Flashbuck: Joey Galloway Owned the Field in the Early 90s

By Michael Citro on June 8, 2014 at 8:00a

On Nov. 8 1971, one of the greatest rock albums of all time was released—the mighty Led Zeppelin IV. Behind the power of songs like “Black Dog” and “Rock and Roll,” as well as the magical “Stairway to Heaven,” Zep’s fourth album soared into music immortality.

While the masses were still discovering this shockingly good album—just 12 days after its release—a boy was born in Bellaire, Ohio, who would end  up “Going to California” as a college football player.*

*Unfortunately not to Pasadena, though. He would have to be content with San Diego and the 1993 Holiday Bowl.

Joseph Scott Galloway made Ohio high school sports his personal playground. Young Joey became a multi-sports star at Bellaire High — a school practically in Wheeling, W.V. — at the end of the 1980s and dawn of the 1990s. As a senior, he was an all-Ohio basketball star and won the state 100- and 200-meter events in track. Oh, and he also racked up 600+ yards and eight touchdowns receiving on the gridiron.

His career at Bellaire was a stellar one — 108 catches for 2,332 yards and 27 touchdowns. He was a three-time all-conference and All-Valley selection, and a second-team All-Ohio (Division III) player his senior season. He led his Big Reds to an OVAC 3-A football championship with a 9-1 record his junior year.

As a point guard his Big Reds hoops teams captured three Ohio Valley Athletic Conference titles.

Galloway’s athletic ability, particularly his speed, piqued the interest of many college football programs, but John Cooper landed him at Ohio State, and he became a Buckeye in the fall of 1991.


Starting receivers Brian Stablein and Bernard Edwards didn’t really put the fear of God into anyone in 1991, so it’s not surprising that Joey saw the field as a freshman. Galloway played in 12 games for the 8-4 (5-3 in the B1G) Buckeyes, catching 14 passes for 255 yards and his first collegiate touchdown.

He also averaged more than 10 yards rushing, carrying three times for 31 yards. The season ended in a disappointing 24-17 loss to Syracuse in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa, but the future looked very bright for the young speedster from Bellaire.


Galloway’s bid to break out as a sophomore fell short due to a season-ending knee injury. Stablein and Chris Sanders did all the heavy lifting at receiver without Joey in the lineup. He played in only two games in 1992, catching three passes for 24 yards. He carried once on a reverse for an electrifying 50-yard touchdown in a 20-19 opening day win over Louisville.

But his injury cost him almost his entire sophomore season. The Buckeyes finished 8-3-1 (5-2-1 in the B1G, including the dreadful 13-13 home tie against Michigan in The Game).


Joey was a beast against the Spartans.
Big day for Galloway against Sparty.

1993 would become the year “When the Levee Breaks” for Galloway at Ohio State. The Buckeyes started the season strong, winning their first eight games — including a 63-28 win in Pittsburgh that Mark May still hasn’t gotten over. Galloway became the starting split end opposite flanker Chris Sanders.

He put together a masterful junior (redshirt sophomore?) campaign, catching 47 passes for 946 passes, narrowly missing the 1,000-yard receiving mark. He also tied Cris Carter’s season record with 11 touchdown receptions (since surpassed a few times). He ran the ball nine times for 58 yards and two more scores.

His performance against Michigan State on Oct. 16 was phenomenal. Joey posted 186 receiving yards and caught three touchdown passes in a 28-21 win. A few weeks later Ohio State tied Wisconsin 14-14 at Camp Randall to ruin the perfect season. Two weeks after that, the Buckeyes fell 28-0 in the Big House before finishing the year with a 28-21 win over BYU in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30. Ohio State finished 10-1-1 (6-1-1 in the Big Ten) and watched the Badgers go to the Rose Bowl because of the tiebreaker rule.

But Galloway had arrived, earning All-Big first-team honors.


I'm honestly not sure if Galloway was listed as a senior or a redshirt junior due to the knee injury his sophomore year, but let's go with senior. Galloway and Sanders returned as the starting receiving duo in 1994. Bobby Hoying was back at quarterback and the tailback position went from Raymont Harris to Eddie George. It seemed like 1994 would be a step up. It wasn’t.

The Buckeyes finished 9-4 (6-2) and got waxed 63-14 in Happy Valley by league-winning Penn State. Joey finally got a win over Michigan though, in a 22-6 affair at the Shoe, before falling 24-17 to No. 6 Alabama in the Florida Citrus Bowl (HURRR S-E-C, S-E-C, right? Ohio State was ranked seven spots lower than the Tide that day and lost by one score.).

Galloway led the Buckeyes in receptions (44) for the second season, racking up 669 yards and seven touchdowns. He rushed 12 times for 52 yards and another score. He also stepped up his return game, averaging 10.6 yards on 16 punt returns and averaging 25.7 on 18 kickoffs, taking one to the house.


Galloway ranks 12th on Ohio State’s career receptions list (108), ninth in receiving yards (1,894) and fifth in TD receptions (19). He was a first-team All-Big Ten performer in 1993 and a second-team all-conference selection in 1994.


The Seattle Seahawks selected Joey eighth overall in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft. It was a great pick by Seattle. Galloway broke multiple franchise rookie receiving marks with 67 receptions for 1,039 yards and seven touchdowns. He also ran for one score and was a consensus NFL All-Rookie selection. He played four more seasons in Seattle, topping the 1,000-yard mark twice more. He was traded to Dallas for two first-round in February of 2000.

Galloway tore his ACL in his Dallas debut, after four receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. He returned healthy in 2001 and played three more years in Big D, catching 147 more passes for 2,279 yards and 11 scores. His best season with the Cowboys was 2002 (16 games, 61 receptions, 908 yards and six touchdowns. In March of 2004, Dallas traded Joey to the Buccaneers for Keyshawn Johnson.

Joey revived his career in Tampa Bay, playing five years with the Bucs from 2004-08 and returning to the 1,000-yard mark three straight years (2005-07). In 2005, he posted career highs in receptions (83) and yards (1,287), and scored double-digit touchdowns (10) for the third time in his NFL career. In Tampa, Galloway played in 66 games and finished with 248 catches for 3,912 yards and 28 touchdowns.

After Tampa, Galloway’s NFL career started to wind down. He had a cup of coffee with New England in 2009, playing in three games with seven catches for 67 yards before being cut in late October. Pittsburgh signed him in December of that year but he didn’t play for the Steelers. In April of 2010, Joey became a Washington Redskin. He appeared in 10 games in 2010 for the Skins, finishing with just 12 receptions for 173 yards. It was time to hang up the cleats.

It was an outstanding NFL career — 17 seasons, 198 games, 701 catches, 10,950 yards and 77 touchdowns. He rushed for 496 yards and a score. Galloway returned 141 punts for 1,349 yards (9.6 YPR) and five touchdowns. He even threw a pass in 2001 with Dallas, which was complete but went for minus-one yard.


Although he was still playing at the time, Galloway became a co-owner of the Arena Football League’s Columbus Destroyers in 2003. Joey was inducted into the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in August of 2005.

In 2012, Joey became a broadcaster with ESPN for college football. He has unfortunately been paired with Beth Mowins for much of that time, but his presence at least makes those games somewhat tolerable.

Galloway made his mark on Ohio State in a way few players have been able to do. He’ll always be remembered as one of the school’s greatest receivers and one of Ohio State’s all-time fastest players. We’ll never forget No. 7.


Comments Show All Comments

Knarcisi's picture

I'm a native of Shadyside, OH just south of Bellaire. Proud and happy to see the success of an Ohio Valley kid. Joey's high school basketball and football coaches were also recently into the OVAC hall of fame. They were both given a Cadillac Escalade, purchased by Joey. Class act. 

+2 HS
CarolinaBuck's picture

Joey Galloway, along with Terry Glenn were the two most dynamic receivers Ohio State has ever had. Galloway was so fast, but was hampered somewhat because it seemed every game he was wide open deep and Bob Hoying couldn't get him the ball. Even in the NFL, Galloway spent most of his career with average QB's and we never got to see the real talent Joey Galloway was.

+3 HS
nm_buck's picture

Loved Galloway.  Hated those Cooper years.

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

+1 HS
cw823's picture

Urban is still proving himself, but Cooper was the best recruiter we had at OSU.

-1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I could crack wise about the quality of quarterbacks JG had throwing to him while in Columbus...

I didn't get to see much of Galloway as a Buckeye, was in the military and at sea quite a bit during that time, but knew he was as an electric a receiver OSU had ever had to that point.

He really set the standard for the dynamic and versatile receivers that came after him, and there have been quite a few since then. Could you imagine him playing in Urban's offense? (Who is this Percy guy you keep mentioning?)

Bonus points for working in the Zep IV references.

+1 HS
Matt Gutridge's picture

I can't remember who said it, but this quote always stuck with me:

Joey Galloway isn't fast, he's crazy fast.



Knarcisi's picture

Forgot how dominant Big Daddy was. 

+2 HS
MAVBuck's picture

Something never said by the opposition.

Codeezy's picture

The reason I love ohio state football so much. Joey G Money baby!

+2 HS
WhySoSerious's picture

Codeezy, exactly my friend. 1991 I was 6. I'm from Cali so between the combination of the uniforms, the leafs and Joey Galloway I was sold. 


Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

+1 HS
HilltopHustle's picture

One of my favorite Buckeyes ever.

+1 HS
moopdawg's picture
+2 HS
HighBallAce's picture

Does anyone know who Ohio State's actual fastest player ever was?

Knarcisi's picture
+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

1984 NFL 60 Yard Dash Competition:
1. Willie Gault 6.13
2. Phillip Epps 6.17
3. Herkie Walls 6.32
4. Curtis Dickey 6.33
5. Doug Donley 6.33

Donley doesn't have a 100m time on record but the other four do:
Willie Gault 10.11 (9.95 +8.9 wind)
Curtis Dickey 10.11
Phil Epps 10.24 (10.16 +2.3 wind)
Herkie Walls 10.29 (10.16 +4.0 wind)

Gault also has a 9.8 listed in 1983 but I'm assuming it was hand timed as that would have been a world record at the time.

White Lightning definitely kept some fast company.

+2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Len Willis should also be in the conversation. He was a 9.3 second 100-yard dash guy (somewhere in the 10.1-10.3 100m range).

BeijingBucks's picture

Hitler is pretty sure it's that non-Aryan anomaly Owens

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton


I was in school with Joey and was at the game when we beat TSUN.  Witnessing his speed in person is electric.  I only wonder what he would have been in Urban's offense... I think Percy could have easily been modeled after Joey, but this is neither here not there.

one image of him on the sidelines that always stood out was that he kinda kept to himself (celebrity status) and always had his abs on full display by tucking his jersey under his pads.  He was such a stud...

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

SilverBullet-98's picture

Played against Joey and Bellaire in HS.

Made our our D coordinator pull out his hair and break things, lol.

"The Past Builds the Future"

Knarcisi's picture

Are you Ryan Miller?

doofenshmirtz's picture

I remember he used to take his helmet off and shake/stick his face right in the tv camera after each score.



+1 HS
moopdawg's picture

Yup.  I remember, I think it was after his 3rd TD against Michigan State, and he looked right at the camera and said "All day, baby."  I'm pretty sure he had something to do with the ncaa making a penalty for players taking their helmets off while on the field.  He was a bad boy, man.

buckskin's picture

Citro, nice work weaving in some Led into Galloway's career. Zep is the best band, Joey is one of the best Buckeye receivers. I never knew he was 2nd team all ohio in 1990. I somehow got 1st team the same year at WR and didn't do squat afterwards, so that shows how much of a fricking joke the All Ohio crap is. Saw him win the state meet 200 by 20 meters.

+2 HS
BroJim's picture

Good bit, I wish I could take a class on Ohio State's football histroy. This class would be lecture based and the teachers would be player and coaches.

I season my simple food with hunger

BucksFan2000's picture

Nice article, but too many errors in the early career stuff.  I played at Bellaire and we didn't win a state championship.  That 9-1 team was left out of the playoffs.  That wouldn't happen today, but back then not as many teams were eligible and plenty of good teams got hosed.  That team would have done some damage though.

Also, saying we're practically in Wheeling... um, I'd reword that.  The Ohio is a mighty river, and while I have no problem with anyone from WV, they're different.  Hopefully I worded that kindly enough.


+3 HS
Michael Citro's picture

Hmm, that was me missing the "OVAC" in a passage about a "3-A football championship" from the OVAC HOF site and at least one other Galloway story on the net talked about his football championship, so I guess I'm not alone. I've corrected it.

The Wheeling remark was obviously a joke but...map don't lie. :)

BucksFan2000's picture

Gotcha.  Yes, OVAC champs that year.  Again though, a real shame that team didn't make it in.  Would have had a shot.

Glad to see this site give Joey recognition.  I can't imagine you'd ever find someone with a negative thing to say about him.

But in the category of why do bad things happen to good people, ESPN burdens him with Beth Mowins.  There is no God.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Loved Joey!  He was super fast!  Great NFL career too.

Go Bucks!!

+1 HS