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Digging Deeper: Players Who Wore No. 52

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Matt Gutridge's picture
July 11, 2018 at 9:59am

In 52 days Ohio State starts the 2018 against Oregon State. Below you will find a list of the 40 players who have worn the No. 52 for Ohio State. Today's featured players are Tom DeLeone, Steve Myers and Johnathan Hankins.

DeLeone's story will remind everyone the importance of having a positive attitude...no matter what. Steve Myers is living the motto "pay it forward" with Archie Griffin.

Players Who Wore No. 52 At Ohio State
Joseph Livorno 1933                    
Donald Cook* 1935                    
Richard Boughner 1937-38                   1937-38
James Arnold* 1938                    
William Scarberry 1939                    
Robert McCormick 1942                   1942
Kendall Herron 1944                   1944
Robert Ryan* 1945                    
Howard Duncan 1946-47               1948   1946-47
Bob McCullough 1949-50     1950             1949-50
Lawrence Andrews 1951                   1951
Robert Bond* 1954-55                   1954-55
Russell Provenza* 1956                    
Gerald Bowsher 1959                   1959
Robert Butts* 1960                   1960
Thomas Fitz 1963-64                   1964
Thomas Sharp 1965                    
James Roman 1966-68                   1966-68
Tom DeLeone 1969-71   1971 1971 1971   1970, 1971   1972   1969-71
Steve Myers 1972-74     1974 1974       1975   1972-74
John Fisher 1975-76                    
Tim Vogler* 1977-78       1978           1977-78
Bernard Brown 1979                   1979
Doug Whitmer 1982-84                   1982-84
Thomas Moore 1985-88                   1985-88
Leonard Hartman 1990-92             1992   1990, 1991, 1992 1990-92
Michael Keefer 1993                    
Pete Miller* 1994                    
Kevin Johnston* 1995-97                   1995, 1997
James Cotton 1998-99               2000   1998-99
Jamal Muhammed* 2000                    
Sam Williams 2002                    
Mike Kne* 2002-04                   2002-04
John Kerr* 2005-06                   2005-06
Don Curtis 2007                    
Gar Chappelear 2008-09                    
Johnathan Hankins 2010-12     2012     2012       2010-12
Donovan Munger 2013-15                   2014-15
Noah Donald* 2016                    
Wyatt Davis 2017                    

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 52

Tom DeLeone

Tom DeLeone, C (1969-71)
1950 (Ravenna, Ohio)
Died: 2016 (Park City, Utah)
High School: Theodore Roosevelt

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 23-6 with DeLeone on the team.
1970 National Champion.
1970 Big Ten Title.
1969 Big Ten Title.

1971 Captain.
1971 Team MVP.
1971 All-American.
1971 All-Big Ten.
1970 All-Big Ten.
2002 Inducted into the Ohio State Football Hall of Fame.
2003 Inducted into the Kent City Schools Hall of Fame.

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

6-2, 227...from Kent, Ohio...one of the top centers in college football...captain on offense of the 1971 Buckeye team...an excellent blocker with unusually fine techniques...very quick off the ball...was an all-Big Ten center last season...this is his third year as a regular center.

Hobbies are hunting and fishing...in the College of Education...majoring in industrial arts...admires Dick Butkus and Deacon Jones...top football thrill came last year when Ohio State beat Michigan.

Would like to coach football after graduation...from a family of three...played in the North-South All-Star Game...works in an industrial plant during the summer...led the team in playing time last year with 297.5 minutes in ten games.

Tom DeLeone's life after football per Wikipedia:

He later went on to work as a criminal investigator with the U.S. Department of the Treasury rising to a Senior Special Agent position within the U.S. Customs Service. He proudly served in the US Customs Service, and he was an important member of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Salt Lake City, Utah during the 2002 Olympic Games in Park City, Utah. In 2003, The U.S. Customs Service became a part of the newly created Department of Homeland Security and he retired from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2007.

He now works as a substitute teacher at  Park City High School  and Treasure Mountain International School in Park City.

Tom DeLeone's biggest battle per the columbusdispatch.com:

One of the more insidious characteristics of cancer is that in many cases it is a slow train coming. A body change, a diagnosis, followed by an estimated “end date.” The patient moves forward trying to live normally while attempting to avoid looking down the tracks.

Tom DeLeone is succeeding in not obsessing over the proximity of that oncoming locomotive, which is not so easy when a small indent in his skull reminds him of the brain tumor that was there. And could return. 

“This thing can reoccur,” DeLeone, 61, said during a conversation from his home near Park City, Utah. “It’s a terminal cancer, supposedly, but the better attitude you have, the better chance you have.”


As a player, DeLeone learned to ignore injuries as much as possible, because otherwise the unemployment line beckoned.

“You might get a little dizzy out on the field from getting hit in the head, but if you put down your helmet somebody is going to take it and they’ll put someone else in,” he said. “And I didn’t want that to ever happen.”

So he sucked it up and kept playing. When cancer came at him last January, this time trying to take more than his helmet, the Ravenna, Ohio native again sucked it up.

DeLeone was driving his son to work last Jan. 1 when he began making wrong turns. “He grabbed my arm and said, ‘Dad, what are you doing? This isn’t the way you go.’ I got disoriented,” DeLeone said.

That’s just how cancer works, always looking for more ways to embarrass and snatch dignity. Minutes later, doctors performed a CT scan that revealed the tumor. Two days later they removed the avocado-sized mass.

“After the operation I didn’t even get a headache,” he said. “I’ve felt great ever since.’’ 


“You go online and you see 12 months, two years and it looks very grim for this kind of cancer,” she said. “But it’s pretty interesting when you go in to the doctor. They don’t get into that (how long to live) stuff. They don’t tell you, because they don’t want to eliminate any possibilities. They’re very emphatic that attitude is absolutely everything.”

Tom DeLeone is not the only fighter in this family.

“I went through watching him play football all those years and never really worried,” Mindy said. “I knew he could take care of himself out there, so I wasn’t one of those paranoid wives. I’ve got the same attitude now. Take it day-by-day and don’t look to the future and say, ‘Oh this or that is going to happen.’ Because you just don’t know.”

In other words, count your blessings. The DeLeones certainly do.

“Just have a lot of faith and keep moving forward,” Tom said. “You’re not going to hear any ‘Whoa is me,’ from me, because I’ve had a great run at it.”

The run continues, and mercifully will for a long while more. 

His son, Dean DeLeone played football for Arizona State.

Steve Myers

Steve Myers, C (1972-74)
High School: 
Kent Roosevelt

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 29-4-1 with Myers on the team.
1972 Big Ten Title.
1973 Big Ten Title.
1974 Big Ten Title.
Defeated USC 42-21 to win the 1974 Rose Bowl.
Went 2-0-1 against That Team

1974 Captain.
1974 All-American.
2000 Named to the Ohio State All-Century Team.
2004 Inducted into the Varsity O Hall of Fame.

Myers career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-2, 244...from Kent, Ohio...one of the premiere centers in college football...a strong candidate for All-American honors this fall...started all eleven games last year and had 285 minutes of playing time...one of five captains on this year's team...consistently grades high when coaches evaluate the game films...has started 21 of 22 games the past two seasons...very strong.

Captained his high school football and wrestling teams at Kent Roosevelt High...his father is the chief of police in Kent...works in an industrial plant during the summer...hobbies are hunting and fishing...admires Deacon Jones and Joe Green...scooped up a fumble in his first high school game and ran 20 yards for a touchdown.

Steve Myers helping Archie Griffin rehab houses in Columbus per WOSU and YouTube:

Johnathan Hankins

Johnathan Hankins, DT (2010-12)
1992 (Dearborn Heights, That State)
High School: Detroit Southeastern

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 30-8 with Hankins on the team.
2012 finished the season 12-0.
Defeated Arkansas 31-26 to win the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
Went 2-1 against That Team.

2012 All-American.
2012 All-Big Ten.
2012 Given Jack Stephenson Award for Ohio State's best defensive lineman.
2011 Given Jack Stephenson Award .
2010 Named Ohio States most outstanding first-year defensive player. 

Hankins' Ohio State career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-3, 317...from Dearborn Heights, (That State)...Johnathan is a rising star---he is a 2012 preseason All-American and has been named to the Bednarik, Lombardi, Outland and Nagurski Award watch lists---who has played in all 22 games the past two years...he ranks third among current Buckeyes with 12.5 TFLs and with 4.0 quarterback sacks...started all 13 games in 2011.

This powerful, yet agile and very athletic performer ranked fourth on the team in tackles in 2011 with 67, trailing the team leader by only five...had 32 solo tackles among his total, a figure that included 11 tackles for loss totaling 24 yards...also had three quarterback sacks. Johnathan was named by the OSU coaches as the team's outstanding first-year player on defense after his freshman campaign in 2010.

A criminology major, Johnathan was a two-time all-state selection for Southeastern H.S. and coach Donshell English...team was 11-1 and a division champion Johnathan's senior year...all-Detroit, all-metro and a Michigan Blue Chip player...four-year starter.

Johnathan Hankins' Ohio State career per ohiostatebuckeyes.com:

Johnathan Hankins elected to forego his senior season of 2013 to enter the 2013 NFL Draft ... he does so after a junior season in which he was named a FoxSportsNEXT.com All-American, a second-team Associated Press All-American and a third-team All-American by Phil Steele ... these honors after he was named to watch lists during the season for the Bednarik, Lombardi, Outland and Nagurski awards ...

Hankinson against That Team:

No. 52 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 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60
59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52    

135 days until The Game.

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