Ohio State's All-Time 'Scrappiest' Players

By Michael Citro on May 15, 2014 at 1:00p
100 Comments

Sometime in the last couple of decades, American sports journalists and broadcasters decided that the word “scrappy” should be used to describe generally undersized white guys. In football, this particular adjective is especially reserved for small, white wide receivers.

The word has been around since 1837, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and they should know. Their entire business model is built upon etymology.

Among its various definitions are:

  1. Consisting of scraps
  2. Quarrelsome
  3. Having an aggressive and determined spirit

Merriam-Webster helpfully adds that it rhymes with “nappy,” which I’m pretty sure I knew, but it was nice to get confirmation.

We’re interested mostly in the third of those definitions, none of which explicitly (or implicitly) say anything about skin color. Yet our modern scribes and talking heads still usually reserve that word for Caucasians.

Heck, even the Urban Dictionary attributes the word to white guys in its example.

I’m here today to reclaim the word for people of all races and ethnicities.

Because I enjoy creating order out of chaos by making lists, it seemed like a fun idea to make a list of the scrappiest Buckeyes of the modern era. To do so, I must first limit this to football players only, or Aaron Craft would claim all of the spots.

My definition doesn’t necessarily require the player to be white, or even small, although it’s often easier to see the “aggressive and determined spirit” in a smaller player, because they start at a disadvantage to their larger, more physically gifted teammates. If an undersized guy starts for Ohio State, they probably out-fought quite a few larger players to grab the spot.

That said, there are some bigger guys on my list — players who managed to stand out from other guys their size.

Here’s the list I came up with. I’m counting them down, Casey Kasem-style (it's cool, they found him), but these go up to 11, Spinal Tap-style. Your mileage may vary. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments section below.

11. Jordan Hall

J-Hall. Scrappy.
Hall played bigger than he was.

On paper, Jordan Hall as a Buckeye should never have worked. At 5-foot-9 and 191 pounds, Hall was asked to do a lot of things that would put a guy his size in the path of a whole lot of harm. But he managed to get in the lineup early and racked up 1,568 yards rushing, 286 receiving yards and an impressive 3,486 all-purpose yards. He rushed for at least one touchdown in all five years he spent as a Buckeye, running for eight as a senior in 2013.

Hall’s toughness allowed him to serve as a punt and kick returner and to run between the tackles. Those tasks aren’t for the faint of heart. But Hall excelled there. He even returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown against Michigan early in his career. For a guy his size, it’s impressive that he averaged 5.1 yards per carry over his career. Although he was never a star player, Hall was a baller for Ohio State.

10. Antoine Winfield

It must have happened at some point, but I honestly can’t remember Antoine Winfield ever missing a tackle. Winfield is the same height as Hall, but played at around 180 pounds. But in the mid-to-late 1990s, he was often put on an island due to his coverage skills and was still relied upon to be a solid force player on running plays.

A two-time All-B1G and All-American, Winfield won the Jim Thorpe and Jack Tatum awards in 1998. He is considered one of the greatest cornerbacks in OSU history, and possibly the very best. He posted 278 tackles, (224 solo), 22 tackles-for-loss, 29 pass break-ups and three interceptions during his collegiate career and was voted team MVP in 1997 after a 100-tackle season. He went on to an excellent and lengthy NFL career after leaving Columbus.

9. Matt Wilhelm

Not undersized by any means, the 6-4, 245-pound Wilhelm still embodied everything the word “scrappy” stands for. He was aggressive, determined and spirited. His team-best 11 tackles in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl helped cement Ohio State’s championship season in Jim Tressel’s second season. He finished the 2002 year with 121 total tackles — good for sixth all-time in school history for one season.

Wilhelm wasn’t the most athletic linebacker Ohio State ever had. He never wowed anyone with his measurables. But he was quick to diagnose a play and able to fight his way to the ball carrier with regularity. Wilhelm was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes, won the Randy Gradishar Award his junior year and was named All-American as a senior. He was, quite simply, a warrior. He went on to a quiet but respectable pro career, winning a Super Bowl ring with the Packers.

8. Tyler Moeller

The most resilient player on this list, Tyler Moeller looked like someone’s little brother, running all over the field for Ohio State’s defense from 2007-2010, following a redshirt freshman year. He started out as a linebacker at only 6-0, 210 pounds, but spent much of his career at the star position.

Moeller did everything at full speed and hurled himself at ball carriers with a ferocity larger than his frame. He even overcame a fractured skull from being jumped in a Florida bar in 2009. He didn’t put up incredible numbers, but he seemed to always make an impact on the game.  Moeller was a hard-nosed linebacker trapped in a safety’s body.

7. Maurice Clarett

This play forever.
Few players wanted it more than Mo C.

He only played one season at Ohio State, but Mo Clarett was as scrappy a Buckeye as just about anyone who ever donned the Scarlet & Gray. Determination was never a problem for Clarett, who set out to become a starting running back his freshman season and pulled it off. In 11 games in 2002, Clarett rushed for 1,237 yards and 18 touchdowns, earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

In the National Championship game, Clarett took a beating at the hands of the physical Miami defense, but he never gave in or shied away from the onslaught. He may have made the scrappiest play in Ohio State history in that game. You knew which one I meant without clicking the link.  Without that play, the Buckeyes don’t beat the Canes in the desert.

6. Ryan Shazier

His Buckeye career just ended, so RDS is still fresh in our minds. Few played with the wild abandon and reckless disregard for his own safety as Shazier.  He had pretty good size at 6-2, 230 pounds, but his main attribute was his speed and ability to destroy ball carriers and quarterbacks on contact. He amassed 306 total tackles in just three seasons, fighting his way into the starting lineup before the end of his freshman year and never losing his spot.

His 208 solo tackles and 44.5 tackles for loss are both sixth in school history and a senior season would likely have claimed him both OSU career records. He was a 2013 All-American and last week was drafted No. 15 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’ll always be known for doing things like this and this. Scrappy.

5. Brian Rolle

No linebacker did more with less than Brian Rolle. An undersized (5-10, 240 pounds) guy out of Immokalee, Fla., Rolle starred at linebacker at Ohio State, starting for two seasons. As a senior in 2010, Rolle finished with 76 tackles, 11.5 TFLs, two interceptions and 2.5 sacks. He tallied 202 total tackles in his collegiate career, earning All-B1G honors and the Randy Gradishar Award as the team's most outstanding linebacker his senior year.

Even though his size was small even for a college linebacker, Rolle was able to do things like this, which got him drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011.

4. Dane Sanzenbacher

You knew this guy would be on the list, and you were right. Dane Sanzenbacher was the epitome of the scrappy, undersized college football player, as well as the stereotypical “scrappy” small, white wide receiver. He was a fighter for every inch he got on the football field, despite often being used as a human pinball by opposing defenses.

Sanzenjesus caught 124 passes in four years from 2007-10, covering 1,879 yards. He scored 20 touchdowns — 19 via reception and one rushing. Few have played the game as hard as the great Dane, who never gave up on a play. I mean, come on, the guy was barely bigger than Mindy Drayer.

3. Troy Smith

If only that season had ended on this night.
Smith scrapped his way to a Heisman Trophy.

If having an aggressive, determined spirit makes a player “scrappy,” than Troy Smith more than qualifies. Smith was recruited as an athlete and wasted little time replacing a highly touted quarterback as the team’s signal caller. The winner of the 2006 Heisman Trophy wasn’t a huge guy like Terrelle Pryor. Smith’s 6-foot, 217-pound frame took a lot of hits during his time in Columbus, but he wouldn’t be denied.

Smith ran for 1,168 yards and 14 touchdowns and passed for 5,720 yards and 54 scores during his OSU career, winning a case full of trophies along the way. He led the Buckeyes to a win in the thrilling 2006 version of The Game and on to the National Championship Game, about which the less said, the better. But all you had to do was watch the way Smith played to see the term scrappy is applicable to a quarterback. 

2. Craig Krenzel

Speaking of quarterbacks, it’s amazing that Krenzel survived that night in Arizona against the Miami Hurricanes. I’ve seldom seen a quarterback battered the way Krenzel was by the Canes defense. There were better passers and runners who played the position for Ohio State, but few people found a way to win the way Krenzel did. 

Sure, the defense was the main reason Ohio State won the 2002 title, but there’s no way the Buckeyes could have captured the championship without a leader like Krenzel. He finished his collegiate career with 4,489 yards and 28 touchdowns, running for 600 yards and six more scores. But it’s the way he always found the path to victory that we’ll remember him for.

1. Chris Spielman

Spielman was Buckeye spirit personified, concentrated, and poured into a 6-foot, 247-pound, barrel-like frame. A two-time All-American, Spielman worked his tail off for everything he got. He won the Lombardi Trophy and finished third in school history with 546 career tackles and an OSU-record 283 solo stops — and he intercepted 11 passes.

But Spielman was more than the statistics he amassed. He was as intense a player as I’ve ever seen on any level of the game. He started for three seasons and only a nagging ankle injury as a freshman prevented him from making it four.

No one took losing harder than Spielman and no one enjoyed winning more. He was the scrappiest of all the scrappy Buckeyes. We salute you, Chris Spielman.

 

100 Comments

Comments

Stinson's picture

"Put Aaron Craft on the list."
"But he didn't play footb-" "DO IT!"

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+15 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

 

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+16 HS
BUCKfutter's picture

bacardi and cola do it do it

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

alust2013's picture

Every football team needs a good point guard.

...and Michigan still sucks.

+8 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

I've often wondered how Chris Jent would have faired on  the field.  He was Aaron Craft before Aaron.

Go Bucks!

+2 HS
theopulas's picture

Don't think any OSU list of their greatest of all-time is complete without Orlando Pace....who i think was the best college lineman ever

Theopulas

-1 HS
Young_Turk's picture

There was a DB, I think Free Safety back in the Cooper years that was the first person I thought of that could be defined as scrappy.  Terry White.  What a head-hunter that dude was, I wish we had stats on his pass-breakups and fumbles caused by his hits.  He sacrificed his smallish body like it was somebody else's rental car.  I think he left early to go to West V, but he is one of my favorite Buckeyes.  

Alas, his type are a dying breed as the rules of the game and player safety concerns (which I support) are changing the game.  You young'un's should watch game film from the early eighties.  

Also, Mark Sullivan from the early eighties.  Dude was a 220 pound nose-guard who thought he was the cock of the walk.  

+3 HS
Michael Citro's picture

Terry White was under Earle Bruce. Got in hot water and Bruce suspended him for a year and he ended up transferring to West Virginia. Good player.

Furious George 27's picture

Rob Kelly perhaps?

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+3 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

Rob Kelly was a maniac in the defensive backfield. It's fun to watch old games and see him headhunting. Questionable tattoos, but a big hitter. 

 

+4 HS
AJBor41's picture

Excellent addition, FG27.  Kelly was a mad man.

Young_Turk's picture

Thanks!  I wasn't sure what year or era he was.  You get foggy at my age.  

SnooBucki's picture

Yea Strawberry White is from my hometown of Cambridge, Ohio. He was a beast. Got into trouble and never made it pro but could of been great. He's been in and out of jail but I believe he's trying to get his life together on the right path now.

+2 HS
740buckeye's picture

Another 11w'er from good ol' Cambridge!

+1 HS
faux_maestro's picture

My parents are from Cambridge, so I grew up with birthday cakes from Kennedy's. Yeah, I'm spoiled now and can't eat a grocery store cake.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

+1 HS
740buckeye's picture

I'm getting married next Saturday, and one of the few things I insisted on was cake from Kennedy's.

+1 HS
faux_maestro's picture

Congrats!

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

Young_Turk's picture

I hope he makes it.  It is so sad to see potential wasted.  Do you know anything about the nickname "Strawberry"?

OSUStu's picture

My definition of scrappy:

I'll start with these three guys.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+14 HS
MacG91's picture

Sure everyone can let their emotions get the best of them and get into a fight, but to play every down like you're in a fight is something else. 

Mac..yeah

+4 HS
OSUStu's picture

Agreed.  I am okay with the players having a little tussle just one week a year.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+1 HS
stittracer99's picture

That's weird, when I clicked the link for Merriam-Webster, this is what came up:

scrap·py adjective \ˈskra-pē\

 

+20 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

Joe Cool! Of course! (face-palm for not thinking of him first)

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

TossTrap's picture

How curious, my Funk and Wagnalls mentioned tough in addition to scrappy, then referred me to "Germaine - 1998 Sugar Bowl".

First and goal at the five and Arch is getting the ball.

Young_Turk's picture

Also, Dontre Wilson was pretty scrappy after those punks from that school up north surrounded him on the kick-off return.  

+1 HS
Byaaaahhh's picture

I value the passion, but I prefer the scrappiness to manifest as plays, not fights.

+3 HS
Youngstu's picture

Ok, John Simon has to be on this list.  

+11 HS
alust2013's picture

Anyone have a video of Matt Wilhelm knocking Ken Dorsey out in the NCG? That was one of the most brutal hits I've ever seen put on a QB.

...and Michigan still sucks.

+4 HS
Crumb's picture

It was clean hit too, Wilhelm basically told Miami that night. "If you want blood, you got it."

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+3 HS
NitroBuck's picture

http://www.theozone.net/football/2010/Miami/pressure.html

Couldn't find a video, but there is a good photo of Wilhelm laying the lumber on Dorsey in this story.

Ferio.  Tego.

jamesrbrown322's picture

I think you forgot someone, although hard to complain...

 

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+19 HS
MacG91's picture

exactly who I was thinking..

Mac..yeah

+1 HS
dr green's picture

Upvote for you, JB322. Doss definitely belongs on this list. He was a huge part of that 2002 D.

+1 HS
MikeDossArmy's picture

On behalf of his army, we agree.

+11 HS
yrro's picture

Agreed. I would have put Doss #1, Sanz #2.

+3 HS
Oakland Buckeye's picture

2 isn't only on this list - he is top 3

+1 HS
ceegeelawrence's picture

This was the first person I thought of when I saw that there was a list. Number 1 or 2 in my book (hard to argue with probably the most passionate buckeye of all time in Mr. Spielman.)

+1 HS
MattyBeingMatty's picture

No Mike Doss!? No John Simon!?

#8 on this list does not sit well with me either.  One of my least favorite Buckeyes in recent memory.

#11 doesn't deserve to be on this list either (although I do like him)

“Not everybody’s the perfect person in the world, I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I think that people need a second chance, and I’ve always looked up to Mike Vick." -TP

+3 HS
MacG91's picture

Why is Tyler Moeller one of your least favorite Buckeyes?

Mac..yeah

+4 HS
MattyBeingMatty's picture

Just my feelings.  Same as not everyone agrees on their favorite players.  His comeback story was a great one no doubt.  I'm not trying to bash him here, I just wasn't a fan is all. 
 

“Not everybody’s the perfect person in the world, I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I think that people need a second chance, and I’ve always looked up to Mike Vick." -TP

+1 HS
MattyBeingMatty's picture

That DV was not from me.  I will balance it with a UV though.

“Not everybody’s the perfect person in the world, I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I think that people need a second chance, and I’ve always looked up to Mike Vick." -TP

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

I am biased, but this guy exemplifies everything I love about college football. And I'll never forget the national media, for all intents and purposes, laughing at him when he said he was returning to school to win a national championship.

 

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+6 HS
MattyBeingMatty's picture

Apparently I'm still clueless on how to upload YouTube videos but I remember watching this hit on TV like it was yesterday.

“Not everybody’s the perfect person in the world, I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I think that people need a second chance, and I’ve always looked up to Mike Vick." -TP

Go1Bucks's picture

UV for soundtrack alone.

Go Bucks!

Michael Citro's picture

Lots of love here for Mike Doss, and rightfully so. This piece started as a Top 5 but things escalated quickly. There were a lot of scrappy Buckeyes through the years.

jamesrbrown322's picture

It was still an awesome effort. I really enjoy articles where we argue over which Buckeyes are most legendary...doubt they can do this at Northwestern, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Duke...

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+2 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Marcus Marek would have made my list.

+6 HS
lamplighter's picture

exactly what I was thinking as I went through the list

+1 HS
SilverState's picture

Probably Hartline too.

+2 HS
Crumb's picture

Doss and Simon come to mind as guys deserving of being on this list but so does Zach Boren. Or maybe you could put them on a list of meanest hitters.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+3 HS
buckskin's picture

Based on their 02 title game performance against the U, that whole 02 team should have made the list.  The very definition of underdog and scrapping for the win.

+3 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

No, no the article was for SCRAPPY players, I think you missed the "S!"

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+6 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I'm still a big Herbie fan!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

+2 HS
Zimmy07's picture

Switching from Fullback to LB during the season.  I think very highly of Zach Boren.  He's scrappy, no?

+7 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Scrappy to me means someone who is not a very big person physically, but has the toughness and guts to go toe-to-toe with a foe that outweighs them.  The "un-scrappy" people would shy away from the contact.

Boren is not scrappy - HE is a BEAST.  Same I feel for Simon and Pace who others thought should have made this list.  They are in a totally different category.  I would say Shazier is a beast, not so much a scrappy player, same with Doss.

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

Jeremypreemo81's picture

Zach most definitely should've been on this list...Malcom Jenkins too.  He played with a nasty mean streak, the kind you typically see in offensive lineman.  What a great DB

+1 HS
Denny's picture
  • Hartline
  • Gonzalez (??)
  • Sanzenbacher
  • Fox
  • Wilhelm
  • McMullen
  • Pedroia
  • Craft
  • Eckstein
  • Hartline
  • Sanzenbacher

Taquitos.

+4 HS
Phillips.449's picture

What about Sanzenbacher? :)

 

+4 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

So only white guys can be scrappy? Is that like how white guys are never fast, they just "have a good motor?"

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+2 HS
SeattleBuckeye20614's picture

I was only 11 when we won it all in '02 but I'll never forget watching Clarett chase down Sean Taylor and strip the ball back after the INT. 

+4 HS
rjsmitty's picture

Mike Vrabel should be on this list somewhere and before he is done at tOSU Joey Bosa will be high on this list!

+2 HS
avail31678's picture

Yeah, Bosa already put himself right in the conversation with his gutsy performance in the Orange Bowl, playing injured.

 

+1 HS
avail31678's picture

I liked the RDS highlights...my favorite moment(S) for him though were at PSU in 2012.  In back to back plays he had a huge sack and then a pick 6.  Dude had a nose for the ball and came up with big plays when it counted.

-1 HS
Earle's picture

Like I said in the poll yesterday, the answer is always Chris Spielman.

Just say no to italics abuse.

+6 HS
BuckeyeSki's picture

Anthony Gonzales?

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

+2 HS
OSUSMC's picture
This guy also enjoys making lists...
 

 

 

 

 

DoubleB's picture

Great fun list. Love watching the highlights... when is football season again?......

I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over.
-Joey Bosa

BAR43's picture

3 things make this list very incomplete and inaccurate:

- No John Simon??

- Sanzenbacher over Gonzales? No way

- Jordan Hall has a heart of gold, and buckeye through and through, but never was and never will be considered a scarpy player.

-2 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

You're right, I've never heard anyone refer to Jordan Hall as "scarpy". But he was the very definition of SCRAPPY.

BTW, what the hell does scarpy mean?

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+2 HS
BAR43's picture

My mistake on typo... Jordan Hall is not SCRAPPY. I never really fealt he had any grit to his game. He was a solid athlete and did well, but I reserve SCRAPPY for those that had the never ending motor and lived for hitting... Hall would fall before contact sometimes and was never a RB that broke tackles... Hyde is SCRAPPY the guy would take 3+ defensemen with him to the ground every play. Just my opinion, nothing against Hall just was shocked to see him on the list over others.

-1 HS
Michael Citro's picture

5.1 yards per carry for his career, running mainly between the tackles at 191 freaking pounds. I don't know how anyone could look at someone Hall's size and not be impressed with that average (plus the fearlessness on special teams - he made some big time tackles on coverage teams too, in 2010). 

To me, quite scrappy.

BAR43's picture

Yes that is impressive to maintain that average, even with few carriers overall and very perfomances against top defenses.  I am not trying to discedit Halls career, was good and could have been better baring the injuries. What about Pittman? He was barely 5'9" and 200#, had one heck of a career. I just have a hard time throwing him on this list, when you completely overlook a FB moved to LB that carried our defense his senior year aka Boren. Obviously all in the eyes of the beholder and it should be mentioned that there is still a broad understanding of "scrappy". If size to production ratio is your basis, then yes, maybe he should be on this list.

Michael Citro's picture

Not the only criteria, but an important one, IMO. I have nothing but love for Zach Boren. I feel like his scrappiness really came out his final year. Prior to that, he was a good blocking fullback that I honestly didn't think about very much. As I said, there are many scrappy players in OSU lore. If I listed them all, well, who has time for that?

BAR43's picture

I agree. Clearly itwould be one hell of a list if you wanted to pin point all. If we were going strictly size to perfomance ratio... i think it would hands down have to be Winfield, my all time favorite. Either way its hard to not be obsessed and feel there is some level of srappiness with most players who have worn the scarlet and grey!

Buckabroad's picture

For me, Wilhelm, Gonzalez and Shazier. Incredible accomplishments arising out of an indomitable fighting spirit.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

theopulas's picture

Don't think any OSU list of their greatest of all-time is complete without Orlando Pace....who i think was the best college lineman ever.....

Theopulas

Donny T's picture
+4 HS
hspbuy1's picture

Cie Grant was a pretty scrappy player also! Great lists bringing back great memories!

hspbuy1

+2 HS
dlb72osu's picture

Obviously, this list is playing to the younger crowd. No one from the 1968-1971 team??? That team had some nasty players on it! It would be a litany of scrappy to simply run down the roster. How about a backup QB deciding to go for two simply to put a nice 0 at the end of a 5. Scrappy, shit! That team was the definition.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus

Michael Citro's picture

Obviously, this list is playing to the younger crowd. No one from the 1968-1971 team???

From above....

"Because I enjoy creating order out of chaos by making lists, it seemed like a fun idea to make a list of the scrappiest Buckeyes of the modern era."

THEOSUfan's picture

Matt Keller.  Loved that guy.  Did whatever was asked of him and fought for every yard.  Mike Kudla also needs to be on the consideration list.

+4 HS
PoKeY21's picture

Was Kudla like one of the strongest Buckeyes in history though? I thought he rewrote the lifting records at OSU? I could be mistaken though.

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass - Robert Knight

The Rill Dill's picture

Go ahead and add Erick Smith to the list.  He WILL make the list.

IGotAWoody's picture

Jamal Martin comes to mind, as does Archie, who packed the most WOW of anyone his size. I would have to have Doss and Jenkins on my list, as well.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

How about going way back in time to the man that "built the Shoe."  Chick Harley.  He was a guy who was smaller for the times.  Fast as hell and played both ways.  Stories I've read were nothing short of amazing.  I'd have to put Chic up on the list.  Without him OSU football might not even be at the same level it is today.

Go Bucks!

+1 HS
brglr14's picture

love this thread. we have so many scrappy favorites. spielman  definitely my #1.  doss is on my list for sure. reminds of the safety version of spiels. not great at any one thing but just a good solid player and a great leader.

I dont know karate but i do know crazy and i'm not afraid to use it.
                           

rayjack01's picture

I agree with most of your rankings especislly #1 and #2. Craig Krenzel is the toughest Quaterback I have ever seen in college football. I have never seen a Quaterback take so many vicious hits and still get up right away as he did against Miami. While , this guy was the man.

Not much can be said about Chris Spielman other than he was the greatest player ever to play linebacker not only for Ohio State but any team.

I am sure I would have had Archie Griffin in the list

+1 HS
PoKeY21's picture

Donnie Nickey, Sanzenbacher, Schlegel all fit the stereotype 

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass - Robert Knight

+2 HS
Nutinpa's picture

It seems people interpreted this article and the commentary in different ways.  The inclusion of guys like Orlando Pace, Archie Griffin, Malcolm Jenkins, etc, mixes guys who were Buckeye superstars, athletically gifted, etc.....and players (let's face it, a lot of white guys, LOL) who over-achieved based on their lack of physical gifts, talent or background. 

For this reason, the inclusion of guys like Dane, Zack Boren, John Simon, and Moeller really fit the bill (even if Simon was a physical beast). Guys who jawed a lot and drew a lot of late hit penalties do not deserve inclusion...as their antics hurt the team and added no value...so I'd be careful for propping some guys on a pedestal for being "scrappy"...if in reality, they were a pain in the ass.

+1 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I will never forget Earle's last game up in Ann Arbor (whore)... front row end zone seats - TTUN had the ball inside the 3 when a TV timeout was called.  EVERYBODY from both teams had their helmets pushed back or off sucking down water and trying to catch their breaths because it was, well, one of the classic The Game games!  Then there was Speilman... helmet on, pacing back and forth in the end zone.  He was screaming to the point that you could see a huge stream of condensation coming out of his face mask and he was beating his helmet with both hands.  It seemed that no matter who carried the ball from TTUN, Speilman was there drilling them.  He was a f@#$ing beast that day and he will forever be one of my favorite Buckeyes!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

+3 HS
BroJim's picture

I think Kurt Coleman should be getting some love!

I season my simple food with hunger

The Rill Dill's picture

Jack Tatum OWNS the list.

UrbanIAmLegend2012's picture

I loves me some Chico Nelson...

d5k's picture

Chris Gamble playing like 500 plays per game on both sides of the ball is pretty scrappy.  And drawing the PI that led to the national title was a pretty scrappy play.

PeteM's picture

I'm a Michigan fan, but am old enough to remember Tom Cousineau from the late Woody era.  He was talented, but also scrappy.

PeteM

osubuckeye4life's picture

The answer is always 36.