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Digging Deeper: Players Who Wore No. 60

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Matt Gutridge's picture
July 3, 2018 at 5:56am
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In 60 days Ohio State will play Oregon State to start the 2014 season. Below you will find a list of the 32 players who have worn No. 60 for the Buckeyes. Today's featured players are Charles Csuri and Ted Smith.

Csuri's feature is long, but worth the read. On the football field he was a team captain, All-American and National Champion. After college Csuri joined the army, fought in WWII and earned a Bronze Star for his efforts during the Battle of the Bulge. After WWII Csuri became a professor at Ohio State and became a pioneer in computer and digital arts.

Players Who Wore No. 60 At Ohio State
PLAYER WORN B1G MVP TEAM MVP AA CAPT. 1R NFL ALL B1G AC AA NFL DRAFT AC B1G LETTER
Tom Georgeopoulos 1934-35                    
Roxie Belli* 1936                    
Harvey Bolser 1938                   1938
James Arnold* 1939-40                    
Charles Csuri 1941-43   1942 1942 1943       1944   1941-43
Ronald Hefflinger 1943                   1943
John Redd 1944-45                   1944-45
George Toneff* 1948-49                   1948-49
Stephen Ruzich 1950-51               1952   1950-51
Rollo Sidell 1952                    
David Weaver 1953-55                   1953-55
Ernest Spychalski 1956-58               1959   1956-58
Frederic Lehr 1960                   1966-67
John Banks 1960                   1968-70
Chester Mirick 1961-63                   1961-63
Jerome Tabacca* 1967                   1971-72
Milan Vecanski 1970-71                   1970-71
Thomas Swank* 1973                    
Ted Smith* 1974-75     1975     1975       1974-75
Gar Dulin 1976-79                   1976-79
Ronald Miller 1980                   1980
William Harvey 1984                   1984
Dan Himeise* 1985-88                    
Scott Brown 1988                   1988
Don Davis 1989                    
John Iams 1991-92                    
Ray Harris 1993-95                    
Brent Johnson 1996-2000                   1998-2000
Kyle Andrews 2001-04                   2002-04
Garrett Dornbrook* 2010-11                   2011
Joey O'Connor 2012                    
Blake Pfenning 2015-18                 2017 2000

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 60

Charles "Chuck" Csuri, Tackle (1941-43)
Born: 
1922

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 18-8-1 with Csuri on the team.
1942 National Champions.
1942 Big Ten Title.

Honors
1943 Captain.
1942 Team MVP.
1942 All-American.
1945 Bronze Star for heroism in the Battle of the Bulge.
2000 Awarded Sullivant Medal by Ohio State.

Miscellaneous
Fought in WWII from 1943-46.
1949 became a faculty member at Ohio State's Department of Art.
1978 became a Professor of Art Education.
1986 became a Professor of Computer Information Science.
Currently a Professor Emeritus at the Advanced Computing Center of Art and Design at Ohio State.

Csuri's time in the Army per a 2010 Lantern article:

Csuri was sent into combat when the Army needed more troops and served as a forward observer with the 69th Infantry Division, helping to direct artillery fire. He entered at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge and nearly left in a casket.

"You do things like that when you're very young," Csuri said. "When you're 20 to 21 years of age, you think you're invincible in a way, or you can't conceive of your being killed in some respects."At one point during the battle, the lines of communication between the front line and the artillery unit had been disconnected, and Csuri volunteered to take information back to Allied headquarters. In the snow-covered forest, he said, he ran across enemy lines, getting his helmet and belt pack shot off during the trek.

Csuri said he doesn't remember much from that episode or the contents of the message he delivered. Nonetheless, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroism during the battle.

Not long after receiving the medal, he tucked it away in a drawer, where it stayed for several years before his daughter discovered it.

Before the 2010 season started, his daughter gave the medal to Tressel, who has it displayed in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

"It was good what I did, but what can I say?" Csuri said. "It's one of those things that I did when I was very young, but I've long since forgotten about it."

In 2010, the football team wore jerseys honoring the 1942 team. The bronze star on the helmet was inspired by Csuri:

Former Ohio State lineman Charles Csuri was hesitant to go to New York City on Sept. 1, even though coach Jim Tressel pleaded for him to do so.

Nike was unveiling its line of Pro Combat jerseys, and OSU's uniforms were to resemble the ones worn by the 1942 squad, which Csuri was a part of, that brought the school its first national championship. ...

...Nike designed the uniforms to pay homage to the team members who traded their OSU uniforms for those of the Armed Forces during World War II. Csuri served as a corporal in the Army during the war, and Tressel wanted him at the event to speak at the press conference.

Csuri reluctantly decided to attend the unveiling after his wife persuaded him. But at 88, getting around isn't as easy for him as it once was, even though his dark hair and firm handshake belie his age.

At the event, Csuri spoke to a crowd of media about his former teammates while standing next to a stagehand dressed in the uniform. Unknown to him, there was a bronze star on the helmet and gloves with his initials printed on them.

When someone from Nike pointed the star out to Csuri as he was leaving the stage, he realized why Tressel was begging him to go.

"I was surprised, flattered, honored and slightly embarrassed," Csuri said of the decal. "It was nice."

Csuri's accomplished much during his time at Ohio State and his service in WWII. However, he was far from making his mark on the world. More from The Lantern:

"When I came back, I didn't have the psychological makeup to be as aggressive about things as I was before I went into the war," Csuri said. "I had no desire to play professional football."

Instead, he rediscovered his interest in art, studying from renowned art professor Hoyt L. Sherman with classmate and future pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. Csuri thrived as a student after years of academic mediocrity

[...]

After several years of teaching drawing and painting to undergraduates, Csuri began studying computers in 1963, hoping to find ways to use technology to expand his artwork and use what he learned when he studied before deployment.

[...]

When Csuri began working with computers, there was only one computer on the OSU campus. It was larger than most classrooms and returned information on punch cards.

From there, Csuri's research was at the cutting edge of computer graphics. His work studying human movement and graphic simulations of different environments even received funding from the Navy.Because there was no commercial software available at the time, Csuri — by then the school's director of Computer Graphics Research — and a group of doctorate students had to invent everything they worked with, including the algorithms that would generate graphic images.

[...]

In 1981, he co-founded Cranston/Csuri Productions (view their images), which was one of only three computer animation production companies in the world. The company lasted seven years before folding as productions like Disney became involved in computer graphics.

Some of Csuri's former students include Chris Wedge, who directed "Ice Age," and Steve May, the vice president of Pixar Animation.

Csuri's advice to Ohio State football players:

But as much as Tressel preaches to his players about being well-rounded human beings, Csuri is discouraged at the failure of many athletes to heed such advice.

"I wish young people could realize that there is life after football," Csuri said. "It's a little disheartening to me that I talk to players and that almost every one of them thinks they'll make it in the NFL. They won't. And the ones that do make it will be there temporarily."

Jim Tressel heard that the 1942 team was not properly honored and promptly corrected a wrong:

At an art function several years ago, Csuri's wife spotted Tressel, who was wearing his 2002 National Championship ring. During their conversation, Tressel learned that the players from the 1942 team were never awarded championship rings and, within a few weeks, had personalized rings ordered for every living player from the team.

But the unity among those players, more than any accolade or piece of jewelry, is what Csuri most treasures.

Ted Smith, LB/OG (1972-75)
High School:
Gibsonburg 

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 40-5-2 with Smith on the team.
1972 Big Ten Title.
1973 Big Ten Title.
1974 Big Ten Title.
1975 Big Ten Title.
Defeated USC 42-21 in the 1974 Rose Bowl.
Went 3-0-1 against That Team.

Honors
1975 All-American.
1975 All-Big Ten.

Smith's Ohio State career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-1, 242...from Gibsonburg, Ohio...started all 12 games at left guard last year, playing a total of 294.5 minutes...consistently grades high in films...was a reserve linebacker in 1973, seeing limited action...makes a minimum of mistakes in blocking adjustments...understands techniques and when to employ them...will be one of the top guards in the Big Ten this year.

Was a versatile high school athlete winning nine letters...from a family of six, including five boys...played fullback and linebacker in high school...hobby is playing basketball...admires Larry Csonka...does construction work during the summer.

Following his college career, Smith spent 31 years as a superintendent in highway construction.  

No. 60 In The NFL Draft
NAME YEAR ROUND PICK POSITION TEAM
CHARLES CSURI 1944 16 154 T CARDINALS
STEVE RUZICH 1952 14 168 OG BROWNS
ERNIE SPYCHALSKI 1959 25 298 T BROWNS

 

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143 days until The Game.

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