In 11 Saturdays our 11 warriors will host Oregon State to open the season. Throughout the years 25 players have worn No. 77 for Ohio State. Featured players are James Tyrer, Doug France, Tyson Walter and Rob Sims.
One of today's featured players should be in the NFL Hall of Fame. This player has more awards and accolades than any other player in professional football not in the Hall. In fact some consider him the best player to ever play in the AFL. So, what's keeping him out? Find out by reading James Tyrer's story.
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*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 77
Jim Tyrer, OT (1958-60)
Born: 1939 (Newark, Ohio)
Died: 1980 (Kansas City, MO)
The Buckeyes were 16-8-3 with Tyrer on the team.
Went 2-1 against That Team.
1961 was drafted in the 14th round of the NFL Draft by the Bears.
1961 was drafted in the 3rd round of the AFL Draft by the Texans.
1960 All-Big Ten.
Varsity O Hall of Fame member.
All-AFL Team: 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.
AFL All Star: 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968 and 1969.
AFL Champion: 1962, 1966 and 1969.
1969 Super Bowl Champion.
Member of the American Football League All-Time Team.
1978 Inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame.
Killed his wife and shot himself in 1980.
An abbreviated version of the James Tyrer story by JW Nix on bleacherreport.com:
James Efflo Tyrer was drafted in the third round of the 1961 American Football League draft by the Dallas Texans, the first draft the league ever held...
Tyrer was named the starting left tackle immediately by the Texans, now in their second year of existence under the leadership of future Hall of Fame head coach Hank Stram.
The Texans would go on to win the AFL Championship in 1962, as Tyrer was named to his first of nine straight Pro Bowl honors...
Despite being the best left tackle in AFL history, he has yet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Though he was a finalist once in 1981, no player in the history of professional football has more accolades than Tyrer and has failed to be inducted.
One reason may be because of the reason he died in 1980. Suffering from depression, Tyrer committed suicide after killing his wife. Though depression was not much of a subject to speak about in that era, it is as though the Hall of Fame voters have kept him out of Canton due to perhaps their lack of knowledge of this subject...
Davidson believes that Tyrer has long deserved his induction into Canton, as does Bethea. Bethea was inducted himself in 2003. "Tyrer was the pioneer of big offensive tackles. He was the best blocker I ever faced. I used to try to run as fast as I could upfield to get around him, but it rarely worked. It pissed me off that I couldn't defeat him, as I could with other left tackles regularly."
Bethea also admits he feared facing Tyrer. "He was THE preeminent left tackle in all of football. All other blockers I faced in the NFL were mediocre compared to him. He would just swamp me each game to where I would be lucky to beat him even once in a game," he said.
Paul Zimmerman, a Hall of Fame voter and writer for Sports Illustrated, has long said Rich "Tombstone" Jackson was the greatest pass rusher in pro football history has long lobbied for his induction into Canton. Jackson, though he would like to be inducted, himself, also has a tremendous amount of respect for Tyrer.
"It is a travesty that Jim Tyrer has yet to be inducted into Canton," he said. "He was one of the first big offensive linemen with quick feet to play pro football. Besides having good feet, he was crafty and smart.
"You had to be prepared facing him, as the Chiefs won-loss record was proof of how excellent their players were. Tyrer was the top offensive lineman I ever faced, and that included the AFL and NFL."
Doug France, OT (1972-74)
Born: 1953 (Dayton)
The Buckeyes were 29-2-1 with France on the team.
Won 3 Big Ten Titles.
Defeated USC 42-21 in the 1974 Rose Bowl.
Went 2-0-1 against That Team.
1975 1st round draft pick of the Rams.
All-Big Ten 1974.
Pro Bowl in 1977 and 1978.
All Pro 1978, 1979 and 1980.
Doug France's bio from the 1971 Ohio State Team Guide:
6-6, 256...Was a reserve offensive tackle last year playing in all 11 games for a total of 75 minutes...was moved to tight end in spring practice...may divide his time between tackle and end this year.
Was an all-Ohio tackle at Colonel White High...was an outstanding high school wrestler...captained his high school football and track teams...hobbies are ceramics and music. From a family of eight including five girls Majoring in elementary education.
Buckeye coaches believe if he plays to his potential, France will have a super year...admires Rufus Mayes and Wilt Chamberlain...his pleasant manner makes him ideal to coach.
Tyson Walter, C (1996-2001)
Born: 1978 (Bainbridge, Ohio)
High School: Kenston
The Buckeyes went 53-20 with Walter on the team.
Won 2 Big Ten Titles.
Tyson Walter's bio from the 2001 Ohio State Team Guide:
6-5, 300...Returns to action this year after sitting out all of last year because of an infection in his lower back...had started 37-consecutive games prior to last season and is easily the Buckeyes' most experienced offensive lineman...applied for and received, an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA following the 2000 season...is actually in his sixth year at Ohio State...has 900 minutes of career playing time.
Is Ohio State's best pass protector and a solid all-around player...athletic, confident and an intelligent football player.
Rob Sims, OG (2002-05)
Born: 1983 (Macedonia, Ohio)
High School: Macedonia
The Buckeyes went 43-8 with Sims on the team.
2002 National Champions.
2002 Big Ten Title.
Defeated Miami 31-24 in the National Championship Game.
Defeated Kansas State 35-28 in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl.
Defeated Oklahoma State in the 2004 Alamo Bowl.
Defeated Notre Dame 34-20 in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl.
3-1 against That Team.
2006 selected in the 4th round of the NFL Draft.
2005 All-Big Ten.
Rob Sims' bio from the 2005 Ohio State Team Guide:
6-4, 310...Crafty veteran who will be in his third year as a starter...smart, athletic and versatile...has been the regular at left tackle the past two years, but could move inside to a guard spot in 2005 (a move that would effectively utilize his quickness and agility)...definitely will be in the lineup somewhere and will be a standout wherever he plays.
He appeared in 35 games and started 28 time during his career and is the Buckeyes' most experienced player on either side of the ball...played a vital role in the Buckeyes' national championship run in 2002.
*Tyrer was also drafted by the Dallas Texans in the third round (22nd pick) of the 1961 AFL Draft.
160 days until The Game.