Mask Off: Craig Krenzel on Life After the Gridiron

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The Cynic's picture

Good idea for a column. Keep em coming.

steve meade

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OH-IO's picture

Agree. I'd focus on the 1968-1970 teams, As we know from the loss of #68, they will not be around forever. 

I'd also like a retrospective on Kuhn Dog after football that ended so sadly. #54 

OH-IO living in SEC! SEC! Ville

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Schizo's picture

Cool idea. I miss hearing him on the radio for football Fridays. 

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berch's picture

Even my girl, who is a die hard michigan fan loves Krenzel. Still one of my favorite Buckeyes.

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nvbuckeye's picture

Berch, you should be down voted just for having that kind of girl.  :)

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NOLABuckeye's picture

Great series.  I look forward to more.

Paralyze resistance with persistence. -- Woody Hayes

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Harry Wexner's picture

Thank you! We’ll keep em coming. Anyone in particular you’d like to hear from?

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bucknut1994's picture

Mike Doss, Michael Jenkins, Chris Gamble

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ohiobobg's picture

Mo C.

"you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning"

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HoosierBuck's picture

Cie Grant!  One of my all time favorite Buckeyes.  Want to hear him sing  Carmen Ohio again!

I have a 16"x28" framed color picture of the Last Play of the NC game where Miami has 4th and short near the goaline and Cie sacks Winslow saying (I hear)" It's over bitch!"  LOL!  It is on the wall next to my desk in the office.     Go Bucks!

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allinosu's picture

Rex Kern, Hop Cassidy and Orlando Pace.

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DroneBuck's picture

Somebody downvoted this. hilarious

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allinosu's picture

Yea, I have a kid playing grownup.

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Dstacify's picture

Nate Clements.

11 Strong.

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Dillon G's picture

He is one of my favorites. He almost always made the right choice. I seriously wonder if Meyer puts him on the bench because Belasari runs the zone read better. I know others think those things at times.

#walkaway

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Dstacify's picture

Considering how horrible Bellisari was at turning the ball over I doubt it. And I certainly hope this isn't hinting at a JT Barrett-Steve Bellisari comparison. They could not be more different in terms of their playing style and their respective OSU careers and if the vitriol directed towards JT really has deteriorated to THAT level then I guarantee there is NO standard any QB can meet whatsoever that would satisfy this fanbase. JT wasn't perfect, I know that and I'm excited for what the future holds at the QB position but his career numbers speak for themself. There's no reason to continue to use JT as an example of Meyer being stuck in a rut and so set in his own ways it's become detrimental to the team. If Martell wins the starting job next season and the passing game proceeds to struggle due to the heavy RO emphasis people will be throwing him under the bus as well more than likely.

11 Strong.

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jpfbucks01's picture

So to be clear here, Bellisari and Krenzel were only team mates on the 2001 team, and even Tressel chose Steve over Craig. Craig got the job only after Steve decided to booze it up one night and got suspended. 

Then McMullen actually got the job 1st before Craig. 

Heck even in the bowl game Tressel benched Craig early for Steve who then nearly led a miraculous 2nd half comeback. 

Also Bellisari's was not really that impressive a runner anyway. he was maybe more "athletic" than Krenzel, but as a runner was only marginal, gaining just 608 yards on nearly 300 atts or barely a 2.1 avg. Krenzel by comparison ran for over 600 yards his final 2 years in just 235 carries or about 2.6 YPC ie slightly better than Bellisari. 

Lastly Bellisari threw 28 INTs in 724 atts or 1 every 25.9 pass atts, krenzel threw 21 in 577 atts or one every 27.5, ie a very small difference. 

Krenzel's career QB rating was 130.9 while Bellisari was 122.2, again not a staggering difference.

No doubt Craig had the "IT" factor to make key plays when needed and overall was a better QB, but not by much from a statistical point of view.

To my mind Steve's biggest issue wasn't INTs, it was not completing enough passes as he barely completed 50% of his throws on his career (50.4%) where Krenzel was nearly 57% (56.4%)

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Dstacify's picture

As I recall Bellisari was a converted high school safety who switched to QB once he got to college. While he did show substantial improvement in his senior year prior to his DUI incident he in all likelihood should've stayed at safety.

11 Strong.

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TJG32's picture

I’ll forever remember “Holy Buckeye!”

TG Proud Buckeye alumnus.

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buckeyes2013's picture

Can anyone find the video of Jim Tressel’s post game speech from the National Championship? Specifically the “we’ve always had the best damn band in the land, now we’ve got the best damn team in the land” part?

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lew-e's picture

Funny story about that speech. I was a captain of my high school football team in 2006 and we had a pep rally. Unbeknownst to us, our head coach wanted all of the captains to make a little speech during the rally. Everyone was nervous, but not I! I had it perfectly figured out!

”is everyone ready for tonight! The team is! Listen, we’ve always had the best fans in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land!”

Everyones jaws dropped. Did he just say damn into the microphone in front of the whole school!?

My coach gave me this piercing look and I had to do push-ups for the rest of the rally. Afterwards he promptly chewed me out and I was sent to the principal to apologize. I remember this part vividly. “I don’t care about that Adam, just go out there and win the damn game!”

good times

I love Krenzel, keep the articles coming!

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uncleGenius's picture

“Cowboy” Craig. Forever cemented in Buckeye lore. Might even be top-five in fan favorites for signal callers. 

I used to think UFM stood for Urban F*cking Meyer

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nm_buck's picture

Cool as a Cucumber Craig

"I've seen a lot of guys who have a 3.76 GPA... but all of a sudden when they're under fire, they're not so smart anymore. Craig, under fire, still had a 3.76 GPA. He had that knack to make big plays... when we needed them."

Jim Tressel

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

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KillrNut's picture

I don't remember that quote but its a good one.

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Hovenaut's picture

Thank you to the state of M...igan for providing us Craig Krenzel.

Axe cancer. 

Hello you have reached the winter of my discontent...leave a message.

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nvbuckeye's picture

Hovenaut, best comment of the day, maybe even of the week.

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Rocket Man's picture

That was a fantastic story.  I was honestly expecting a reprisal of the 'where's my Craig Krenzel nesting Russian doll" (also a good series), but catching up with the actual guy was much better.  What a leader.

"Luck is my middle name. Mind you, my first name is Bad."

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nvbuckeye's picture

Thanks for the great article on a great Buckeye.  Hey Craig, come to Lake Tahoe for skiing.  You will love it, especially Heavenly Ski Resort.  GO BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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tomgreg's picture

Fun vids! Thanks! Go Buckeyes!

Onward and upward! Go Buckeyes!

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bonebuck's picture

Awesome article. Craig the "scrapper" is what I always thought of him. He would claw, crawl and scrap for every yard. One helluva ride in 2002. 2014 was special but that 2002 team was right up there with it knowing we had to beat Goliath. No one had us winning that game. That 2002 defense was probably the greatest of all time.

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Horvath22's picture

Kirk Herbstreit picked OSU over Miami, probably the only one.

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Bobcat04's picture

I’d take the ‘02 team over the ‘14 team just because the ‘02 team refused to be beat!  

  The switch to insurance and real estate though shows that if you are a successful (legendary) OSU player, the city of Columbus is your oyster if you stay in town. NFL or no, dude’s professional career was set before he graduated. 

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bucknut1994's picture

"Might have to have a new play of the year for Ohio State, this guy just keeps making them"

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rosycheeks's picture

My company produces software that insurance agencies use to manage their business, and Arthur Krenzel Lett is a customer. In 2011 I transferred to our Implementation department to lead our software implementations, and shortly after taking the position, I discovered that A.K.L. had just finished their implementation, and Craig led it. I was heartbroken that I didn't have the opportunity to work with him. I literally had his picture on my wall. Probably a good thing -- I would have inevitably creeped him out. Makes me sick to this day though!

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buckeyenut74's picture

As a fan, there were a lot of big games throughout his career, but we don’t have that National Championship if Holy Buckeye doesn’t happen. Biggest play of my life of 44 years. There were a lot of big moments, but that one stands out to me as the biggest. 

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jpfbucks01's picture

Everybody remembers holy buckeye as rightfully so, but for me the game that showed that 2002 team was something special was the UC game.

Frankly the Bearcats out played us that day. They had more 1st downs, 415 yards vs 292, each team had 3 TOs.

With 12:31 left to play Nuge kicked a 24 yard FG to bring us within 2.

The Bearcats drive down to our 18 yard line and appear ready to at least get that FG back, then Gamble picks off Guidugli in the end zone saving our butts for the moment

We do nothing on our drive and with 9:34 left have to punt back to UC.

So Groom blasts a 55 yard bomb with only a 6 yard return 

UC starts driving again though with a 19 yard pass followed by a 3 yard gain, but on 2nd and 7 near mid field Darion Scott forces a fumble from Guidugli and David Thompson recovers at the UC 47.

Krenzel throws back to back incompletions, but on 3rd and 10 completes for 12 yards to Jenkins,,,still alive

Craig gets sacks, but then gets a 16 yard completion to convert again. 4 straight Lydell Ross runs later and it is 2nd and goal at the 6 when Krenzel punches it in for the go ahead TD

UC gets the ball back with 3:39 to play and marches down the field again.

1st and 10 at the 15, 3 straight Guidugli passes just miss the mark for scores and on 4th and 15 with seconds left to play Will Allen picks off Guidugli for the 2nd time in the end zone in the 4th quarter to finally win the game

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buckeyenut74's picture

Man, you’re right in Cincinnati. There were so many games that had big moments....psu was another....Illinois yet another

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tjshaffe's picture

Man - the entire season felt like this.  Close, nail-biting type of games.  What a great season!  

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allinosu's picture

That season felt like it took years off everyone's life. My sister would sit in the bedroom and wait for responses because she couldn't take the pressure. She claimed it hurt her heart to watch. It took stones to throw that ball deep on 4th and 1 with the season on the line. That team and the way they played was a perfect reflection of Tress. 

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Dstacify's picture

I remember that game. It was a game I felt shouldn't have been as close as it was considering we had dominated a very good Wash St team the week prior to that. That was also the week the one and done talk surrounding Clarett started heating up so I definitely think that created an unnecessary distraction for the team (Clarett missing that game sure didn't help matters). But the defense definitely made some heroic plays in that game and that was definitely Lydell Ross's best game as a Buckeye.

11 Strong.

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Horvath22's picture

Don't forget, though, Gamble had a KO return for a TD, that was nullified by a stupid block in the back on a player that was out of the play.

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nickel beer's picture

Great piece, great hearing from him.  I especially liked hearing him describe Maurice on the field.  I saw Archie's debut, and JK is definitely high on the list, but I don't think I've ever seen a freshman play football like Maurice.   I was going to say 'run,' but that championship rip-away was sparkling incredible--especially for a kid. 

Chop it down with the edge of my hand

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Dstacify's picture

Maurice was a bulldog and fought his ass off for every yard that season but in terms of conditioning both Archie and JK are miles ahead of him (I'll even throw guys like Zeke and Eddie George in the pot as well with their half shirt abs). Clarett clearly had issues staying in football shape even that season which is why that damn shoulder stinger continued to bother him throughout the season and keep him out of games (it eventually derailed his NFL career as well). I loved Clarett that season and he'll forever be an OSU legend in my book but I'm not even sure he was the best RB to ever play at OSU under Tressel (the fact he only played one season definitely hurts him). I'd actually rank him second slightly behind Beanie.

11 Strong.

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Trotwoodbuck's picture

I on the other hand have no doubt Clarett was the best RB under Tress.  He was simply one of those man among boys athletes and nerve injuries have nothing to do with conditioning.  His issues where in his head and that was truly unfortunate.

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nickel beer's picture

Both of you have quality observations.  I really never thought of conditioning, mainly because the team relied upon him so much  right from the start.  Pound pond pound breakaway after breakaway, I'm talking freshmeat.  Right from that wsu game onward, I rewatch those highlights and I can't recall a freshman running back ever playing the game that way.  I'd bet Craig thought he should've been allowed to go pro, or, at least, that he was one of the rare among elite college players already physically and game-smart capable of playing at the Sunday level.  He didn't have the head for it yet--it's  just such a damned shame.

Chop it down with the edge of my hand

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Dstacify's picture

If you look at Maurice later on when he was auditioning for the NFL conditioning was a huge problem with him. His combine numbers were downright embarrassing to say the least. Perhaps his conditioning wasn't nearly as bad during the 2002 season but he doesn't come anywhere close to guys like Archie, George, and Zeke in terms of consistently keeping himself in football shape.

11 Strong.

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Buctor's picture

Check out the Unverferth/Hicks charity dinner for 2018.  Will feature members of the 1968 team.  This team was billed as the greatest of all time, not of OSU, not of the Big Ten, but of college football.  At the time most folks believed that too.  These guys would be great interviews!  I would guess they would have great Woody stories too.  I am pretty sure some of them still live in the Columbus area, for example, Mark Steir is a minister locally.

Beat everyone, in every sport, all the time!!!

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tjshaffe's picture

This was a great read.  Like many have already mentioned, it would be cool if the became a "thing."  

Cheers!

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Harry Wexner's picture

Appreciate it! Very much hoping to make this a thing! Already published pieces on Tracy Sprinkle and Josh Perry in the "mask off" series. Would you like to see more from older players? 

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tjshaffe's picture

I must have missed the earlier "mask off" publications, so I went back to check them out and enjoyed those all the same.  Checking in on the older players is great, too.  I guess I enjoy the "mask off" theme or life outside of football type of reads.  Either way, good work!

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buckeyeinWI's picture

'HOLY BUCKEYE' that was a great read.

Keep them coming.  i would love to hear what Kern, Byars, etc. are up to these days...

GO BUCKEYES!

16-2 is SWEET!

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stxbuck's picture

Keith Byars is keeping it real in Dayton, doing some media stuff.

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dmiller2345's picture

I would love to hear from Tressel, Roy Hall, Mo C, John Simon, Finkes, Gamble, Michael Jenkins, Justin Zwick

Urban Meyer, undefeated (7-0) VS ttun | Ryan Day, undefeated (2-0) vs ttun

*As always, In (Urban) Ryan Day I Trust! There is a plan, even if we cannot see it right now!

God, Family, Guns, Country, and Sports!

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andretolstoy's picture

Love Krenzel. 

This piece opened up the 2002 NC fourth quarter for me. There was a lot of whining from Miami fans about the OT. But the end of the 4th was a complete travesty against TheOhioState. There is no way Miami should have been kicking to tie. We had the game and should have run out the clock. 

If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die. 

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Coach Harry's picture

I will never forget him ... Great man and Great player ... VERY smart on the field and off the field and was very good under pressure .

Thanks for all Craig ... You will remain one of my all time Buckeyes favorite !!!

Go Bucks !!!

MACTE VIRTUTE !!! In Tress I will always trust !!!

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