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Digging Deeper: Players Who Wore No. 68

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Matt Gutridge's picture
June 25, 2018 at 8:09am

We are now 68 days away from Ohio State's season opener against Oregon State. Below you will find a list of the 34 players who have worn the No. 68 for the Buckeyes. Today's featured players are: Jim Stillwagon, Jeff Uhlenhake, LeCharles Bentley Taylor Decker.

Players Who Wore No. 68 At Ohio State
Jack Crabbe 1938                    
Ward Perry 1939                    
John Correll 1940                    
John Placas 1941                   1941
Phillip Drake 1942                   1942
Bill Dunivant 1943                    
Donald Zangara 1945                   1945
Ramon DiPierro* 1946-48                   1946-48
Paul Faehl 1950                   1950
Raymond Riticher 1952-53                   1952
Russell Provenza* 1955                   1955
Birtho Arnold 1957-59                   1957-59
Gary Moeller 1960-62       1962       1963   1960-62
Douglas Van Horn 1963-65   1965 1965     1965   1966   1963-65
Ronald Coleman 1966                    
Victor Stottlemyer* 1967                   1967
Jim Stillwagon 1968-70   1970 1969, 1970 1970   1969, 1970   1971   1968-70
Charles Baxter* 1971                    
John Cummings 1972                   1972
James O'Rourke 1974-75                    
Tim Sawicki 1976-79                   1976-79
Donte Wheat 1981                    
Mark Hocevar 1982                   1982
Tim James 1984-85                    
Jeff Uhlenhake* 1986-88   1988 1988 1988   1986   1989   1986-88
Jason Winrow 1990-93           1993   1994   1990-93
Winfield Garnett 1994-97       1997           1995-97
Nick Spiess 1996-97                    
LeCharles Bentley 1998-2001     2001     2001   2002   1998-2001
Drew Norman* 2003                    
Tim Schafer* 2004-06                   2004-06
Evan Blankenship 2007-11                   2011
Taylor Decker 2012-15         2016         2012-15
Zaid Hamdan 2018                    

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 68

Jim Stillwagon, DT (1968-70)
1949 (Mount Vernon, Ohio)
High School: Augusta Military Academy (VA)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 27-2 with Stillwagon on the team.
1968 won the National Championship.
1970 won the National Championship.
Won 3 Big Ten Titles.
Defeated USC 27-16 in the 1969 Rose Bowl.
Went 2-1 against That Team.

1970 Lombardi Award Winner.
1970 Outland Trophy Winner.
1970 Captain.
1970 All-American.
1970 All-Big Ten.
1969 All-American.
1969 All-Big Ten.
1979 Inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.
1991 Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
2000 Named to the Ohio State All-Century Team.

Was drafted by the Packers, but decided to play in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts. In 2009 Stillwagon was named an All-Time Argonaut.
Stillwagon was involved in a road rage incident in 2012. The charges were dismissed.

Stillwagon's bio per the Ohio State Team Guide: 

6-0, 220...from Mt. Vernon...was an all-American selection at middle guard last year...extremely active and competitive...has excellent lateral movement...perhaps the finest middle guard to play at Ohio State...one of the hardest hitters on the squad...becomes a linebacker when Ohio State uses a four-man line...his top games last year came against Purdue and Michigan State...his top thrill came when Ohio State won the Rose Bowl and was named National Champions.

Attended Augusta Military Academy in Virginia, where he won 14 letters in five sports...hobbies are hunting and fishing...father is personnel director for an industrial firm...from a family of three, all boys.

Jim Stillwagon's Ohio State career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

Jim Stillwagon made college football history in 1970 by becoming the first player to win the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award in the same year.

Stillwagon, a three-year starter at middle guard for the Buckeyes between 1968 and 1970, was a unanimous All-American as a junior and senior.

During “Wagon’s” three seasons at Ohio State, the Buckeyes compiled a 27-2 record, won three Big Ten championships, played in two Rose Bowls and won a pair of national championships.

With Stillwagon clogging the middle, the Ohio State defense simply shut down opposing offenses. In 1969, the Buckeyes gave up just 93 total points. In 1970, only two opponents scored more than 13 points; five were held to under 10 points.

Tough, strong, aggressive, intelligent, relentless: all are adjectives that were used to describe Stillwagon. He was quite simply the best defensive lineman in college football in 1970. No one was surprised when he walked off with the Outland and Lombardi awards. The surprise would have come if someone else had been chosen.

After graduation, Stillwagon was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. He chose instead to play in the Canadian Football League and was one of the premier defensive linemen in that league before retiring.

Stillwagon, a member of the College Football (1991) and Ohio State Athletics (1979) halls of fame, is president of Stillwagon Enterprises in Columbus.

Jeff Uhlenhake, C (1985-88)
1966 (Indianapolis)
High School: Newark Catholic

Ohio State
The Buckeyes went 29-16-2 with Uhlenhake on the team.
1986 won the Big Ten Title.
Defeated BYU 10-7 in the 1985 Citrus Bowl.
Defeated Texas A&M 28-12 in the 1987 Cotton Bowl.

1988 Captain.
1988 Team MVP.
1988 All-American.
1986 All-Big Ten.
2008 Inducted into the Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame.

Uhlenhake is currently working with Ohio State's strength and conditioning program.
Played in the NFL from 1989-1998. Played for the Dolphins, Saints and Redskins.

Uhlenhake's bio from The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-4, 270...from Newark, Ohio...One of the top linemen in college football and a leading contender for All-America honors this year...big, strong, quick, tough and intelligent...has started 33 of a possible 36 games the past three years...played guard his first two years and won first-team all-Big Ten honors as a sophomore.

Had both knees "scoped" after his sophomore year and could not  take part in spring practice, but still made the difficult transition to center with relative ease last fall...has worked hard to make himself a better player, concentrating this past spring on the long snap.

OSU's strongest lineman...bench presses 420, runs a 4.9 in the 40 and has a 28-inch vertical leap...an excellent leader.

The Class "A" Lineman of the Year as a senior in high school and a two-time all-Ohio pick...Newark Catholic won the state title his sophomore year and was runner-up each of the next two years...Hobbies are reading, music and golf.

Uhlenhake's Ohio State career and current job with Buckeyes per ohiostatebuckeyes.com:

Jeff Uhlenhake is in his tenth season as an Ohio State football strength and conditioning assistant. The former Ohio State All-American and 10-year NFL veteran works with the Buckeyes in all phases of their training and physical development.

A four-year starter at offensive guard and then center for the Buckeyes, Uhlenhake was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and earned first-team All-America honors as a senior in 1988, when he served as a captain and was voted the team's most valuable player. Uhlenhake was drafted by the Miami Dolphins and played 10 years in the NFL, including five seasons with Miami (1989-93), two with New Orleans (1994-95) and three with Washington (1996-98).

Coach Uhlenhake will teach you how to train your neck:

LeCharles Bentley, C (1998-2001)
1979 (Cleveland)
High School: St. Ignatius

Ohio State
The Buckeyes went 32-16 with Bentley on the team.
Won a Big Ten Title in 1998.
Defeated Texas A&M 24-14 in the 1999 Sugar Bowl.

2001 Rimington Award Winner.
2001 All-American.
2001 All-Big Ten.
2001 Ohio State Offensive Player of the Year.

Bentley's bio from The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-2, 300...from Cleveland...All-America and Outland Trophy candidae...veteran lineman who is for all practical purposes in his third year as a starter...started the final seven games of 1999 (six at guard and one at tackle) and all 12 games last year at center and is a veteran of 36 consecutive games...earned Second-Team All-Big Ten honors behind Minnesota All-America center Ben Hamilton last year...tough, hard-nosed competitor who played through a painful back injury last year, logging 309 minutes of playing time.

Selected by the OSU coaching staff as the Offensive Lineman of the Year each of the past two years...intelligent, hard working player who puts it all on the line every game...partially dislocated his left kneecap during spring practice.

A three year started in high school...turned heads as a senior with his play against Canton McKinley's stellar defensive end Kenny Peterson, now an OSU teammate...enjoys video games, reading and cooking, especially gourmet foods.

LeCharles Bentley's Ohio State career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

LeCharles Bentley was another in a long line of outstanding offensive linemen at Ohio State. During the 2001 season , he won consensus all-Big Ten and All-America honors, was chosen as the Big Ten’s Offensive Lineman of the Year and was named winner of the second annual Dave Rimington Award as the best center in college football. He became the 20th Ohio State player to win a major award.

Bentley, a native of Cleveland, enjoyed a stellar senior year, capping a brilliant career starting all 11 regular-season games and grading out to a winning performance in each game. Time and again, it was the 6-2, 300-pound Bentley who was called upon to provide the key block that either kept a drive alive or led to an Ohio State touchdown. He graded 90 percent or better in nine of the 11 games he played and was chosen as offensive lineman of the week five times. At the end of the season, the coaching staff selected him as the offensive player of the year.

Bentley was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes. He started the final seven games of the 1999 season (six at guard and one at tackle) before moving to center as a junior in 2000. He started all 12 games as a junior, playing through a painful lower back condition, and won second-team All-Big Ten honors.

At the end of his senior year, he won first-team All-America honors on the Walter Camp, Football Writers, Football Coaches, and Associated Press teams. As a senior, Bentley faced the challenge of playing for a new coaching staff. He quickly won that group’s confidence and admiration with his tough, smart and physical
style of play.

A second-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in the 2002 NFL Draft, Bentley was named Sports Illustrated’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. He earned two Pro Bowl selections during his career with the Saints and Cleveland Browns.

Taylor Decker, OL (2012-2015)
High School: Butler

Ohio State
The Buckeyes went 50-4 with Decker on the team.
Won the 2015 CFP National Championship.
2014 Won the Big Ten Championship Game.
2015 Big Ten East champs.
2014 Won the Big Ten East.
2013 Big Ten Leaders champs.
2012 Big Ten Leaders champs.
Defeated No. 8 Notre Dame 44-28 in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl.
Defeated No. 1 Alabama 42-35 in the 2015 Sugar Bowl.
Defeated No. 2 Oregon 42-20 in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game.

2015 All-American.
2015 All-Big Ten.
2013 Academic All-Big Ten.

Decker's bio from The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-8, 315...from Vandalia...Taylor Decker is the leader of the offensive line that has been one of the best in college football over his two seasons as a starter and, according to Ohio State coaches, expect this mammoth, animal sciences major to contend for national honors and major awards as a senior in 2015...a first team preseason All-American by The Sporting News and Athlon Sports.

After hearing Decker speak one day following the terrible news surrounding a fallen teammate, one media member said Decker "handled himself with incredible poise..." his leadership is also represented in the fact he is a three-time "Iron Buckeye" award winner, which is awarded to six players bi-annually for unquestioned physical training dedication, determination, discipline, toughness and leadership.

Typically carries one of the most impressive course loads on the team...Decker has also made time to intern the past two summers with the world famous Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

No. 68 In The NFL Draft
Previous Numbers
99 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 91 90
89 88 87 86 85 84 83 82 81 80
79 78 77 76 75 74 73 72 71 70
69 68                

151 days until The Game.

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