99 Warriors: No. 53, Two-Time All-American, Three-Time All-Big Ten Linebacker Randy Gradishar

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SoulPatrol32's picture

Before my time but Dad has spoke often about on how dominant he was as a LB. He’s on my Top 5 list of Buckeyes I wish I could have seen live. 

Keep fighting CalPoppy

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Hovenaut's picture

The pick at 53, without question.

The '68 team was the squad I loved hearing about the most, but that '73 team was a close second. Guys like Randy Gradishar, Rick Middleton, Vic Koegel, Bruce Elia, John Hicks, et al - were a tough bunch.

Aside from Jim Marshall, Randy Gradishar's omission from the NFL Hall of Fame is a joke.

I'm not around that much, running exhausted and lost...

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BuckeyeRy4's picture

Hove,
My thoughts exactly. A 10 year career with 7 seasons in the Pro Bowl seems rather deserving.

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Hovenaut's picture

The lack of a SB title is the only thing that's leaving Gradishar out.

Take a look at this write-up from MileHigh Report (SB Nation's Denver Bronco fansite), a bit dated but still relevant in regards to recent inductees Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher:

https://www.milehighreport.com/2013/5/26/4366906/randy-gradishar-hof-cre...

I'm not around that much, running exhausted and lost...

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BuckeyeRy4's picture

Excellent points. Makes you wonder.

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Sanantonefan's picture

Not before my time ;) and he was awesome!

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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blrconway's picture

I was a teammate of his all four years.  He was an exceptional leader, great person and the best linebacker in OSU history.  He should be in the NFL Hall Of Fame.

Blair Conway

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SoulPatrol32's picture

I was a teammate of his all four years

That’s awesome 

Keep fighting CalPoppy

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Chic'sGhost's picture

I bet you have some stories.

"You're welcome for the house I built."

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Chic'sGhost's picture

Blair, have you read the book "Buckeye" by Robert Vare about the 73 team? Is it accurate?

"You're welcome for the house I built."

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Matt Gutridge's picture

Hi Blair,
Thanks for your insight on Mr. Gradishar. Hope life has been treating you well.

wyatt's picture

We walked the halls in Business School at OSU and I saw him many times in old Hagerty Hall. A great basketball player at Champion High School too.  Randy held his high school records for most blocked shots (44), single-game rebounds (26), and most career rebounds (817). Head coach Woody Hayes called Gradishar "the best linebacker I ever coached". No higher a compliment.

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65 Toss Power Trap's picture

Did he go to Harding or Reserve for HS?

Height, weight?

Knowledge is Power

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Hovenaut's picture

Champion HS, Class of 1970.

Billed at 6'3", 230.

I'm not around that much, running exhausted and lost...

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65 Toss Power Trap's picture

WOW..!!

Thanks Hovenaut...

Champion is best known for their outstanding Girls softball team (multiple State Championships for a decade or two)...Dynasty.

Thought he went to one of the Warren OH.  public schools powers back in the day.

Harding/Reserve...and then the "new" Warren Harding....(circa 1970 -1980's--and beyond...Harding /Reserve may have won a few more State Titles to their dynasty"...if Gradishar was there.

Knowledge is Power

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65 Toss Power Trap's picture

..for our young "Eleven Warrior" members.

6'3" 230 lbs back then was....

...6'5, 260lb ILB that ran as fast any RB they played against...

This explains in a small measure...why we sometimes don't "boom"...when a 6'1" 220 kid commits.

The State of Ohio from the 50's thru "90's was the "must get" furtile recruiting ground in the Country.

Much like like Florida, Texas , Georgia are now.

Knowledge is Power

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PRO8's picture

Yes Champion was a Township of Warren at the time. It was not part of the Warren city school district. Like WWR  no longer exist I'm not even sure if Champion HS exist now .

I dated Randy's cousin for a while. I met Randy at a cookout at her house . I got a nasty stare from him, it was just his cousin....lol I think this was   during his frosh year at tOSU or senior year in HS.

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Scipio's picture

Champion HS still exists. Warren Harding and Warren Reserve combined in 1990. They won the State Title that year. Korey Stringer and Lashun Daniels were on the OL. 

Randy Gradishar = NFL HoF soon hopefully. 

I remember seeing Randy at the downtown Warren YMCA when I was at Harding and he was with the Broncos. We just stared at him in awe. Nice but quiet. 

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lamplighter's picture

Regardless of whoever wore this number, this guy was the best.  My favorite Buckeye LB of all time, bar none.

Really hated that he had to play for the damn Broncos though

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

peidiwch â sgriwio'r Gymraeg
 

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Buckeyechuck5's picture

Gradishire is an animal, but I would like to go with Kosta karageorge. Without his inspiration in the wake of heart break, i dont know that OSU becomes a close as they did and go on their historic 3 game run. R I P Kosta. God bless.......

"Life is not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. THATS HOW WINNING IS DONE!!" - Rocky Ballboa

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Seattle Linga's picture

Without a doubt one of my favorite players from a past generation !!!!!!!!!

Go get'em Cal Poppy - we are behind you !!

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

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southalabamabuckeye's picture

Too you to remember Gradishar at Ohio State, but, as a young NFL fan, I vaguely remember him with the Broncos. Why the Broncos?

Very much deserved.

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BuckeyeJay's picture

I dont understand how he isn't in the NFL HOF.

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Buck68's picture

Randy Gradishar, obs from afar:

he once 'touched' me 10 feet into a ditch during a fraternity 'touch' game...

he spoke softly... listened often.

as a pro... he went out on top, to do something... better

he has done much to help others... and avoids publicity

Buck68

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kmp10's picture

One of the no-brainer picks on this list of players. No one wore 53 better that Gradishar. 

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

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Mean Mr Mustard's picture

I can't remember when he was at Ohio St but I remember seeing him as a Bronco a little bit when I was a kid.  The Hall of Fame is going to be hard for the guy at this point.  He didn't play for the right team, they didn't record sacks in the 70s, and I don't think people value a run stuffing inside linebacker like they used to back in the day.  He was actually very good in pass coverage.  A LB that is that good against the run and is still really good in pass coverage is hard to find.  Most teams have to rotate LBs.  Unfortunately,  Hall of Fame voters don't care about that stuff though. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Gradishar

Stats don't matter to the Hall of Fame either

https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/1uwxhd/why_isnt_randy_gradishar_in...

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zackdumasfan's picture

An EASY choice, awesome player.

Zackdumasfan

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stpetebuck's picture

I remember him as a kid.  He did something positive in every play. And when everyone else on the team had an off game he was still on. Consistently great. 

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Matt Gutridge's picture

Go here to read about Dwight "Ike" Kelley, Randy Gradishar and the other 30 players to wear No. 53.

Buckfrombirth's picture

I’m too young to have seen Randy at OSU. But one thing I do remember is from the book “Big Ten Country.” The author, John Wood, an MSU alum, goes to each school for a game during the 1988 season and explores the local scenes, Anthony Bourdain-style.  During his visit to OSU prior to the TTUN game, he was at Papa Joe’s (IIRC) and repeatedly got an earful from a guy about “the baddest motherf@cking linebacker ever, Randy Gradishar!” I read that book when I was 17, and that part about Gradishar always stood out. 

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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Buckeye Chuck's picture

Not really sure why Gradishar isn't in Canton, although for some reason there seem to have been a lot of linebackers from that era who have been passed over because they didn't play for the Steelers. Robert Brazile, whose career overlapped with Gradishar and also made 7 Pro Bowls, is just now getting into the Hall this year.

There's a good case to be made that he is the greatest of all Buckeye linebackers. He was the best player on what was probably the best defensive team we ever had.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

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buckeyeinWI's picture

'no brainer'...

Congrats on the recognition Randy!

just another of many OHIO STATE 'GOATS'!

GO BUCKEYES!

16-2 is SWEET!

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SnGinWV's picture

you can tell a lot about guys when their peers talk about them 

whether it's Bronco teammates or Buckeyes . .  the reverence in their words says it all

Life long fan of... The!

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65 Toss Power Trap's picture

Agreed.....as he was in my timeframe...youth

Knowledge is Power

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Trotwoodbuck's picture

No other choice was even worth discussing.  Gradishar  is my all time favorite Buckeye.  IMO no better player has ever stepped on to the field for OSU in the nearly 50 years I have followed the team. Woody called him "the best linebacker I ever coached".

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Nutinpa's picture

Great and obvious choice.   I forgot about that team's only blemish was the tie vs. TTUN....when their FG kicker missed.  He missed two seasons in a row, but I will rely on my fellow posters if this was the first or second miss that cost Michigan.  

Now.....who in the hell got the crystal in '73?  I have to look it up....cuz they must have been really good or perceived (obviously -- lost my head there) as good to leap over the Buckeyes for the Natty that year.  

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James Grega's picture

Notre Dame was a perfect 11-0 in 1973 and beat No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl that season. Also beat defending champs USC that year. They were named the AP national champs. 

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Nutinpa's picture

Thanks, James.  Geez.....and we wonder why the system has gone to a 4 team playoff!  That year, the argument could've been made for OSU, Bama, ND and USC.....and still left some teams out like Penn State and Michigan -- and one or two others.  

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WC Buckeye's picture

Ex SIL liked to tell the story of her having seen Gradishar walking across the oval in the winter in a leather vest he seemed to really like. No shirt, no jacket, no hat - just the vest. Genuine badass. Best possible choice for #53 for on-field exploits, but his toughness and demeanor make him an all-timer irrespective of his number.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

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iamcbs's picture

Quite simply the best tOSU LB I have ever seen and it's not even close.....

The degree of one's emotions varies inversely to one's knowledge of the facts, the less you know the hotter you get!!

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Nutinpa's picture

Hmmm......I share your sentiment but not as absolutely.   

 Spielman, Tovar, Cousineau, Hawk, Pepper Johnson.  Maybe Randy G was the best, but he has company!! 

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36buck's picture

As others noted. Hes from Champion.  Due north of warren.  Definitel pro HOF   Harry Carson is only in because he played with LT in NY. 

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Homey1970's picture

He peddles cars in Colorado (actually just appears in commercials and frequents some dealerships).  I purchased a car a few years ago from one of his dealers and he signed a photo from his Broncos days with a “Go Bucks”.  Since he played at OSU before my time, I gave the pic to my dad.  

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BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

He was a great Buckeye. When I was young, he was one of my favorites.

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Cruiser72's picture

I dare say there would be another Buckeye who played his position with the skill and tenacity OF RANDY, I got up some godawful early mornings just to watch the BUCKS play when he was on the field, and do not recall once having ever fell asleep watching, If you ask any Ohio kid that grew up during his age you would find #53 to be whom they wanted to be the most.

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buck__luv's picture

No way do you have a best of the best Buckeye player list and not have Gradishar on it.  

HoF needs to have their heads examined.

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gobucks1966's picture

I played basketball for Howland High against Randy he was a year behind me in school. He also married a old flame of mine back in the day. Randy's folks owned a Dairy Queen and she worked there one summer lol. Champion O. has grown up through the years not a football power but a nice place to call home. Woody went to see a lineman play at Champion and after the game the coach said what do you think Woody. Just as we would expect Woody replied the Hell with him I want that lb. Champion had a couple nice hoop teams in his era not sure if they made it to state or not back then. Wonder what Janet is up to these days they have been divorced for some time.

Denny

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grant87's picture

Ranked way too low!  Woody said he was the best LB he ever seen.  Time has faded his greatness.  Complete BS he isn't in NFL HOF.

Maybe tomorrow, when today will be yesterday things will be clearer.

GO BUCKS !!

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bucknut1994's picture

He's was ranked as the #1 player to ever wear #53 at OSU how is that too low?

#94Ways

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