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Johnathan Hankins and Tom DeLeone

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Matt Gutridge's picture
July 9, 2014 at 5:08pm
No. 52

In 52 days Ohio State starts the 2014 season at Navy. Below you will find a list of the 37 players who have worn the No. 52 for Ohio State. Today's featured players are Tom DeLeone, Steve Myers and Johnathan Hankins.

DeLeone's story will remind everyone the importance of having a positive attitude...no matter what. Steve Myers is living the motto "pay it forward" with Archie Griffin.

To see the list of the 37 players who wore the No. 52 and the four players who were selected in the NFL Draft, go here.


Tom DeLeone

Tom DeLeone, C (1969-71)
1950 (Ravenna, Ohio)
High School: Theodore Roosevelt

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 23-6 with DeLeone on the team.
1970 National Champion.
1970 Big Ten Title.
1969 Big Ten Title.

1971 Captain.
1971 Team MVP.
1971 All-American.
1971 All-Big Ten.
1970 All-Big Ten.
2002 Inducted into the Ohio State Football Hall of Fame.
2003 Inducted inot the Kent City Schools Hall of Fame.

Tom DeLeone's life after football per Wikipedia:

He later went on to work as a criminal investigator with the U.S. Department of the Treasury rising to a Senior Special Agent position within the U.S. Customs Service. He proudly served in the US Customs Service, and he was an important member of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Salt Lake City, Utah during the 2002 Olympic Games in Park City, Utah. In 2003, The U.S. Customs Service became a part of the newly created Department of Homeland Security and he retired from Immigration and CUSTOMS Enforcement in 2007.

Battling Cancer

Tom DeLeone is battling cancer.

He now works as a substitute teacher at  Park City High School  and Treasure Mountain International School in Park City.

Tom DeLeone's biggest battle per Rob Oller of columbusdispatch.com

One of the more insidious characteristics of cancer is that in many cases it is a slow train coming. A body change, a diagnosis, followed by an estimated “end date.” The patient moves forward trying to live normally while attempting to avoid looking down the tracks.

Tom DeLeone is succeeding in not obsessing over the proximity of that oncoming locomotive, which is not so easy when a small indent in his skull reminds him of the brain tumor that was there. And could return. 

“This thing can reoccur,” DeLeone, 61, said during a conversation from his home near Park City, Utah. “It’s a terminal cancer, supposedly, but the better attitude you have, the better chance you have.”


Tom with the Browns

Tom with the Browns.

As a player, DeLeone learned to ignore injuries as much as possible, because otherwise the unemployment line beckoned.

“You might get a little dizzy out on the field from getting hit in the head, but if you put down your helmet somebody is going to take it and they’ll put someone else in,” he said. “And I didn’t want that to ever happen.”

So he sucked it up and kept playing. When cancer came at him last January, this time trying to take more than his helmet, the Ravenna, Ohio native again sucked it up.

DeLeone was driving his son to work last Jan. 1 when he began making wrong turns. “He grabbed my arm and said, ‘Dad, what are you doing? This isn’t the way you go.’ I got disoriented,” DeLeone said.

That’s just how cancer works, always looking for more ways to embarrass and snatch dignity. Minutes later, doctors performed a CT scan that revealed the tumor. Two days later they removed the avocado-sized mass.

“After the operation I didn’t even get a headache,” he said. “I’ve felt great ever since.’’ 


“You go online and you see 12 months, two years and it looks very grim for this kind of cancer,” she said. “But it’s pretty interesting when you go in to the doctor. They don’t get into that (how long to live) stuff. They don’t tell you, because they don’t want to eliminate any possibilities. They’re very emphatic that attitude is absolutely everything.”

Tom DeLeone is not the only fighter in this family.

“I went through watching him play football all those years and never really worried,” Mindy said. “I knew he could take care of himself out there, so I wasn’t one of those paranoid wives. I’ve got the same attitude now. Take it day-by-day and don’t look to the future and say, ‘Oh this or that is going to happen.’ Because you just don’t know.”

Positive Attitude

Positive Attitude.

In other words, count your blessings. The DeLeones certainly do.

“Just have a lot of faith and keep moving forward,” Tom said. “You’re not going to hear any ‘Whoa is me,’ from me, because I’ve had a great run at it.”

The run continues, and mercifully will for a long while more. 

His son, Dean DeLeone played football for Arizona State.

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide, ColumbusDispatch.com and Wikipedia

Steve Myers

Steve Myers, C (1972-74)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 29-4-1 with Myers on the team.
1972 Big Ten Title.
1973 Big Ten Title.
1974 Big Ten Title.
Defeated USC 42-21 to win the 1974 Rose Bowl.
Went 2-0-1 against That Team

1974 Captain.
1974 All-American.
2000 Named to the Ohio State All-Century Team.
2004 Inducted into the Varsity O Hall of Fame.

Steve Myers helping Archie Griffin rehab houses in Columbus per WOSU and YouTube. Go to the 2:40 mark:

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide

Big Hank

Johnathan Hankins, DT (2010-12)
1992 (Dearborn Heights, That State)
High School: Detroit Southeastern

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 30-8 with Hankins on the team.
2012 finished the season 12-0.
Defeated Arkansas 31-26 to win the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
Went 2-1 against That Team.

2012 All-American.
2012 All-Big Ten.
2012 Given Jack Stephenson Award for Ohio State's best defensive lineman.
2011 Given Jack Stephenson Award .
2010 Named Ohio States most outstanding first-year defensive player. 

Johnathan Hankins' Ohio State career per ohiostatebuckeyes.com:

Johnathan Hankins elected to forego his senior season of 2013 to enter the 2013 NFL Draft ... he does so after a junior season in which he was named a FoxSportsNEXT.com All-American, a second-team Associated Press All-American and a third-team All-American by Phil Steele ... these honors after he was named to watch lists during the season for the Bednarik, Lombardi, Outland and Nagurski awards ...

Big Hank

Somebody is in trouble.

Johnathan played in all 38 games as a Buckeye and started all 13 games in 2011 and all 12 games in 2012 for the undefeated Buckeyes ... he closes his career with 138 career tackles, 16.5 tackles-for-loss (55 yards) and 5.0 quarterback sacks ... this powerful, yet agile and very athletic performer ranked fifth on the team in tackles in 2012 with 55 and fourth on the team in tackles in 2011 with 67 ...

had a career-best 32 solo tackles in 2011 and 11 tackles for losses totaling 24 yards ... also had three quarterback sacks ... had a career-high 10 tackles twice: in 2012 vs. California and 2011 vs. Nebraska ... also recorded nine vs. Illinois in 2011 ...

he was named the team's Jack Stephenson Award winner as the team's outstanding defensive lineman in both 2011 and 2012 ... he was named honorable mention all-Big Ten as a sophomore by the conference coaches and media ...

Johnathan was named by the OSU coaches as the team's outstanding first-year player on defense after his freshman campaign in 2010 ... he earned a spot on the defensive line rotation and had 16 tackles, including a quarterback sack vs. Eastern Michigan.

Hankinson against That Team:

Sources- The Ohio State Team Guide, ohiostatebuckeyes.com and Wikipedia

The Game.

142 days until The Game.

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