In 54 days Ohio State will travel to Navy to start the 2014 season. To see the 30 players who wore the No. 54 and the three players who were selected in the NFL Draft, go here. Featured players are Mark Stier and Tim Anderson.
Today's Trivia Question:
Mark Stier is the uncle of a Buckeye who started in the secondary for the 2002 National Championship team. Can you name that player?
Mark Stier, LB (1966-68)
High School: Louisville (Louisville, Ohio)
The Buckeyes were 20-8 with Stier on the team.
1968 National Champion.
1968 Big Ten Title.
Defeated USC 27-16 in the 1969 Rose Bowl.
Went 2-1 against That Team.
1968 Team MVP.
1968 Academic All-American.
1968 Academic All-Big Ten.
1966 Academic All-Big Ten.
Mark Stier's Ohio State recruitment and career per Josh Weir of the cantonrep.com:
Woody Hayes showed up at Mark Stier’s high school football banquet in 1964 and unexpectedly offered him a scholarship.
“I think my words back to him were, ‘I’m not sure I’m good enough,’ ” Stier
Sure, Stier knocked ball carriers senseless as a Louisville linebacker. He also played offensive line and helped keep tacklers off Notre Dame-bound Bob Gladieux.
But Ohio State? The Big Ten? Saturdays in The Horseshoe?
“It’s a little different than playing Leetonia on a Friday night with 1,500 people there,” Stier observed.
Stier was ready to choose between the Naval Academy and Kent State when Hayes swept in with the offer. He eventually persuaded Stier and his parents that OSU was the right choice, but that didn’t necessarily put Stier at ease. He was No. 32 of 32 possible scholarships. “What does that tell you?” he asked.
Over time, Stier settled in and realized he could compete with anybody.
When the Buckeyes went with a youth movement, Stier found himself starting at linebacker as a sophomore. A difficult growing process began. OSU went 4-5 in 1966 and 6-3 in 1967.
Bolstered by a sophomore class that included the likes of Rex Kern, Jack Tatum and Jim Stillwagon, the 1968 Buckeyes anticipated a big season.
“We thought there was great potential, but that remained to be seen,” Stier said. “How are these guys going to do under fire? So my job as a senior captain, senior linebacker was to keep a lid on this thing.”
A 13-0 win over No. 1-ranked Purdue in Week 3 opened eyes. A 50-14 drubbing of Michigan in the regular-season finale sent the Buckeyes to Pasadena to face The Juice and the Trojans.
“It’s rags to riches. It’s Cinderella. It’s whatever you want to call it,” Stier said. “A bunch of Midwest kids who have never been anywhere. It was truly an advantage for us. We went out there with huge chips on our shoulders. We were the underdogs. We weren’t supposed to do anything.”
The Buckeyes overcame a 10-0 first-half deficit to win, 27-16. The kid who didn’t know if he was good enough stood on top of the college football world.
Tim Anderson, DT (1999-2003)
Born: 1980 (Clyde, Ohio)
High School: Clyde
The Buckeyes were 46-17 with Anderson on the team.
2002 National Champion.
2002 Big Ten Title.
Defeated Miami 31-24 (2OT) in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.
Defeated Kansas State 35-28 in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl.
2003 All-Big Ten.
Anderson's Ohio State career per Wikipedia:
he was a starter for three years. As a freshman, Anderson played behind Ryan Pickett on the depth chart. When Pickett skipped his senior season to enter the NFL draft, Anderson stepped up and that season recorded three sacks and nine tackles for loss.
Anderson's best remembered play at Ohio State came in the 2002 national championship season, when he batted down a fourth-down pass from Illinois's Jon Beutjer in overtime to preserve Ohio State's 23-16 victory.
John Simon, DE (2009-12)
Born: 1990 (Youngstown)
High School: Cardinal Mooney
The Buckeyes were 41-10 with Simon on the team.
2012 team was undefeated (12-0).
2009 Big Ten Title.
Defeated Oregon 26-17 to win the 2010 Rose Bowl.
Defeated Arkansas 31-26 to win the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
5 tackles for loss against Nebraska (2012) ranks first all-time at Ohio State for TFL in a game.
4 sacks at Wisconsin (2012) ranks first all-time at Ohio State for sacks in a game.
Went 3-1 against That Team.
2012 Team MVP.
2012 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
2012 All-Big Ten.
2011 All-Big Ten.
John Simon's famous speech after defeating Cal in the 2012 season per Marla Ridenour of akronbeaconjournal.com
Ohio State senior defensive lineman John Simon’s postgame speech was so stirring that coach Urban Meyer vowed to name his next child after him.
The co-captain addressed the team after a 35-28 victory over the University of California Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Simon had battled a shoulder injury all week and although trainers kept telling Meyer that he should be fine, it didn’t heal as quickly as they had hoped.
Yet Simon played anyway, finishing with one tackle for loss and a sack.
“He just lost it in the locker room as far as just sharing, opening up his soul,” Meyer said. “It makes us all look in the mirror and say, ‘Are we doing enough for our team?’
“Can you put a jersey up there or something that says John Simon, because that’s a grown-ass man, excuse my language. If we have another child, I want to name him Urban John Simon Meyer or something. That’s how much I love that guy.”
Simon joked about the improbability of another Meyer child.
“That’s between him and Shelley,” Simon said of Meyer’s wife. “I don’t know if he’s planning on having another son, but that’s all in the family.”
Simon said he had never been as emotional after a game before and realized his speech took some teammates by surprise.
“I try to say things that are important and if I don’t have anything I feel is very important to say, I probably won’t say it,” he said. “That means when you speak, everyone listens. I didn’t mean to come out like that so much. But all the emotion that went into that game, I wanted to tell them how I felt.
“It was a tough thing all week dealing with it. I tried to get as much rehab as I could to make sure I was good to go. With the players and the coaches trusting in me that I could get my job done, I was blessed to be put out on the field today.”
Simon’s speech inspired many Buckeyes.
“It’s something I know I’ll never forget,” junior left tackle Jack Mewhort said.
Sophomore receiver Devin Smith said Simon cried.
“You love that guy. It motivates me, seeing a guy who’s going to play in the NFL and the way he works,” Smith said. “I want to emulate some of the things he does so I can make it there.”
Urban Meyer and Mike Vrabel are talk about John Simon in this article about Simon's work ethic from baltimoreravens.com
Coach Meyer's "Grown-Ass Man" speech from The Lantern:
Today's Trivia Answer:
Mark Stier is the uncle of a Buckeye who started in the secondary for the 2002 National Championship team. Can you name that player? Dustin Fox.
144 days until The Game.