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Digging Deeper: Players Who Wore No. 56

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Matt Gutridge's picture
July 7, 2018 at 1:40am
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In eight Saturdays Ohio State will open the 2018 season against Oregon State. Hopefully the rest of these days will go as quickly as the July 4th Weekend always does. Today's article will list the 40 players who wore the No. 56 for Ohio State and feature Ken Fritz, Rob Murphy and Darrion Scott.

Today's Trivia Question

What NFL team did Rob Murphy's dad play fullback for?

Players Who Wore No. 56 At Ohio State
PLAYER WORN B1G MVP TEAM MVP AA CAPT. 1R NFL ALL B1G AC AA NFL DRAFT AC B1G LETTER
Carl Bopiedi 1933                   1933
Robert Bittel 1934                    
Wendell Lohr 1937-38                   1937-38
Peter Hersberger* 1940                   1940
Robert Ryan* 1944                    
Howard Teifke* 1946-48                   1946-48
Gene Geib 1950                    
Robert Epps 1951                    
Donald Dawdy 1952-53                   1953
William Jobko* 1954                   1954
Bradley Palmer 1955                    
Louis Altomare 1958                    
Robert Emelianchik 1958-59                    
John Farrell 1960                   1960
Richard Morgan 1961                    
William Goering 1962-63                    
James Oates 1965                   1965
Dirk Worden 1966-68   1967   1968           1966-68
Stanley White 1969                   1969
Thomas Nixon 1970-72                   1970-72
Stephen Koegel* 1973                    
Ronald Ayers* 1974                   1974
Joel Laser* 1975                    
Kenneth Fritz 1976-79     1979 1979   1978, 1979   1980   1976-79
Steve Simpson* 1980-82                   1980-82
James Gilmore* 1983-85                   1983-85
Orlondo Craig 1986-89                   1987-89
James DeWitt 1988                    
Randall Brown 1991-94                   1992-94
Pete Miller* 1993                    
Mike Wargo* 1994                    
Rob Murphy 1995-98     1997, 1998     1998       1996-98
Darion Scott 2000-03           2002   2004   2000-03
Dimitrios Makridis 2004-07                 2006, 2007 2007
Garrett Dornbrook* 2009                    
Dalton Britt 2009-12                   2012
George Makridis 2010-13                   2011-13
Chad Lindsay 2014                    
Matthew Burrell* 2015                    
Aaron Cox 2018                    

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 56

Dirk Worden, LB (1966-68)
High School:
Clearview

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 20-8 Worden on the team.
1968 National Champion.
1968 Big Ten Title.
Defeated No. 2 USC 27-16 in the 1969 Rose Bowl.
Went 2-1 against That Team

Honors
1967 Team MVP. 
1968 Captain.

Worden's career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-0, 198...from Lorain...was a regular last year playing a total of 247 minutes...led the team in tackles...the hardest most determined "hitter" on the squad despite his size...has good lateral movement...was voted the squad's "most valuable player" last year even though a junior...very alert on pass defense and fumble recoveries...co-captain of the 1968 Buckeyes.

From a family of four...captained his high school football team...works in a steel mill during the summer...in the College of Education...admires Paul Hornung, former professional great...attended Clearview High School.

Ken Fritz, OG (1976-79)
Born: 
1957 (Ironton, Ohio)
High School: Ironton

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 36-10-2 with Fritz on the team.
1979 Big Ten Title.
1977 Big Ten Title.
1976 Big Ten Title.
Defeated Colorado 27-10 in the 1977 Orange Bowl.
Known for being the Ohio State player Woody grabbed by the face mask after the famous punch in the 1978 Gator Bowl.
Selected in the 10th round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Steelers.

Honors
1979 Captain.
1979 All-American.
1979 All-Big Ten.
1978 All-Big Ten.

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

6-3, 238...from Ironton, Ohio...was a first team all-Big Ten selection by both Associated Press and United Press International in 1978...was Ohio State's top offensive lineman last year and figures to be again this season...the strongest man on the squad...an excellent blocker and a good technician...learns quickly and is easy to coach...may be one of the top guards in college football this year.

Won nine letters at Ironton High School, where he won all-Ohio honors and was named "Ohio Lineman of the Year" as a senior...hobby is lifting weights...majoring in economics at Ohio State...is interested in a career in law.

An excerpt about Ken Fritz from the irontontribune.com:

Fritz was and three-year starter at Ironton High School where he played on two playoff teams. He was named the 1975 Associated Press Ohio Class AA Lineman of the Year. He was also voted the SEOAL Co-Player of the Year, a rare accomplishment for a lineman.

Fritz played at Ohio State and was a four-year letter winner and a three-year starter at guard. He was named first team All-Big Ten in 1978 and 1979, and was a two-time first-team Association Press All-American. He was also a two-time team captain.

Fritz helped lead Ohio State to the Big Ten championship in 1979, an 11-0 regular season, and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Top-ranked Ohio State lost 17-16 to Southern Cal, costing the Buckeyes the national championship.

Fritz was later drafted in the 10th round of the NFL draft by the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rob Murphy, OG (1995-98)
Born:
1977
High School: Moeller

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 43-7 with Murphy on the team.
1998 Big Ten Title.
1996 Big Ten Title.
Defeated Texas A&M 24-14 in the 1999 Sugar Bowl.
Defeated Arizona State 20-17 in the 1997 Rose Bowl.

Honors
1997 All-American.
1998 All-American.
1998 All-Big Ten.

Murphy's career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-5, 300...from Cincinnati...was named to a first-team spot on the Football News All-America squad last year. He'll be in his third year as a starter at left guard.

Rated as the top offensive lineman in Ohio and the 18th best offensive lineman in the nation as a senior at Cincinnati Moeller...also played ice hockey and wrestled in high school...his father played fullback at Miami (Fla.) and later played professionally with the San Diego Chargers...majoring in criminology and wants to be a law enforcement officer, preferably the FBI. 

How did Murphy get ready for games? From an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

The night before every game, Rob goes through a 10-minute “negative visualization” ritual.

        He envisions his man — the defensive lineman — shedding his block to make a tackle. He sees his man beating him and sacking the quarterback. He imagines everything bad that can happen to an offensive lineman during a game.

        He then drifts off to sleep.

        In the locker room before the game, while some of his teammates are working themselves into a lather, Murphy puts himself through more visualization, this time positive.

        He thinks of his grandparents from Syracuse, all of whom are deceased except his maternal grandmother, and imagines them being in the stands to watch him play ...

        He thinks of a former Moeller teammate, Todd Huffine, who had the heart of a lion — but not the physical skills to be a collegiate player — and is in the Marine Corps now ...

        He thinks of former teammate Jermaine Monk, who got caught up in a betting scandal at Boston College, suffered a concussion in spring practice, 1997, and wasn't able to return to football ...

  By the time OSU takes the field to do its pregame stretching, Murphy is in a lather. He goes into OSU's end zone and points at — and stares down — the opponent who will face him.

        Before the kickoff, Murphy's eyes well up with tears of “inner rage.”

        Last year in the Sugar Bowl, during a TV timeout when the OSU offense first took the field, Murphy stood over the football and yelled at the Florida State defense. The other 10 members of the OSU offensive team stood huddled 10 yards away.

        None of this is an act.

        Murphy even has a sense of humor about it. When a reporter mentioned it would play well in the World Wrestling Federation, Murphy nodded.

        “I've thought about it,” he said. “My nickname would be "The Foreman.' I'd come out in my blue overalls with tool belt and lunch-box. It'd work. It's me. The blue-collar man. I just hope nobody steals the idea. Maybe I should find a way to copyright it.”

Darrion Scott, DE (2000-03)
Born: 1981 (Charleston, WV)
High School: Capital (Charleston, WV)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 40-11 with Scott on the team.
2002 National Champion.
Defeated Miami 31-24 in double overtime in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Had a key fumble recovery.
Defeated Kansas State 35-28 to win the 2004 Fiesta Bowl.
Ranks 13th all-time at Ohio State with 8.5 sacks in a season (2002).
Ranks 14th all-time at Ohio State with 14.5 sacks in a career.
Selected in the 3rd round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Vikings.

Honors
2002 All-Big Ten.

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

6-3, 280...from Charleston, WV...Like teammates Tim Anderson and Will Smith, is one of the top defensive linemen in college football...will be in his third year as a starter...has played defensive end the past two years and was accorded first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2002...will move to defensive tackle this year, a switch that allows Simon Fraser to step in at end and puts the best four players on the field at the same time.

Will be dangerous whenever he plays...is a big-time football player with size, speed and sheer power...is extremely difficult to block because of his quickness and strength...led the team in sack last year with 8.5.

Two-time pick as a USA Today high school honorable mention All-American...two-time all-state...played fullback and rumbled for more than 1,600 yards as a senior.

Scott Fought The Law And The Law Won per wikipedia:

Scott was arrested on December 26, 2007 after officers discovered a small amount of marijuana in his Chevrolet Tahoe. He was booked by Charleston police officers on misdemeanor marijuana possession charges.

Scott was arrested again on April 30, 2008 for suspicion of assault and malicious punishment of a child. Scott faced two felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. The boy's mother allegedly found Scott holding a dry cleaning bag over the child's head. Scott told police the two were playing a game with the bag, and Scott wanted to see if the boy could get the bag off his head by himself.

He pleaded guilty to child endangerment and was sentenced July 24, 2008. The NFL suspended Scott three games for violating the league's conduct policy.

No. 56 In The NFL Draft
NAME YEAR ROUND PICK POSITION TEAM
KEN FRITZ 1980 10 277 OG STEELERS
DARRION SCOTT 2004 3 88 DE VIKINGS

Today's Trivia Answer

What NFL team did Rob Murphy's dad play fullback for?

Answer: Bob Murphy played for the San Diego Chargers.

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139 days until The Game.

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