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99 Warriors: No. 53 Supplemental

+6 HS
Matt Gutridge's picture
July 10, 2018 at 9:13am

Tick.....tock.........tick............tock time seems to be slowing down as we inch closer and closer to the start of the 2018 season. 53 more days until Ohio State plays Oregon State. Below you will find a list of the 32 players who wore the No. 53 for the Buckeyes. Today's featured players are Dwight "Ike" Kelley and Randy Gradishar.

Something I found interesting is that Les Horvath started his career wearing the No. 53 in 1940. Horvath would later wear the No. 22 and have it retired in his honor.

Today's Trivia Question

Can you name the Ohio State alum who is the all-time leader in tackles for the Denver Broncos?

Players Who Wore No. 53 At Ohio State
Campbell Graf 1939                   1939
Les Horvath* 1940                   1940
Anthony Adamle* 1946                   1946
Raymond Lininger 1946-49           1949   1949   1946-49
James Merrell 1951                   1951
Richard Slicker 1954                    
Ronald Barnes* 1955                    
Daniel James 1957-58         1959         1957-58
Billy Armstrong 1960-62           1962       1960-62
Ike Kelley 1963-65     1964, 1965 1965   1964, 1965   1966   1963-65
John Muhlbach 1966-68           1968       1966-68
Brian Donovan* 1969-70           1969       1969-70
Randy Gradishar 1971-73     1972, 1973   1974 1971, 1972, 1973 1973   1973 1971-73
Douglas Porter 1974-77                   1974-77
Craig Pack 1981-82                   1981-82
Rich Morris 1983-86                    
Paul Long* 1987-88                    
Scott Sharp 1988, 1990                    
Mike Chancey* 1989                    
Bill Seach* 1990-91                    
Scott Lynch 1992-94                   1994
Mike Mezgec 1992                    
Eric Schmidlin 1993                    
Darren Hester 1995                    
Sean Colosimo 1997                    
Edmund Brown 1998-99                    
Ivan Douglas 1999-2002                   2000, 2002
Adam Licker 2004                    
Caesar Buie 2004                    
Patrick Howe 2006-09                    
Garrett Goebel 2008-12       2012         2009, 2010 2009-12
Kosta Karageorge 2014                    
Davon Hamilton 2015-18                   2016

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 53

Dwight Kelley

Dwight “Ike” Kelley, LB (1963-65)
1944 (Ludington, That State)
High School: Bremen (Ohio)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 19-7-1 with Kelley on the team.
Went 2-1 against That Team.

1965 Captain.
1965 All-American.
1965 All-Big Ten.
1964 All-American.
1964 All-Big Ten.
2008 Received Ohio Gold Award.

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

5-11, 216...from Bremen, Ohio...one of the finest linebackers in Ohio State history...won first team All-America honors last year is only the third Ohio State center to be so honored...consistently made great plays for the Buckeyes last year...called "Ike" by his teammates...is an excellent offensive center but will concentrate on defense in Ohio State's platoon system.

Played fullback in high school...won 11 high school letters, four each in football and track and three in basketball...captained his high school football team two years...majoring in general business...from a family of five...hobby is listening to classical music...admire Sam Snead, professional golfer...ambition is to own a business.

Kelley's Ohio State and Philadelphia Eagles career per philadelphiaeagles.com:

On the field, Dwight "Ike" Kelley was a two-time All-America linebacker at Ohio State who was also a standout performer on special teams. So much so that the university has an award named after him which is presented each year to the team's top special teams player.


Fortunately for the Eagles, Kelley proved to have the ideal size needed to continue his spectacular special teams contributions at the professional football level.

"I just took advantage of an opportunity," he said. "I didn't realize that they put most of the rookies on special teams. I'd always learned that that was like an offensive play or a defensive play. You could make or break a game with any given special teams play out there. And so I gave it my all and had some success as a rookie."

And what was the rookie's mindset?

"Just be crazy and fly down there with reckless abandon and complete disregard for personal safety and make a tackle or do whatever was necessary," Kelley said. "Whether it was on a punt or a kickoff or a kickoff return, you make a block or two. We had pretty good special teams all around with the Eagles back in the '60s and early '70s."


"Probably the fondest (memory I have) is never having been booed at Franklin Field or Veterans Stadium. Because you know the Philadelphia fans can be brutal sometimes," laughed Kelley. "They use to throw two banners over the side (of the stadium's concourse walls). One was 'Captain Crunch' and [had Kelley's number] 51 on it with a football player. And the other one said 'Kelley's Killers.' That's what the special teams were known as back in those days. It was kind of neat, it really was. Philly fans are great fans and they'll come to cheer you or boo you, or both - sometimes in the same game."

Kelley's life after football:

Following the final cheer or boo he received as an Eagle, Kelley turned to his college roots and made his home in Columbus, Ohio, where he continued to demonstrate the same work ethic for Worthington Industries that made him a poster boy in Philadelphia.

"It is light manufacturing, steel processing company. We branched out into where we manufacture liquid propane gas cylinders, the tanks you find on gas grills. We make those things by the thousands. And we are now in the metal framing business and have several joint ventures. We're about a $3 billion organization and have 7,500 to 8,000 employees.

"I worked for (them for) 35, 36 years and took an early retirement package back in November 2007 and now I'm doing some part-time work for them on a project-type basis. There are three guys who are retired and we go around and do some training at our different steel locations."

Kelley and his wife, Barb, continue to make their home in suburban Columbus. They have two children: Kerrie and Brian; and six grandchildren.

Randy Gradishar

Randy Gradishar, LB (1971-73)
1952 (Warren, Ohio)
High School: Champion

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 25-6 with Grandishar on the team.
1972 Big Ten Title.
1973 Big Ten Title.
Defeated USC 42-21 to win the 1974 Rose Bowl.
1973 defense held the first ten opponents to 43 total points.
Finished 6th in the 1973 Heisman voting.

1973 All-American.
1973 Academic All-American.
1973 All-Big Ten.
1973 Academic All-Big Ten.
1972 All-Big Ten.
1971 All-Big Ten.
1983 Inducted into the Ohio State Varisty O Hall of Fame.
1987 Inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
1992 Inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
1998 Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
2000 Named to the Ohio State Football All-Century Team.
2000 Named to ABC Sports All-Century Team as inside linebacker.
Ohio State's outstanding linebacker award is named the Randy Gradishar Award.

Grandishar's career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-3, 236...Randy Gradishar was referred to by Woody Hayes as “the best linebacker I ever coached at Ohio State.” He was a two-time All-American and is considered one of the most versatile, mobile and complete linebackers ever to play college football.

Gradishar was a three-year starter between 1971 and 1973 and recorded 320 total tackles. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting as a senior and was the backbone of the 1973 defense, which recorded four shutouts and allowed just 64 points. After graduation, he played 10 years with the Denver Broncos.

During his career, he was a seven-time Pro Bowler, the second most by any Bronco at the end of his career, and he also is the all-time leader in tackles for Denver with 1,958.

He was inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1992. In December of 1998, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Gradishar's thoughts on the 1973 team deserving a national title per BTN.com:

Because of the tie and because we handily beat USC, we thought we would be voted No. 1. But then Notre Dame beats No. 1 Alabama and they ended up No. 1. That was depressing. Still, we felt good about representing the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl and winning that game.

No. 53 In The NFL Draft
DAN JAMES 1959 1 8 C 49ERS

*Wore No. 22 when drafted.

Today's Trivia Question

Can you name the Ohio State alum who is the all-time leader in tackles for the Denver Broncos?

Answer: Randy Gradishar holds the Denver record with 1,958 career tackles.

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 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60
59 58 57 56 55 54 53      

136 days until The Game.

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