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Top 5 Buckeye Running Backs

Keith Byars is the man's picture
July 27, 2014 at 2:39pm

Remy got me thinking today about all time RB's at Ohio State. Here's my list from those I have watched play over the years. 

1. Archie Griffin- 2 Heisman's says it all

2. Keith Byars-should have had a Heisman

3. Eddie George-won a Heisman and really could be #2 but my username is... 

4. Robert Smith

5. Carlos Hyde 

Honorable Mention: Beanie Wells, Raymont Harris, Tim Spencer, Calvin Murray, Carlos Snow                                                                                                    probably forgetting someone but that happens with age. 

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Buckeyevstheworld's picture

5. Carlos Hyde 

You misspelled Beanie Wells.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

-2 HS
BrooklynBuckeye's picture

I dunno, I'd rather have someone with 95% of Beanie's talent who only fumbled once in two years as the feature back and never got hurt.

+8 HS
kareemabduljacobb's picture

I don't know why people always say Beanie was injury prone.  He played in every game his fresh/soph years before missing 3 his jr year because of the foot injury... Hyde missed two games his jr season because of his ankle injury or whatever it was... and then was suspended 3 games this season, so really he missed more games.  

But I'd take both on my team.

+5 HS
BrooklynBuckeye's picture

Good call on the Beanie injuries, I thought it was more. I guess I was just mixing in all his pro injuries.

+2 HS
Keith Byars is the man's picture

Went back and forth

Nothing is Impossible!!!

Keith Byars is the man's picture

Mo. Clarett could have been there with his 1 great year which led to the National Championship but its a tough list with great players.

Nothing is Impossible!!!

+7 HS
logamaniac's picture

id bump off either smith or hyde for cassady

NashBuckeye's picture

I would replace Robert Smith with either Spencer or Wells. I always really liked Raymont Harris too but i can't put him in the Top 5.

Hovenaut's picture

Carlos Snow also gets a honorable mention on my list, often overlooked but was a good all around back.

Fun fact - Snow was the season rushing yardage leader three out of the four years he was at OSU:


+1 HS
Habu71's picture

Loved loved loved Carlos Snow (from CAPE).  Also loved Calvin Murray, Ron Springs, Antonio Pittman and Dante Lee. (Lee may have been more of  a wing or slot back).

+1 HS
MikeTheBuckeye's picture

I'd knock Smith, move Hyde up and fill the 5th spot with Chris "Beanie" Wells. Do you remember when he hurdled that poor Illini defender? With the rich tradition at tailback here at Ohio State, I can understand why you would need more than just 5 spots.

-1 HS
Keith Byars is the man's picture

We have been blessed over the years with great backs here. My earliest memories were Archie so that's where I started. Another excellent one I could have put as HM is Vince Workman. 

Nothing is Impossible!!!

+1 HS
Gobucks2204's picture

Pepe Pearson, Butler Bynote, and Johnathan Wells are a few I remember.

"Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends"

allinosu's picture

Howard hop along Cassidy. Heisman. Matt Snell and Bob Ferguson. Many thought Pete Johnson was better than Archie. Archie and Pete were an incredible one two punch.

+3 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

When Bennie first met JT for the first time - Bennie had a beard and JT thought he was meeting Beenie's dad.

+1 HS
sk4664's picture

Left out a bunch.... John Brockington, the first back EVER to rush for 3 - 1,000 yd seasons in his first 3 NFL seasons!  Pete Johnson, Jim Otis, Keith Byers

My list of backs I have seen would be Archie, Eddie, Keith Byers, John Brockington, Beanie

+1 HS
Scarlet_Buckeye's picture

1.) Archie Griffin

  • 1 of 8 OSU 3x All-America selections
  • 2x (1973 & 1974) Team MVP
  • Most Rushing Yards - Career (5,589)

2.) Eddie George

  • 1995 All-America
  • 1995 Team MVP
  • 2nd most Rushing Yards - Career (3,768)

3.) Carlos Hyde

  • 6th most Rushing Yards - Career (3,198)

4.) Chris Wells

  • 2x (2007 & 2008) Team MVP
  • 4th most Rushing Yards - Career (3,382)

Wells is behind El Guapo for me, personally.  Wells was too soft (IMO). I'll never forget @ Illinois (I believe it was) where we gave Wells the ball on our own goaline, and before even crossing the LOS, he pulled up, grabbed his leg like he was shot, and just completely coughed up the football. It was unbelievable.  PLUS, Hyde had the better average between the two (6.1 yards vs. Wells' 5.8),

5.) Toss-up between Keith Byars and Tim Spencer (tend to lean to giving the nod to Byars).

Honorable mention:

  • Antonio Pittman (most underrated Buckeye RB, IMO)
  • Maurice Clarett (yes... that Maurice ClarettThe guy was unstoppable, and I truly believe had he played 3 years, he would be our all-time Rushing Yards - Career holder. His talent was out-of-this-world. Still to this day, not sure I've seen an RB mean more to his team than MoC.  People forget the magical play where he stripped all-world Sean Taylor and saved our national championship hopes. What could have been...)
  • Chic Harley (another 1 of 8 OSU 3x All-America)
  • Lew Hinchman (another 1 of 8 OSU 3x All-America)
saltybuck61's picture

You mention that Carlos Hyde had a better ypc than Wells, and you are correct. However, Hyde had the benefit of much stronger offensive lines. If Wells had the benefit of the 2013 offensive line, who knows how he would have ran.

+2 HS
logamaniac's picture

if hyde would have been the #1 when tress was calling plays he probably would have had 3000 yards in 2013

+1 HS
tussey's picture

You really missed big time by not including Maurice Wells on this list.  

+2 HS
Keith Byars is the man's picture

Otis and brockingham I remember them more from their nfl trading cards not as buckeyes. I wish I could see old games with chic and hop playing. How could I forget about Ron springs since I was a fan of his in the pros. The TD PIttman scored to seal the against our rivals was a cool moment and he could play. I loved watching Pete Johnson play for the bengals. List could go on and on. It would be fun to compare us with other schools for RB U. I liked John woolridge (spelling) back in the day.

Nothing is Impossible!!!

+1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Correct - when Pittman scored in the bowl game against ND - I went crazy!

Gobucks2204's picture

Sam Maldonado could be considered as well.

"Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends"

TheVictoryBell45's picture

Theres been so many great backs at Ohio State. You could make a top 5 out of running backs in the Jim Tressel era. Mine goes

1. Beanie Wells. Ive never seen a back with his size and speed and might not ever again. He could do it all and had some of the most exciting plays in Ohio State football history. 

2. Antonio Pittman. Just a very very solid all around back. He had break away speed and power. 

3. Maurice Clarett. He will probably go down as the most unique player ever at Ohio State both on and off the field. 

4. Boom Herron. Loved the way he ran the football with an attitude. He had underatted speed and quickness and he packed a punch. 

5. Jonathan Wells. Could be higher on the list. His performance in the 2001 ttun game is what he'll always be remembered for. He was a great leader that season and especially in that game. 

(I didn't include Hyde in the JT era. If I had he would be #2 behind Beanie).