Countdown: 20 Days Until Ohio State Football

Remy's picture
August 10, 2014 at 12:25a



In 20 days Ohio State will start the 2014 season against Navy. Below you will find a list of the 34 players who have worn No. 20 since 1933.

Today's featured players are John Borton, Neal Colzie and Nate Clements.




Players who Wore No. 20 for Ohio State
Player Worn All-American All-B1G Captain Academic AA Ac All-B1G Letter
James Pipoly 1933-34            
Charles Gales 1935-36, 1938           1935-36, 1938
William Bell 1939-40            
William Durtschi 1942           1942
Robert Hecker 1943           1943
Jack Wagner* 1951           1951
John Borton 1951-54     1954 1952 1953, 1954 1951-54
Ben Jones 1960           1960
Charles Price 1962-63            
Mark Newcomer 1964-65            
William Sharp 1969            
Marvin Kinsey 1970-71           1971
Neal Colzie 1972-74 1974 1973, 1974       1972-74
Leonard Mills 1975-78           1975-78
Kelvin Lindsey 1982-83           1982-83
Tim Haller* 1986           1986
Dwight Smith 1987-88           1987-88
Dante Lee* 1989           1989
Jon Berger* 1990-91           1991
Tyrone Howard* 1992-93           1993
Central McClellion 1994-98           1995-98
William Powers 1996-97            
Chad Cacchio* 1997-98         1997, 1998 1998
Nate Clements* 1999-2000   2000       1999-2000
Maurice Hall* 2001           2001
Roshawn Parker* 2002-04           2004
Chris Conwell 2002         2002 2002
Steven Moore* 2003         2003 2003
Aaron Pettrey 2005-09         2008, 2009 2006-09
Donald Washington 2005-08           2006-08
Russell Doup 2010-12            
Nate Oliver* 2010-11           2010-11
Ross Oltorik 2012           2012
Ron Tanner*  2013           2013

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 20
Sources- Buckeyextra and The Ohio State Team Guide

John Borton was Ohio State's first Academic All-American.
John Borton was Ohio State's first Academic All-American.

John Borton, QB (1951-54)
Born: 1932 (Alliance, Ohio)
High School: Alliance
Died: 2002

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 26-9-2 with Borton on the team.
1954 National Champion.
1954 Big Ten Title.
1952 Defeated No. 1 Wisconsin 23-14 in Columbus.
1954 Defeated No. 2 Wisconsin 31-14 in Columbus.
1955 Defeated USC 20-7 to win the Rose Bowl.

1954 Captain.
1952 Academic All-American.
1953 Academic All-Big Ten.
1954 Academic All-Big Ten.
2009 Inducted into the Stark County High School Football Hall of Fame.

Borton's Ohio State career per

Alliance native John Borton started as a freshman at Ohio State in 1951 as a linebacker. The following season, he became the school's first great passer, making the transition to quarterback.

Borton threw for a school record 1,500 yards as a sophomore in 1952.
Borton threw for a school record 1,555 yards as a sophomore in 1952.

Under second-year head coach Woody Hayes, Borton's mastery of the Split-T offense produced a season well ahead of its time. The sophomore threw for over 1,500 yards, a school record that stood for 27 years. His 115 completions on 196 attempts were also records, and high-water marks under Hayes, who preferred the ground game.

Against Washington State that year, Borton threw for 312 yards. It was the first 300-game ever by a Buckeye, and he didn't get company until 1980. His five touchdown passes in that game is still tied for the most ever by an OSU quarterback in a single contest.

For his career, Borton had 2,129 yards, still the 17th highest figure by a Buckeye. His 57 percent completion rate still rates seventh all-time.

He was a co-captain on Ohio State's 1954 National Championship team, but missed most of the season with a broken finger.


Borton's life after football and words from Len Dawson per

John Borton started his Ohio State career as a linebacker before setting records as a quarterback.
John Borton started his Ohio State career as a linebacker before setting records as a quarterback. 

His love for the game lasted his entire life.

Borton’s daughter, Betsy Hedrick, said football was her father’s only relief from a bipolar condition that overtook him late in life. Borton died April 9, 2002.

“If we could get him talking about football, he’d return to his old self,” she said. “Otherwise, he’d be troubled a lot by his medical condition.”

Borton was the first in a series of standout quarterbacks for Mel Knowlton at Alliance. Another player on that list is Len Dawson, who starred at Purdue University then played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs.

“John was a great example for the young quarterbacks coming through the system at Alliance,” said Dawson, a 1987 Pro Football Hall of Famer who also is in the Stark County Football Hall of Fame. “We all looked up to him.”

Highlights of John Borton's football career:

• Played linebacker as a freshman at Ohio State before moving to quarterback during his sophomore and junior years. Missed senior season because of injury. 

• His five touchdown passes against Washington State was an Ohio State record.

• His best season was 1952, when he was 115-of-196 yards for 1,555 yards and 15 touchdowns.

•  Borton finished his Ohio State career having completed 167-of-293 passes for 2,129 yards and 18 touchdowns.

• Was an injured senior captain on the 1954 Rose Bowl and National Champion winning team

• 1952 Borton throws three touchdown passes versus That Team in a 27-7 victory.

• Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 13th round (157th overall) in 1955 and joined the team in 1957 after being discharged from the U.S. Naval Reserve. Completed 3-of-6 passes for 22 yards in 1957, his only season.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide,, and


Neal Colzie won three Big Ten Titles during his three-year playing career.
Neal Colzie won three Big Ten Titles during his three-year playing career.

Neal Colzie, CB (1972-74)
Born: 1953 (Fitzgerald, GA)
High School: Coral Gables
Died: 2001 (Miami, FL)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 29-4-1 with Colzie on the team.
1972 Big Ten Title.
1973 Big Ten Title.
1974 Big Ten Title.
1974 Defeated USC 42-21 to win the Rose Bowl.
Went 2-0-1 against That Team.

1974 Captain.
1974 All-American.
1974 All-Big Ten.
1973 All-Big Ten.
2009 Inducted into the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame.

Colzie's Ohio State career per

An All-American and two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection, Neal Colzie is in the Buckeye Top 10 for interceptions in a season and career, interception yards in a game, interception returns for a touchdown in a season and career, career punt

Colzie set a Super Bowl record 43 punt return yards in the victory over the Vikings in Super Bowl XI.
Colzie set a then Super Bowl record 43 punt return yards in the victory over the Vikings in Super Bowl XI.

return yards, punt returns in a game, season and career, and punt returns for touchdowns in a season and career. Colzie remains the record holder for punt return yards in a game (170) and season (679), both set in 1973. Drafted in the first round of the 1975 NFL draft, Colzie went on to a nine-season pro career in which he played for the Raiders, Dolphins and Buccaneers. In his first season, he recorded 655 punt return yards, an NFL rookie record. He won Super Bowl XI with the Raiders, with four punt returns for a Super Bowl record of 43 yards, including a 25-yard return to set up a Raiders touchdown and a 12-yard return that set up a field goal. Colzie passed away in 2001.




Neal Colzie career and life highlights:


• His father, Jim Colzie, was a  pitcher in the Negro League.

• Colzie was named to the All-Big Ten Team in 1973 and 1974.

• He was an All-American in 1974.

•  At Ohio State, Colzie recorded 15 interceptions (4th in school history at the time)  and returned 60 punts for 855 yards (Ohio  State record at the time)  and two touchdowns.

• The Oakland Raider selected him with the 24th pick of the first round of the 1975 NFL Draft.

• Colzie was a punt returner on the Oakland Raiders team that won Super Bowl XI over the Minnesota Vikings.

• He played in the NFL from 1975-1983.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Wikipedia


Nate Clement's first NFL interception was thrown by Peyton Manning.
Nate Clements' first NFL interception was thrown by Peyton Manning.

Nate Clements, DB (1998-2000)
Born: 1979 (Shaker Heights, Ohio)
High School: Shaker Heights

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 25-11 with Clements on the team.
1998 Big Ten Title.
1999 Defeated Texas A&M 24-14 to win the Sugar Bowl.

2000 All-Big Ten.
2005 Clements' number was retired at Shaker Heights High School.

Highlights of Nate Clements Ohio State and NFL career:

• His freshman year he wore the number 18.

• His junior season he had four interceptions and averaged 13.1 yards per punt return.

• Clements finished his career with 177 career tackles and seven interceptions.




• He left Ohio State after his junior season and was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft.

• His first NFL interception was against Peyton Manning

• When Clements signed an eight-year, $80 million with ($22 million guaranteed contract) with the 49ers he became the highest paid defensive player in NFL history.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide and Wikipedia


No. 20 in the NFL Draft
Name Year Round Pick Position Team
John Borton 1955 13 157 QB Browns
Neal Colzie 1975 1 24 DB Raiders
Ty Howard* 1997 3 84 CB Cardinals
Donald Washington 2009 4 102 DB Chiefs

*Wore No. 2 when drafted
The Ohio State Team Guide and Jason Priestas 

The Game

110 days until The Game.


Remy's picture

Let me know if there are any errors.

I liked the way Nate Clements played for Ohio State. Unfortunately, I will never forget the punt that bounced off of him in the 1998 Michigan State game. That was a big momentum shift in that game.

Nate Clements came in as the No. 5 Defensive Back of the Big Ten during the 2000s according to BTN:

"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
NashBuckeye's picture

Oh No! Not the 1998 MSU game punt! If their Punter was worth a crap, we play Tennessee for the 1st BCS title!  Only thing that makes this easier to swallow is that if we beat MSU, we would have probably choked against Michigan instead of drilling the Tom Brady-led scUM team 31-16 that year. Wiley had a long run early and Boston taunted scUM defenders all day as he ran into the Endzone.  There! now I feel better!

+2 HS