Countdown: 15 Days Until Ohio State Football

Remy's picture
August 15, 2014 at 12:10a
No. 15


In 15 days Ohio State will travel to Baltimore to play Navy in the 2014 season opener. Below you will find a list of the 35 players who have worn No. 15 since 1933.

Today's featured players are John Fill, Mike Tomczak, Greg Frey, Dee Miller, A.J. Trapasso and Ezekiel Elliot.


Players who Wore No. 15 for Ohio State
Player Worn All-American All-B1G Captain Academic AA Ac. All-B1G Letter
James Vogelgesang 1933            
William Boston 1934-35            
Fred Springer 1936            
John Simione 1939-40           1939-40
Russel Wolfe 1946           1946
Dean Sensanbaugher* 1947           1947
Tony McCleary 1948            
Albert Chiappini 1949            
Harry Deeks 1951            
Gilbert Knecht 1952-53            
George Craig 1956            
William Wentz 1959-60       1960 1960 1959-60
Tony Hall 1961            
John Derbyshire 1963            
John Fill 1964-66   1965 1966     1964-66
Don Polaski 1967-69           1967-69
Gary Zetts 1970            
William Boyle 1971-72            
James Pacenta 1975-76           1975-76
Paul Ross* 1976           1976
Alvin Washington 1977-80           1977-80
Mike Tomczak 1981-84     1984     1981-84
Richard Lishewski 1986           1986
Greg Frey 1987-90     1990   1989, 1990 1987-90
Mike Crissy 1991-92            
Dee Miller 1994-98           1995-98
Scott McMullen 1999-03           2000-03
A.J. Trapasso 2004-08           2005-08
Kyle Ruhl* 2005-08         2008 2008
Lamaar Thomas 2008-09           2008-09
James Jackson 2009-10            
Devin Smith* 2011-12           2011-12
Josh Perry* 2012           2012
Ezekiel Elliot 2013           2013
Luke Morgan 2013            

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 15
Sources- Buckeyextra and The Ohio State Team Guide

John Fill was captain of the 1966 team.
John Fill was captain of the 1966 team.

John Fill, HB (1964-1966)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 21-9 with Fill on the team.
1964 Defeated No. 2 Illinois 26-0 in Champaign.

1966 Captain.
1965 All-Big Ten.

John Fill's career after playing football at Ohio State per

After college, John became a physical education teacher. His first experience with tennis came in 1973 when he was hired as the boys' junior varsity tennis coach at Westerville South High School. At that time, he had no experience in tennis. But as a coach, John tried to apply many things he learned from Woody to tennis.

He became the boys' head coach in 1976 and the girls' head coach in 1993. John still coaches the boys' team.

Throughout the years John has developed into a good tennis player. He was ranked in the top 35 in the Columbus Grand Prix Circuit. He has won USTA tournaments in the Ohio Valley. He has worked hard to improve his tennis knowledge by attending numerous tennis clinics in Ohio and Michigan. John acquired his USPTA certification and is currently at the Professional 2 Level.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide

Tomczak was 23-8 as Ohio State's starting quarterback.
Tomczak was 23-8 as Ohio State's starting quarterback.

Mike Tomczak, QB (1981-1984)
Born: 1962 (Calumet City, IL)
High School: Calumet City

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 36-12 withTomczak on the team.
1981 Big Ten Title.
1984 Big Ten Title.
1981 Defeated Navy 31-28 to win the Liberty Bowl.
1982 Defeated BYU 47-17 to win the Holiday Bowl.
1983 Defeated No. 2 Oklahoma 24-14 in Norman.
1984 Defeated Pitt 28-23 to win the Fiesta Bowl.

1984 Captain.

Mike Tomczak is the Ohio State quarterback of my early youth. He is the first Ohio State quarterback I knew by name.

He was 23-8 as Ohio State's starting quarterback and threw for 5,569 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Tomczak was guided the Buckeyes to two Big Ten championships and one Rose Bowl game.


I was disappointed when the 1982 team was co-Big Ten champions, but did not get the Rose Bowl berth.

Fortunately Tomczak, Tim Spencer (Evan's dad) and the rest of the Buckeyes took their frustrations out on BYU.

Highlights of Tomczak's Ohio State and NFL career:

  • He threw four touchdowns against Oregon 1983.
  • Tomczak ranks 7th all-time with 5,569 career passing yards.
  • Tomczak tied a team best 12 consecutive passes over a two-game span in 1983.
Against Pitt.
  • Led Ohio State in passing yards in 1982, 1983 and 1984.
  • Was a member of the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX. 


Tomczak's life after football per Wikipedia:

Tomczak worked as a sports announcer in Pittsburgh, as well as a color announcer for ESPN college football games, before becoming a sports management agent. He is a director at SMG Sports Management and has continued to work as a sports commentator.


Pittsburgh Power

 On May 21, 2010, he was named as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League.


Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Wikipedia


Frey engineered two of Ohio State's greatest comeback victories.
Frey engineered two of Ohio State's greatest comeback victories.

Greg Frey, QB (1987-1990) 
Born: 1968 (Cincinnati)
High School: St. Xavier

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 25-18-3 with Frey on the team.
1987 Tied No. 4 LSU in Baton Rouge.
1988 Defeated No. 7 LSU 36-33 in Columbus.
1990 Defeated No. 6 Iowa 27-26 in Iowa City.

1990 Captain.
1990 National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholarship.
1990 Academic All-Big Ten.
1989 Academic All-Big Ten.

Frey's Ohio State career per Wikipedia:

As a three-year starting quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes, he is best remembered for leading the team to two remarkable come-from-behind wins.

Greg Frey celebrating Ohio State's largest come back victory against Minnesota in 1989.
Greg Frey celebrating Ohio State's largest come back victory against Minnesota in 1989.

On September 24, 1988, he rallied Ohio State from a 33–20 deficit in the final four minutes to a 36–33 victory over the ninth-ranked LSU Tigers.

On October 28, 1989, the Buckeyes were losing 31–0 to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Frey brought the team back for a 41–37 win, throwing a total of 362 yards. 

Recap of the 1989 Minnesota game by Joe Beale of Eleven Warriors.

Frey is still involved in football per Wikipedia:

Frey later spent a three-year stint as the offensive coordinator for Pickerington High School.


He currently offers private coaching services for high school quarterbacks. His best-known client was Denver Broncos quarterback Brady Quinn.

An accomplished color analyst, Frey broadcast Fox Sports coverage of the AFL's Columbus Destroyers and now calls high school football games on the SportsTime Ohio television network.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Wikipedia




Dee Miller was a late bloomer at Ohio State.
Dee Miller was a late bloomer at Ohio State.

Dee Miller, WR (1994-1998)
1975 (Springfield, Ohio)
High School: Springfield South

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 52-11 with Miller on the team.
1996 Big Ten Title.
1998 Big Ten Title.
1997 Defeated Arizona State 20-17 to win the Rose Bowl.
1999 Defeated Texas A&M 24-14 to win the Sugar Bowl.

Dee Miller's rough start at Ohio State career per

Dee Miller came to Ohio State in 1994. His recruiting class included Orlando Pace and Damon Moore, but Miller was the ten-carat jewel. A strong, athletic receiver that was named to everyone's high school All-American team, Miller was compared to Cris Carter at the

Miller was a can't miss five-star recruit out of high school.
Miller was a can't miss five-star recruit out of high school.

ripe age of 17. Newspapers picked him to start as a true freshman next to Joey Galloway - and ahead of current NFLers Chris Sanders and Terry Glenn. A 36 touchdown, 2,000 yard high school career equals that kind of pressure. And it got to him.

It started with an injury. During fall practice of his rookie season, Miller suffered a slight knee injury that sidelined him for around six weeks. To a prize recruit at a big-time college football program, that means a redshirt year. The wideout dubbed as the next Cris Carter didn't even get his cleats dirty as a freshman.

Miller's situation did not improve in his second or third year per

Miller came back the next year out of shape and full of attitude. He managed to play in all 13 games, but didn't catch a pass. He hadn't nearly blossomed into the player that everyone had expected, or, at times, demanded.

The hits kept on coming during his third year at Ohio State. Thoughts of a starting job opposite Dimitrious Stanley were

It was expected that Dee Miller was going to be paired with Dimitrious Stanley, not David Boston.
It was expected that Dee Miller was going to be paired with Dimitrious Stanley, not David Boston.

prevalent over the summer, but just as hope started to resurface, enter David Boston. Prior to the season opener, Boston had worked his way to the top of the depth chart, and Miller was, for the third straight year, relegated to the sidelines. When Boston caught the game-winning touchdown with seconds remaining in the Rose Bowl, Miller could only watch. His celebration was bittersweet. The critics started to doubt him, and worse than that, he started to doubt himself. He was labeled a bust, and rumors started flying that he was considering transferring.

"There were times when I felt like I should pack my bags up and just go home," Miller said. "When things aren't going your way, you start pouting around and trying to show people that you don't care. People are telling you that you're still young, but that's not what you want to hear."

After the Rose Bowl, Miller was forced into self-evaluation. After three years, he had caught more criticism than he had passes. With the graduation of Stanley a starting spot was open opposite Boston. But Ohio State had landed a prized high school wide receiver named Ken Yon Rambo, who some said had the ability to play right away. Miller was at a crossroads.

Miller is able to turn things around in 1997 and 1998 per

After being Ohio State's 'other receiver' for three years that seemed like a lifetime, it's Dee Miller's turn to shine. He came within 57 feet of 1,000 yards receiving last year, and is one-half of the best receiving tandem in the nation this season.

Dee Miller

If you hadn't heard much about him going into last year, join the crowd. If you haven't heard of him heading into this fall, the sports section of your newspaper is only used to start your fireplace.

"You have to get in where you fit in," Miller says plainly. "People are starting to realize that Ohio State has more than one good receiver. After a couple more games, I think I'll open up even more eyes."

Miller's football career is right where he wants it to be. His 981 receiving yards last season were the third most in school history. His 58 receptions were the fourth most at OSU. He's the starting wide receiver for the No. 1-ranked team in the nation. Things are going good, and they're only getting better.

Deed Miller in Ohio State's record book:

  • 7th with 2,090 career receiving yards. 
  • 8th with 132 career receptions.
  • 8th with 11 receptions against Indiana in 1998.
  • 9th with 59 receptions in a single season (1998).
  • 10th with 58 receptions in a single season (1997). 

Today Dee Miller is an agent with State Farm.

In 1997, at West Virginia, Miller had 110 yards receiving and a touchdown in Ohio State's 34-17 victory: 

Making a nice touchdown catch against That Team in 1998, Ohio State won 31-16.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and


Trapasso had 78 punts downed inside the 20, an Ohio State record.
Trapasso had 78 punts downed inside the 20, an Ohio State record.

A.J. Trapasso, P (2004-2008)
Born: 1986 (Pickerington)
High School: Pickerington

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 51-12 with Trapasso on the team.
2005 Big Ten Title.
2006 Big Ten Title.
2007 Big Ten Title.
2008 Big Ten Title.
2006 Defeated Notre Dame 34-20 to win the Fiesta Bowl.
Went 5-0 against That Team and outscored them 160-91.

2006 Mosi Tatupu Award for best Special Team Player.

Trapasso's Ohio State career per

...punted four years at Ohio State and totaled 203 attempts for 8,317 yards (41.0 avg., long of 76) in 51 games...also recorded 27 kickoffs with 10 touchbacks…as senior (2008), was Ray Guy Award semifinalist, averaging 41.4 yards on career-high 58 punts with 21 punts inside the 20.

Jim Tressel will be proud to see that Trapasso is in the Ohio State record book:

1st in punts inside the 20 for a career with 78. 
2nd in punts for a game with 11 against That Team in 2007.
3rd in punt attempts for a career with 203.
4th in punt yards for a career with 8,317 yards.
4th in punting average for a game (50.8) against Cincinnati in 2006.


Trapasso showing off his running back skills on this fake punt:


Trapasso is the first (only?) player to do this:

Sources- The Ohio State Team, Guide and Wikipedia


Ohio State fans have high expectations for Ezekiel Elliot this year.
Ohio State fans have high expectations for Ezekiel Elliot this year.

Ezekiel Elliot, RB (2013-Present)
High School: John Burroughs

Elliot's freshman year per The Ohio State Team Guide:

Ezekiel Elliott, although just a sophomore, is among a handful of running backs, including three upperclassmen, who are competing to replace Carlos Hyde in Ohio State’s starting backfield … Elliott is coming off a fine freshman campaign in 2013 when he saw backfield action in nine games and played in 11 … 


Elliott also had three receptions for 23 yards and one score last season, with all of those stats coming in the Purdue gamehe carried the football 30 times for 262 yards and an impressive 8.7 yards per carry average …

most of his work as a rusher came in the Florida A&M game when he rushed 14 times for 162 yards in a little more than one quarter and scored twice: off runs of 16 and 13 yards … he also had a rush of 57 yards in the game …

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide


No. 15 in the NFL Draft
Name Year Round Pick Position Team
Al Washington 1981 4 86 LB Jets
Dee Miller 1999 6 196 WR Packers

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Jason Priestas

The Game.

105 days until The Game.


Remy's picture

Let me know if there are any errors.

Devin Smith's great catch while wearing No. 15 in 2012:

"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

+7 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

Let's not show any highlights of Frey's attempts to run the option.

Its been a looooooooooooo long time since an Ohio State QB has left with a career starting record similar to Frey's....... And we should be thankful of our prolonged success.

+4 HS
Remy's picture

His bad record aside, he did have a cool tinted visor:


"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

+3 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

Cooper had to be beside himself watching the epic Frey/ Herbstriet QB camp battles.  


+2 HS
BuckeyeGrownFloridaLiving's picture

I'm hoping this number will mean a lot in the next couple of years!!

+1 HS
ghalephoto's picture

Best part of the Elliot blast of the Purdue player was the Purdue Cheerleader who looked at the guy who got if she was saying, "Damn, you just got nailed"  Great hit!!

+3 HS
Rob Reese's picture

You're right.  I went back and had to look.  Awwweesome. She's literally laughing AT him.  looooool!!!

go pro, go hoyt


+2 HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

I think I fell in love with her that day, she's a closet Buckeye and gotta be smart to go to Purdue

"Quit skipping leg day bro" - Dr James Andrews

+1 HS
IH8UOFM's picture

About a year ago I met the Center that hosted Mike Tomczak's visits to Purdue. Even though he chose the good guys he told me Mike was one of the nicest kids he ever met.

+1 HS

Great stuff! I think Tim Spencer is Evans dad not Devin

+2 HS
Remy's picture

Evan, Devin, close enough right?  Thanks for the help. You are correct, it is now fixed. 

"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

Hovenaut's picture

I don't have info in front of me (I'm too damn lazy to bounce between screens) but Tomczak turned in a pretty decent pro career (want to say he played for about 15 years - that's a nice number) along with a SB ring with the '85 Bears.

Just about two weeks gents, I cannot wait!

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

+1 HS