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Digging Deeper: Players Who Wore No. 44

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Matt Gutridge's picture
July 19, 2018 at 4:56am
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44 long, tedious and boring days until Ohio State starts the 2018 season by hosting Oregon State. Thankfully, we have been spared from negative news from the players and staff this offseason...

If you want something positive to read, below you will find a list of the 41 players who wore No. 44 for the Buckeyes. Today's featured players are Dick LeBeau and Ray Griffin.

Today's Trivia Question

A. Brothers
B. Cousins
C. Uncle/Nephew
D. They Are Not Related

 
Players Who Wore No. 44 At Ohio State
PLAYER WORN B1G MVP TEAM MVP AA CAPT. 1R NFL ALL B1G AC AA NFL DRAFT AC B1G LETTER
Earl Johnson 1933                   1933
Millard Scholl 1934                    
William Hargreaves 1937                   1937
Donald Oman* 1938                    
Thornton Dixon* 1939-40                   1939-40
Jack Graf* 1941               1942   1941
Gene Fekete 1942     1942         1945   1942
Glenn Oliver 1943                   1943
Thomas Keane 1944                   1944
Gerald Krall 1945-49           1949   1949   1945-49
Bernie Skvarka 1950-52       1952           1950-52
Jerry Harkrader 1953-55               1956   1953-55
Dick LeBeau 1956-58               1959   1956-58
Terence Hansley 1959                   1959
Edward Ulmer 1960-61                   1960-61
Richard Richley 1965                   1965
Horatius Greene 1969                   1969
John Hughes 1970, 1972-73                   1970, 1972-73
Kevin Fletcher 1972                   1972
Ray Griffin 1974-77     1977 1977   1977   1978   1974-77
Harold Brown 1978                    
Gary Williams 1979-82       1982       1983   1979-82
George Cooper 1984-87               1988   1984-87
Matthew Closson* 1988                    
Tony Closson 1989                   1989
Rodric Harper* 1990                    
Tommy Stokes 1992-93                    
Josh Jenkins 1995                    
Chris Kirk 1995-99                   1995-99
Collins Huitger 1997                    
Robert Reynolds 2000-03               2004   2000-03
Chris Leon 2004                    
Mark Johnson 2006-07                    
Jason Weihrauch 2006                    
Zach Boren 2009-12                   2009-12
Mike Mitchell 2013                    
Kyle Berger* 2014                    
Chris Rock 2014                   2014
Guy Ferrelli* 2015-16                 2016 2016
Aaron Mawhirter* 2015-16                 2016 2016
Amari McMahon 2018                    

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 44

Dick LeBeau

Dick LeBeau, DB (1956-58)
Born: 
1937 (London, Ohio)
High School: London

Ohio State:
The Buckeyes were 21-5-2 with LeBeau on the team.
1957 National Champion.
1957 Big Ten Title.
Went 2-1 against That Team.

Honors:
1954 High School Football All-American.
1964 Pro Bowl.
1965 Pro Bowl.
1965 1st-Team All-Conference.
1966 Pro Bowl.
2005 Won Super Bowl XL as a coach.
2008 Won Super Bowl XLIII as a coach.
2008 Sporting News Coordinator of the Year.
2009 Inducted into the Varsity O Hall of Fame
2010 Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
2013 Inducted into the Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame.

LeBeau's Ohio State  and NFL career per ohiostatebuckeyes.com:

A member of Ohio State’s 1957 national championship team, the legendary Dick LeBeau has spent a remarkable 51 seasons in the National Football League as a player and coach, participating in 786 NFL games. On February 6, 2010, LeBeau was selected into the 2010 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

LeBeau, a native of London, Ohio, played 14 seasons with the Detroit Lions, setting an NFL record for 171 consecutive games played at cornerback. The NFL interception leader in 1970 and a three-time Pro Bowler, his 62 career picks still rank 7th best in league history.

As a coach, however, LeBeau’s achievements are even more significant. The architect of the zone blitz, his innovations have brought changes to every aspect of defensive football. Serving as an assistant coach with Philadelphia, Green Bay, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, and was also the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2000-02.

A coach with 10 division championship teams, he has coached in five Super Bowls, winning twice, most recently as defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.

Ray Griffin

Ray Griffin, S (1974-77)
Born: 
1956 (Columbus)
High School: Eastmoor

Ohio State:
The Buckeyes were 39-8 with Griffin on the team.
1974 Big Ten Title.
1975 Big Ten Title.
1976 Big Ten Title.
1977 Big Ten Title.
1977 Defeated Colorado 27-10 to win the Orange Bowl.
Griffin's interception in The Game in 1975 set up the winning touchdown.

Honors:
1977 Captain.
1977 All-American.
1977 All-Big Ten.
2012 Inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.

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

5-9, 180...from Columbus...named defensive co-captain for 1977 by his teammates...the best all-around athlete on a talented squad...the fastest man on the team...a first team all-Big Ten selection and a second team All-American last year...started all 24 games his sophomore and junior years at Ohio State...was a reserve tailback as a freshman in 1974.

An excellent tackler...had 48 solo tackles and 34 assists in 1977...raced 65 yards to score after taking a lateral from Nick Buonamici on a pass interception against Indiana...his dramatic interception return in the 1975 Michigan game turned defeat into victory...majoring in business...hobby is painting...admires O.J. Simpson...one of the top defensive backs in college football.

Griffin's career per ohiostatebuckeyes.com:

Ray Griffin, a three-year starter and four-year Varsity O letterwinner for the Ohio State football team from 1974-77, was a First Team All-American and team captain as a safety in 1977. A First Team All-Big Ten selection in 1977, Griffin helped lead the Buckeyes to four-consecutive Big Ten championships, two Rose Bowl appearances, one Sugar Bowl appearance and an Orange Bowl appearance.

Ohio State went 29-6-1 in Griffin's three seasons as a starter, allowing only 102 points in the 1975 campaign. Griffin recorded 192 tackles in his three seasons in the OSU defensive backfield. He played in the Hula Bowl following his senior season before going on to play seven seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals in the National Football League. Griffin is the younger brother of former two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. 

The game was tied 14-14 late in the fourth quarter when Ray Griffin made this game-winning interception. From OurHonorDefend.com and Youtube.com

Ray Griffin's Varsity O Hall of Fame Induction speech per theozone.net and youtube.com:
 
No. 44 In The NFL Draft
NAME YEAR ROUND PICK POSITION TEAM
JACK GRAF 1942 18 162 QB/FB RAMS
GENE FEKETE 1945 6 49 FB LIONS
THORNTON DIXON* 1946 10 87 T LIONS
GERALD KRALL 1949 6 59 HB BEARS
JERRY HARKRADER 1956 22 261 C BEARS
DICK LeBEAU 1959 5 58 DB BROWNS
GARY WILLIAMS 1983 11 304 WR BENGALS
GEORGE COOPER 1988 6 156 RB DOLPHINS
ROBERT REYNOLDS 2004 5 165 LB TITANS

*Dixon wore No. 73 when drafted.

Today's Trivia Question

How is Ray Griffin related to Archie Griffin?
A. Brother
B. Cousin
C. Uncle/Nephew
D. They Are Not Related

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Zach Boren

127 days until The Game.

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