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Digging Deeper: Players Who Wore No. 36

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Matt Gutridge's picture
July 27, 2018 at 8:30am

36 days until Ohio State plays Oregon State to start the 2018 season. Below you will find a list with the 35 players who wore No. 36 for the Buckeyes.

When Ohio State fans think of the No. 36, Chris Spielman immediately comes to mind. However, Spielman was the last of three great Buckeye linebackers to wear the No. 36 consecutively between the years 1975 and 1987. Today's article will feature Tom Cousineau, Marcus Marek and Chris Spielman.

The play of these linebackers wearing the No. 36 helped solidify Ohio State as “Linebacker University”. Cousineau, Marek and Spielman hold many Ohio State records and terrorized opposing offenses. Imagine the havoc and destruction they would have caused if they played for Ohio State at the same time.

Players Who Wore No. 36 At Ohio State
George Neal 1934                   1934
Steven Andrako 1938-39   1939   1939       1940   1938-39
Bill Vickroy* 1940                    
Robert Frye 1941-42                   1941-42
Robert McQuade 1943                   1943
Gene Janecko 1944                   1944
Jameson Crane* 1945                   1945
Joseph Whisler 1946-48   1948           1946   1946-48
E. Pete Perini* 1946                   1946
John Hlay 1950-51                   1950-51
Jack Campbell* 1953                   1973-75
Galen Cisco 1955-57       1957           1955-57
Robert Lindner 1960                    
Douglas Lyons 1962-63                    
Paul Hudson 1964-66                   1964-66
Bruce Elia 1972-74               1975   1972-74
Tom Cousineau 1975-78   1978 1977, 1978 1978 1979 1976, 1977, 1978       1975-78
Marcus Marek 1979-82     1982 1982   1980, 1981, 1982 1980   1980 1979-82
Chris Spielman 1984-87   1987 1986, 1987 1987   1985, 1986, 1987   1988   1984-87
Judah Herman 1988-91                   1988-91
Charles Myrick* 1989                    
Matt Christopher 1992-94                    
Randy Homa* 1995                    
Nick Goings* 1996                    
Sean Penny 1997-98                   1997-98
J.R. Niklos 1998                    
Pat O'Neill 1999-2002                   2000-02
Mike DeMaria* 2001-03                   2010-11
Curt Lukens 2003-06                 2004-05 2005
Matt Daniels 2004-07                    
Brian Rolle 2007-10       2010       2011   2007-10
Conner Crowell 2011-12                    
Trey Johnson 2013-14                   2013
Zach Turnure 2015-17                 2017  
K'Vaughan Pope 2018                    

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 36

Tom Cousineau

Tom Cousineau, LB (1975-78)
 1957 (Fairview Park, Ohio)
High School: Lakewood St. Edward

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 36-10-1 with Cousineau on the team.
1975 Big Ten Title.
1976 Big Ten Title.
1977 Big Ten Title.
1977 Defeated Colorado 27-10 to win the Orange Bowl.

1978 Captain.
1978 Team Captain.
1978 All-American.
1978 All-Big Ten.
1977 All-American.
1977 All-Big Ten.
1977 Orange Bowl Defensive MVP.
1976 All-Big Ten.
1995 Inducted into the Varsity O Hall of Fame.

Cousineau's senior bio per The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-3, 227...from Fairview Park...a first team All-American linebacker in 1977...a superbly conditioned athlete with unusual quickness and strength...has the rare ability to range from sideline to sideline to make tackles...a shoulder injury the third play of the Oklahoma game cost Ohio State dearly...had 149 tackles in 1977 and 184 in 1976...has played in 35 games during his career at Ohio State...was the "Top Defensive Player" in the 1977 Orange Bowl Game...elected defensive co-captain this year.

Hobbies are water skiing and lifting weights...was a state finalist in wrestling at St. Edward High...a good bet to repeat as an All-American in 1978.

Tom Cousineau's Ohio State and NFL career per The Ohio State Team Guide:

Tom Cousineau was a two-time All-American for the Buckeyes. In 1977, he was named the top defensive player in the Orange Bowl. His 211 tackles in 1978 still stands as a single season school record. Against Penn State in 1978, Cousineau was in on 29 total tackles, at the time an Ohio State record that was tied by Chris Spielman.

Cousineau also holds the school record for most solo tackles in a single game (16 against SMU in 1978). Six of the Top 10 single game tackle performances in school history are held by Cousineau. He ranks second on both the all-time OSU tackle list with 569 (three behind Marcus Marek) and on the career solo tackles list with 259. 

Cousineau was drafted first overall in the 1979 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, who acquired the pick from the San Francisco 49ers in a trade for O.J. Simpson. Cousineau never played a game with the Bills. He instead signed with the Canadian Football League Montreal Alouettes where they offered double the money that the Bills originally offered. Cousineau became a star there, becoming the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player in the 1979 season.

Cousineau wanted to return to the NFL, and in 1982 the Houston Oilers attempted to sign him, but the Bills (who still held Cousineau's NFL rights) matched the offer.

He was then traded from the Bills to the Cleveland Browns for a first round draft choice (14th overall) in the 1983 NFL Draft. That pick was used on future Hall of Fame quarterbackJim Kelly. Cousineau signed a five-year contract for 2.5 million dollars, the most ever for a Cleveland Brown player at the time.

Life after football per Wikipedia:

...On February 8, 2006, Cousineau announced plans to run for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives as a Republican in the Akron, Ohio area. He won the May primary but lost the November election to Democrat Brian Williams by a margin of 58% to 42%.

On April 20, 2009, Cousineau joined the St. Vincent – St. Mary High School football coaching staff as a linebackers coach. Cousineau later went on to be the linebackers coach at St. Edward High School.

Marcus Marek

Marcus Marek, LB (1979-82)
High School: Brookfield

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 38-10 with Marek on the team.
1979 Big Ten Title.
1981 Big Ten Title.
1981 Defeated Navy 31-28 to win the Liberty Bowl.
1982 Defeated BYU 47-17 to win the Holiday Bowl.
Went 3-1 against That Team.

1982 Captain
1982 All-American.
1982 All-Big Ten.
1981 All-Big Ten.
1980 Academic All-American.
1980 Academic All-Big Ten.
1999 Inducted into the Varsity O Hall of Fame.

Marek's senior bio per The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-2, 224...from Masury, Ohio...one of the top linebackers in college football...a second team All-American selection the past two years...a first team all-Big Ten choice in 1980 and '81...was second on the team in tackles as a freshman in 1979 and led the Buckeyes both in 1980 and '81...has not missed a game in three years, although he did not start until the fourth game as a freshman.

An exceptional athlete with good agility, impressive strength and a rare understanding of the game...an honor student majoring in natural resources...one of three captains on defense...second leading tackler in OSU history with 394 career stops.

Won all-Ohio honors as a linebacker at Brookfield High...also played fullback on offense...his high school team won the Ohio Class "AA" championship as a senior and he was picked "Defensive Player of the Year"...won ten high school letters...captained his football, basketball and baseball teams as a senior...admires Jack Lambert and Tom Cousineau.

Marek's Ohio State career per 10tv.com:

No one has brought down more ball-carriers as a Buckeye then Marcus Marek. A four-year starter from 1979 through 82, Marek made 572 career tackles, edging Tom Cousineau for the all-time lead.

From Vienna, Ohio, in Trumbull County, he was the first player in OSU history to lead the team in tackles three straight seasons, earning All-Big Ten honors each time.

In 1982, Marek was named All-American. His 178 tackles that year still represents the third highest single-season total in school annals. On senior day against Michigan, Marek made a career-high 21 tackles, and intercepted a pass to set up the Buckeyes final points in a 24-14 win.

Marek ranks first in all-time assisted tackles at Ohio State with 316, and his 256 solo stops place him third in that category.

Chris Spielman

Chris Spielman, LB (1984-87)
1965 (Canton)
High School: Massillon Washington

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 34-13-1 with Spielman on the team.
1984 Big Ten Title.
1986 Big Ten Title.
1985 Defeated BYU 10-7 in the Citrus Bowl.
1987 Defeated Texas A&M 28-12 in the Cotton Bowl.
1985 Defeated No. Iowa 22-13 in Ohio Stadium.
Went 2-2 against That Team.

1987 Captain.
1987 Team MVP.
1987 Lombardi Award.
1987 All-American.
1987 All-Big Ten.
1987 Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP.
1986 All-American.
1986 All-Big Ten.
1985 All-Big Ten.
2000 Inducted into the Varsity O Hall of Fame.
2009 Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Spielman's senior bio per The Ohio State Team Guide:

6-2, 236...from Massillon, Ohio...A consensus first team All-America selection in 1986...called "the most intense player I have ever seen," by Ohio State coach Earle Bruce...has a rare quality of being able to make a great play in a critical situation...had six pass interceptions last year, an unusually high total for an inside linebacker...made 205 tackles in 1986, including 105 solo stops...has had nine tackles for loss in each of the past two seasons.

Chris is quick, strong, totally dedicated and superbly conditioned...during the off-season, Chris works out on the weights four days a week...two sprained ankles restricted his playing time as a freshman in 1984, but in the seven games he did play, it was apparent he was something special.

A consensus All-American at Washington High School...Parade Magazine called him "the top high school linebacker in the nation" and Armour-Dial named him "Male High School Athlete of the Year"...won all-Ohio honors in 1982 and 1983...Street and Smith named him one of the "Top 15 High School Players in the Nation"...had 112 tackles, six interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 1983...had a 3.8 grade point average throughout high school.

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

Chris Spielman is in the Ohio State records book for a number of reasons. He led the Buckeyes in total tackles in 1986 and 1987 and is Ohio State’s all-time leader in solo tackles. He also holds the OSU record for most total tackles in a game. A three-time all-Big Ten choice and a two-time All-American, Spielman concluded his brilliant career in 1987 by winning the Lombardi Award.

But it was not so much what he did as the way he did it. Those people who claim “You can’t measure heart,” never saw Spielman play. Intense and competitive almost beyond description, Spielman played every down of every game as if the national championship were on the line. Few players have ever been as focused on the playing field.

Spielman was a three-year starter and would have been a four-year regular were it not for two sprained ankles that greatly limited his playing time as a freshman. Still, he collected 546 career tackles, a total that places him third on the all-time OSU list behind Marcus Marek (572) and Tom Cousineau (569).

Spielman’s tackle total includes a school-record 283 solo stops. The Massillon, Ohio, native had his best year in 1986 as a junior, recording 205 total stops, including an OSU record 105 solos. His best game that year was a school record-tying 29 total tackles against Michigan.

Spielman’s Ohio State teams won two Big Ten titles. He played in the Rose and Cotton bowls and was defensive MVP in the latter as a senior.

Upon leaving Ohio State, Spielman became recognized as one of the NFL’s top players, finishing his 12-year career in 1999 with the Cleveland Browns. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, he is a 2000 inductee into the Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame and a 2009 enshrinee into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Spielman's life after football per chrisspielman.com:

Currently, Chris is a NFL analyst with Fox Sports, a Professional Speaker and his most important role besides being a father of 4, is that of a Cancer Warrior – Chris continues the fight that he and Stefanie started together shortly after her first diagnosis. He found his biggest opponent to be off the field.

In 2013, Chris married Carrie Yocom, who brought 2 daughters to the family, Kendra and Gina.

Chris’ life has order: Faith, Family and Community – and he lives it daily in that order.

Spielman continues the fight against cancer with the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research.

The other charities Mr. Spielman supports:
Pelotonia Stefanie's Team of Hope
The Spielman Family Foundation
Spielman Gridiron Classic
Wings of the Morning

A great piece on Chris Spielman from Buckeye Classics:

Spielman and the Ohio State defense create five turnovers in the Buckeyes upset over No. 1 Iowa in the rain:

No. 36 In The NFL Draft
BILL VICKROY* 1943 12 105 C RAMS

*Wore No. 55 when drafted


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 51 50
49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40
39 38 37 36            

119 days until The Game.

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