 1,958 career tackles.
143 days until The Game.