Off-season Discussion Topic: What Former College Football Players Would Have Success in Modern College Football

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buckskin's picture

Barry Sanders would dominate in any era.

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Bucks2K18's picture

I would have loved to see Barry Sanders play. I wasn't even born when he was playing, so the only things I've seen about him are highlights, and boy was he spectacular to watch. Nigh impossible to bring down on the first tackle attempt

That's a Buckeye touchdown!

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stxbuck's picture

Bob Lilly, Merlin Olsen, Roosevelt Grier, Mike Haynes, Lester Hayes, Dick Lane, Jack Tatum, Gale Sayers, Art Shell to name but a few.......

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Gratefulbuck's picture

Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker. OJ Simpson. 

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nickporter53's picture

Sadly, Jack Tatum would be in prison if he tried to play football today. 

Nick Porter

All Broad Street (1989 & 1990)

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BeatMeechigun's picture

Orlando Pace, Eddie George, and Andy Katzenmoyer are the 90s Buckeyes that come to mind for me (granted the Big Kat would miss every other game due to targeting calls...aka “big hits that are hard to get up from” so maybe he wouldn’t). Most of the standout 90s receivers and DBs as well...Galloway, Boston, Glenn, Springs, Winfield, Moore.

The immediate ones I think of that wouldn’t translate as well would be the tight ends and fullbacks. 
 

Also Steve Bellisari wouldn’t translate well into any era (including his own). Still can’t believe how badly our program fell under Coop after 1998.

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RBurgundy4's picture

First name I thought of was Pace, who would dominate in any era. Second was Big Kat, who I'm not so sure would even stay a MLB. The impact of a big, downhill, smash mouth Mike has been neutralized by read option and RPO offenses, to some degree. That's kind of the point of those Offenses (create assignment conflict). I'd be willing to bet that 45 would be moved to DE today.
I'll go as far as to say that an all-time NFL great like Ray Lewis - despite how people feel about him personally, he was an all-time stud- would also be somewhat neutralized in today's game. Just a thought.

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nickporter53's picture

Can you imagine Terry Glenn in Coach Day's offense????

Nick Porter

All Broad Street (1989 & 1990)

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Sonof'47alum's picture

Paul Warfield was an amazing all-around athlete who absolutely would have thrived the way the game is played today—even with the overall greater athleticism and size of today’s players.

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MDBuckeyes's picture

I'll go with Troy Smith. With dual threat/ mobile QBs making waves in the NFL now, I think he would dip quite well with the right coach.

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westy81585's picture

Honestly... I think it would BASICALLY be the same list of greatest players you look at right now.  Obviously strength and conditioning has come a long way, and not all the skill sets would translate to todays game... 

But by in large if you took these guys, who were the best athletes of their era, and gave them the benefit of modern training and giving them the time to adjust to the modern game... I have very little reason to think 90% of them wouldn't do "roughly" just as well.  

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fishleehooker's picture

Agree. They might out-tough the current athletes too.  Like how would a modern QB do in the old game when they were pulverized nearly every play?  QBs had to be really tough or get run off, even if talented.  But today's athlete, too, if given time would probably adjust.  I guess my point is that for all the training benefits we have today, you rarely see kids ride their bikes for 10-20 miles a day like we use to do.  

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buckzilla1's picture

Archie Griffin is the answer to this question. While the most dominant player in college football the two years he won the Heisman trophy his pro football career was something of a harbinger of what what today's running backs are all about. between running and pass catching he averaged 5 yards a touch during his pro career. In today's offense that is exactly what you want in a player. It is hard to believe that Christian McCaffrey is at 5.9 yards a touch in just 3 years total but he is considered a freak and he is 5 foot 11 205. Could you imagine Archie in today's offense?

This Corona ain't no bologna! Do your part to flatten the curve, the life you save may be one of your fellow Buckeyes!

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Buckeye0905's picture

That’s a great question. Players nowadays seem to be slightly more svelte than in the past since most teams are switching to spread offenses. That’s one of the reasons why OSU was ran circles around Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. I think Tuf Borland would be a force if he was playing 90s-era Big 10 football. 

First name that comes to mind is Reggie Bush. His agility was supernatural and would translate well to today’s game. 

 

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

Barry Sanders would be good regardless of era, I think you can make the case for a guy like Randy Moss, he just has freakish size/speed/ability, O. Pace is going to be the #1 OT no matter the era, I think Eddie was ahead of his time too and would be a helluva player in this era.

I actually think prime Keith Byars has a stake in this discussion too. His size/speed/physicality translates to any era IMO.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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lamplighter's picture

Not sure why none of you mentioned Jack Tatum 

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Lamplighter LLC unless otherwise noted.

peidiwch â ffycin gyda'r Cymry
 

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Gratefulbuck's picture

Not sure you read all the comments. Morning...

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lamplighter's picture

thought I did.  Apparently missed that one.  Cheers

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Lamplighter LLC unless otherwise noted.

peidiwch â ffycin gyda'r Cymry
 

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

He would get kicked out for targeting every week.  LOL

Class of 2010.

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stxbuck's picture

This is quite true...........

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High Street Street Fighter's picture

I'm old but a lot of the guys mentioned like Pace, George and Troy Smith didn't play too long ago - and they certainly operated under "modern" work-out and diet regiments.

I think the question is more like who from the 1900's thru 1970's would be good in today's game? Elite OL used to weigh no more than 240 lbs....could they play today? Or could Hopalong or Chic outrun Zeke and Dobbins?

I know Terry Glenn and Joey Galloway can compete with Garrett Wilson and Olave….that's a no brainer. But what about the really old dudes?

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RileyBuckeye's picture

No way Chic or Hopalong could keep up.   Just look at Track & Field times over the last 100 years - humans have gotten faster as training, diet, and exercise have been (nearly) perfected.

OH-IO

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stxbuck's picture

Cassidy was 5’10 185. Given that modern training would have added some more muscle, that’s basically Christian McCaffrey or Rex Burkhead, and bigger than Darren Sproles, amongst others. He could have played in the NFL today.

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RileyBuckeye's picture

Sorry I was thinking apples to apples; I hadn't considered the old players having access to current technology/training.  If that's the case, then I could see most anyone competing today, with the exception of the really fat lineman of the old days.

OH-IO

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MiamiBuckeye's picture

I think giving the players access to modern training and diets sort of cheapens the exercise and makes it a question of "are they big enough?" 

In that case, sure, almost any great athlete from the past could be dominant today, just maybe not in the position they historically played. A lot of great old timey linemen for instance were probably the size of modern linebackers, and a lot of old timey runningbacks would have to play slot receiver. 

"porque las estirpes condenadas a cien años de soledad no tenían una segunda oportunidad sobre la tierra."

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RileyBuckeye's picture

That’s kinda what I was thinking....I thought the point of the exercise was to imagine an “old” player placed into today’s game as is. 

OH-IO

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stxbuck's picture

Jim Brown and Bob Ferguson disagree w/you. It really depends on what era you are talking about. Pre WWII-definite difference. 50s/60s not so much-more pre modern training as opposed to the nutritional development.

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I mean as long as you look back at a guy, and they have the proper size, speed, athleticism...as long as they're not players who would take people's heads off and get kicked for targeting every week, they'd probably work fine in today's CFB.

Class of 2010.

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Darksungm's picture

The old school DB's wouod be called for inference every play and the heavy hitters would be suspended half of the season. It's tough to pull from different eras. A good high school team today would boatrace the 50' s NFL teams.

God bless and go Bucks.

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analyticalguy's picture

I guess it depends on whether you assume they are transported "as is" to the current era, or whether they would be able to adapt their innate abilities to today's game and rules. Players today DO adapt as the rules change (although the changes are less from year to year than from several decades ago to now), and MOST of the old-timers would adapt.

It's the same with training methods. if Jim Parker had to compete today at the weight he played at, he'd have problems. But if had had the the same training for body development as players currently do, he'd be a force.

And it'd be the same for techniques and skills - if they played and received coaching to counter what the opposition is doing scheme-wise, they'd do well, but if they had to come in "cold" they coukd get owned.

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stxbuck's picture

Are you working from he assumption that DBs from the 70s and earlier would be incapable of adjusting?

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JohnnyKozmo's picture

Charlie Ward obviously succeeded in his own era, but with the spread/mobile QB fad now in full swing, I'd think he'd be a monster in a Riley/Day led offense.  

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

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High Street Street Fighter's picture

I'd love to see how good guys like John Hicks and Bill Parker would be with modern workouts and diets. Strongly suspect they would be all-timers, but in their hey day they were probably delivery truck drivers in the off season.

Anthony Munoz is another one - he's not as old as Hicks and Parker so he benefited some with a better workout and diet, but I still don't think he weighed more than 280 lbs in his prime.

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fishleehooker's picture

Jim Otis might not be a running back.  I had a cat named Otis when I was a kid because of that man.  I'm sure Jim woulda played somewhere though...that guy was a maniac in the pros even. 

I think most athletes are great because of their competitiveness in the long run.  So they would do fine I am sure. Even the way old-timers....the weren't as big, but they couldn't be and neither would todays guys in the same circumstance as we were in a war in WWII and a lot of our players through the years have been in the service. Those pre 60s players were super super tough and resilient people.  Good competitors might get whipped by superior talent, but they usually have so much fight they find a way to at least compete.   One year on a modern team and by season's end Chic Harley would be 50 times the player of Saunders for example...no offense to Saunders. 

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CTBuckeyeFan's picture

Jack Tatum would be the most rested safety in CFB if he played today.

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milhouse4588's picture

Calvin Johnson (not sure if he's too recent of a graduate), Michael Vick, Maurice Clarett, Ray Lewis, (honestly pick almost anyone from the Miami '01 starting lineup), Bo Jackson...any freakish athlete, really.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

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Darksungm's picture

Surprised I'm this far down in the comments without Jim Brown being mentioned. He was a different level of athlete in his day.

God bless and go Bucks.

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Dilbert's picture

Paul Warfield, who caught 39 career passes at Ohio State under Woody Hayes in the 1960s, would definitely thrive in the modern college football offenses.  His running looked effortless and he had great hands.  He also ran for over 1000 yards at OSU.  Percy Harvin would have played the Paul Warfield position.

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Run_Fido_Run's picture

A few not yet mentioned: Deion Sanders, Tony Dorsett, Reggie White, Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson, Tim Brown, Bruce Smith. 

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Akron_Born_85's picture

The correct answer is Randall Cunningham 

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Sunny Buck's picture

Roger Staubach, Lawrence Taylor, Bob Hayes, Gale Sayers, Joe Greene, Drew Brees, Jerry Kramer.

I'm not trying to win a popularity contest. I'm trying to win football games-- Woody Hayes

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Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

I have a feeling Warren Moon wouldn't have slipped through the cracks today like he did in the early 70's.

He would be a monster in Ohio State's current offense.

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HWTOH's picture

I'll nominate Rex Kern. Think of him in the read option offense, a fine runner, decision maker and ultra passer for a Woody Hayes team.

HWTOH

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Buck61's picture

Earle Campbell, Johnnie Rogers, Selmon Brothers, Cris Carter, Gale Sayers

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HOLYbucknut's picture

Finally Johnnie Rogers! +1 my man. I’ll add Raghib Ismail and sadly, Desmond Howard.

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erniefurgler's picture

I'm of the mindset that an elite college football player from years past would still be an elite player in todays game.  The level of training & conditioning that is available now pales in comparison to what was available to players 30+ years ago. 

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Mean Mr Mustard's picture

Plenty of legends 20+ years ago wouldn't have a shot nowadays b/c the game is more about speed.

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Atl_Buckeye72's picture

I was thinking pre-2000's when I saw this. My thought is that O'line (specifically O Pace comes to mind), RB's (B Sanders, OJ) or WR's (Randy Moss) would translate to todays game. However, I struggle with defense just because of the handcuffs that the players have to play with today. Katzenmoyer would get called for targeting every game because, lets face it, everyone was defenseless against him!

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milhouse4588's picture

Antwan Randel-El. Could do it all.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

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BeatTTUN's picture

Big Daddy 

I saw Ryan Day hang 62 on Michigan...His hair was perfect.

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

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Buck95's picture

I find it unfathomable that nobody has mentioned Chris Spielman.

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