Countdown: 18 Days Until Ohio State Football

Remy's picture
August 12, 2014 at 12:11a
No. 18

In 18 days Ohio State will play Navy to start the 2014 season. Below you will find a list of the 37 players who have worn No. 18 for the Buckeyes since 1931.

Today's featured players are Merle Wendt, Don Clark and Andy Groom. Wendt is one of eight Buckeyes to earn All-American honors three times:
Chic Harley (1916, 1917, 1919)
Wes Fesler (1928, 1929, 1930)
Lew Hinchman (1930, 1931, 1932)
Merle Wendt (1934, 1935, 1936)
Archie Griffin (1973, 1974, 1975)
Tom Skladany (1974, 1975, 1976)
Mike Doss (2000, 2001, 2002)
James Laurinaitis (2006, 2007, 2008)


Players who Wore No. 18 for Ohio State
Player Worn All-American All-B1G Captain Academic AA Ac All-B1G Letter
Michael Vuchinich 1931-33           1931-33
Merle Wendt 1934-36 1934, 1935, 1936 1934, 1935, 1936 1936     1934-36
Francis Smith 1938            
Andy Wansack 1939            
Joseph Novak* 1940            
William Vickroy* 1941           1941
Jim Galbraith 1945            
Charles Huwer 1946            
Lee Williams* 1955            
Donald Clark 1956-58   1957, 1958       1956-58
Stewart Baffer* 1961            
Robert Scott 1962           1962
Nelson Adderly 1965           1965
George Amlin 1966           1966
Ronald Maciejowski 1968-70           1968-70
Gregory Hare 1971-73     1973     1971-73
Pete Prather 1974-75            
Ricardo Volley* 1977           1977
Timothy O'Cain 1981           1981
Johnny Ross 1983            
Gary Clift 1987           1987
Troy Hilsenroth* 1988            
Tim Walton 1990-93           1990-93
Che Bryant 1994-96           1995-96
Nate Clements* 1998           1998
Tate Johnson 1998            
Tony Locke* 1998            
Kelton Lindsay 1999-2000           1999
Andy Groom* 2001-02 2002 2002     2000, 2001, 2002 2001-02
Jim Otis* 2002-03         2002, 2003 2002-03
Devon Lyons 2004-07           2004-07
David Lisko 2004-07         2007 2004-07
Travis Howard* 2008-10           2009-10
T.Y Williams 2010-12           2011
DerJuan Gambrell 2011            
Najee Murray 2012           2012
Kato Mitchell 2013            

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 18
Sources- Buckeyextra and The Ohio State Team Guide


Wendt was a three-time All-American at Ohio State.
Wendt's Ohio State's teams outscored That Team 93-0 in three contests. He was a three-time All-American.

Merle Wendt, E (1934-1936)
High School: Middletown
Death: 2000

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 19-5 with Wendt on the team.
1935 Big Ten Title.
Went 3-0 against That Team outscoring them 93-0.

1936 Captain.
1936 All-American.
1936 All-Big Ten.
1935 All-American.
1935 All-Big Ten.
1934 All-American.
1934 All-Big Ten.
1981 Inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Merle Wendt's Ohio State career per Wikipedia:

Wendt was a starter for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team from 1934 to 1936 and was captain of the 1936 team.

Wendt was five feet eleven inches tall, and weighed 190 pounds. He was described as "A great pass catcher, hard tackler and tops in defense."

Upon his selection as captain, one Ohio newspaper wrote: "A superb defensive man, the 188 pound flanker teamed with Gomer Jones, Cleveland, whom he succeeds at the Ohio helm, in leading the charge of the forward wall of Francis Schmidt's eleven."

Wendt's greatest thrill at Ohio State was scoring the winning touchdown against That Team in 1934.
Wendt's greatest thrill at Ohio State was catching the winning touchdown against That Team in 1934.

Wendt was selected as an All-Western Conference end as a sophomore in 1934. He was also selected as a first-team All-American in 1934 by the International News Service—the Hearst newspapers wire service.

In 1935, Wendt was selected as a first-team All-American by Liberty Magazine and the Newspaper Editors Association.


Wendt played on Ohio State teams that defeated the Michigan Wolverines three straight years by a combined score of 93-0.

In 1936, Wendt was asked about his greatest thrill: "After no undue amount of deliberation Merle decided that his greatest thrill was the time he caught the winning touchdown pass against Michigan in 1934."

Wendt's life after playing football at Ohio State per Wikipedia:

Wendt had offers to play professional football from seven NFL teams, but opted instead to pursue a career in chemical engineering.

He married his wife, June Stone, six days after receiving his degree in chemical engineering. For many years, Wendt was the director of chemical engineering for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. in Akron, Ohio.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Wikipedia


Don Clark led the Ohio State in rushing yards in 1956 and 1957.
Don Clark led the Ohio State in rushing yards in 1956 and 1957.

Donald Clark, RB (1956-1958)
1936 (Akron)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 21-5-2 with Clark on the team.
1957 National Champion.
1957 Big Ten Title.
1958 Defeated Oregon 10-7 to win the Rose Bowl.

1957 All-Big Ten.
1958 All-Big Ten.


Donald Clark's Ohio State career per Wikipedia:

Clark won a National Championship in 1957.

Clark played his college football with the powerhouse Ohio State Buckeyes. Playing from 1956 to 1958, he was integral part of their 1958 Rose Bowl victory and national championship.

An All-American, he was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bears, even though he was injured.



Clark spurns the NFL for the CFL per Wikipedia:

Clark's Montreal football card.
Clark's Montreal football card.

Canada was Clark's preferred destination, and he signed with the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1959.

After rushing for 343 yards, he couldn't agree on contract terms with Ottawa, and was traded to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who promptly dealt him to the Montreal Alouettes.

Clark retired in 1964, only 27 years old, due to knee, rib and kidney injuries.

Video of 1958 Rose Bowl (Spoiler Alert, Ohio State defeats Oregon in yet another Rose Bowl.):


Andy Groom was an All-American in 2002.
Andy Groom was an All-American in 2002.

Andy Groom, P (1999-2002)
Born: 1979 (Columbus)
High School: Hartley (Columbus)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 35-15 with Groom on the team.
2002 National Champion.
2002 Big Ten Title.

2002 All-American.
2002 All-Big Ten.

Highlights of Andy Groom's Ohio State career:

  • Groom finished his Buckeye career with the highest punting average (45.0 yards per punt) in school history.
  • He totaled 2,697 punting yards which ranks him sixth on the all-time list.


Groom's 45.0 yard career punt average is an Ohio State record.
Groom's 45.0 yard career punt average is an Ohio State record.
  • Groom punted for Ohio State during the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Wikipedia


No. 18 in the NFL Draft
Name Year Round Pick Position Team
Merle Wendt 1937 6 59 T Packers
Bill Vickroy* 1943 12 105 C Rams
Don Clark 1959 1 7 RB Bears
Ron Maciejowski 1971 15 376 QB Bears
Greg Hare 1974 8 203 QB Bills
Nate Clements# 2001 1 21 CB Bills

*Wore No. 55 when drafted
#Wore No. 20 when drafted
Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Jason Priestas 

The Game.

108 days until The Game.


Remy's picture

Let me know if there are any errors.

Andy Groom and Mike Nugent both earned All-American honors in 2002. Any coincidence that Jim Tressel led the Buckeyes to the National Championship that season?

Nugent and Groom

"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

+6 HS
GoBucks10's picture

Excellent again. Very cool to see Wendt's life after college. As a fellow engineer and someone who got married within a week of graduating, it was interesting to find a similar story from so long ago.

"Because I couldn't go for three."  - Woody Hayes

+3 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

It was also interesting to hear about somebody that was wanted by 7 different NFL teams to turn down the pro's to pursue other interests. I can't think of anybody else that has done that. A star athlete or player to turn down NFL straight out of college?

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+2 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Wendt played before the time of face masks.  After breaking his nose numerous times,  the staff had this added to his leather helmet.  Thanks Remy!

+3 HS
Remy's picture

Buckguyfan1, Thanks for sharing this. Did not find it when researching Mr. Wendt.

"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