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Digging Deeper: Players Who Wore No.24

+7 HS
Matt Gutridge's picture
August 8, 2018 at 12:09am

In 24 days Ohio State will play Oregon State to start the 2018 season. Below you will find a list of the 48 Buckeyes who have worn the No. 24 since 1933.

Today's featured players are Roger Harper, Shawn Springs, Tyson Gentry and Malik Hooker. I went to the same high school as Roger Harper (he graduated the year before I was a freshman).  

Players Who Wore No. 24 At Ohio State
Frank Fisch 1933-35                   1933-35
Nicholas Rutkay 1937                   1937
Richard Burgett 1941                   1941
W. Macdonald 1942                    
Jim Marker 1943                    
Richard Wandke 1944                   1944
Ed Wambold 1945                    
Francis Doolittle 1946-47                   1946-47
Thomas Anderson 1948                    
Richard Ellwood 1950                   1950
Thurlow Weed 1952-54                   1952-54
Franklin Ellwood 1955-56       1956         1955, 1956 1955-56
Jerry Fields 1958-59               1961   1958-59
Joseph Sparma 1961-62                   1961-62
Jack Walker 1965                   1965
William Long 1966-68                   1966-68
Thomas Campana 1969-71               1972   1969-71
Richard Parsons 1972-74                   1972-74
Charles Hunter* 1977                   1977
Steven Lamb 1978                    
Jeff Cisco 1981-82                   1981-82
Ron Jordan 1983                    
Michael Wood* 1985                   1985
Mike Chancey* 1986                    
Tim Rutledge 1987-89                    
Charles Myrick* 1988                    
Shawn Woodard 1990                    
Roger Harper 1990-92           1992   1993   1990-92
Heath Knisely* 1992                    
Shawn Springs 1993-96     1996   1997 1995, 1996     1994 1993-96
Carmie Elmore 1994-96                    
Scott Fulton 1997-99                    
Richard Hall 1999                    
Curtis Crosby 1999-2000                   2000
Andy Groom* 2000                 2000 2000
Maurice Lee* 2001                    
Mike Roberts 2002, 2004-05                    
Tyson Gentry* 2005-08                 2008  
Marcus Williams 2006-09                 2007-09 2007-09
Grant Schwartz* 2006-07                   2007
Nate Ebner* 2009                 2009 2009
Rod Smith 2010                    
Drew Basil 2010-13                 2013 2010-13
Guy Ferrelli* 2014                    
Malik Hooker 2014-16   2016 2016   2017 2016       2015-16
Rashod Berry* 2015                    
Shawn Wade 2017-18                    
Brian Snead 2018                    

*Wore another number at Ohio State
Did not earn a varsity letter while wearing No. 24

Roger Harper

Roger Harper, Safety (1990-92)
1970 (Columbus)
High School: Independence

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 23-7-2 with Harper on the team.
Led the team in interceptions in 1991.

1992 All-Big Ten.

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

6-4, 224...from Columbus...Exciting, big play defender with speed, size and a nose for the ball...should be the leading candidate for the Thorpe Award this year as the nation's top defensive back...second team all-Big Ten in 1991.

Played very well last year in his first season as a starter, finishing third on the team in tackles with 65 and second in solos with 49...led the Buckeyes in interceptions with three and had four passes broken up.

First team all-Ohio in both football and basketball...his twin brother, Rod, walked on as a freshman, but has since left the team.

Harper's Ohio State career per texnews.com:

An All-Big 10 strong safety, Harper spearheaded the Ohio State secondary and became the second safety taken in the 1993 draft after Patrick Bates of Texas A&M was chosed by the Raiders. Harper started every game his last two years for the Buckeyes, collecting 118 tackles (75 solo) and seven interceptions.

Harper entered the NFL after his junior year, a year in which he led an 8-2-1 Ohio State squad with four interceptions. As a sophomore, he picked off a Drew Bledsoe pass and ran in back 42 years for a touchdown, earning Sports Illustrated Player-of-the-Week honors.

Roger Harper was traded to the Cowboys in 1996 in what would be his final year playing football. Below is an excerpt from the Cowboys' 1996 Media Guide:

Dallas is counting on big things from Roger Harper in 1996. Acquired on April 19 in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons for a fourth and fifth-round draft choice, Harper will battle for playing time at free safety and provide an immediate upgrade to the Cowboys nickel defense.

The big, swift defender is considered a physical open field tackler, with superb range, who plays strong against the run "Roger is a tough hitter who's size makes him an intimidating force in the secondary." says Cowboys' Linebacker Coach Jim Bates, who worked with Harper as the Falcons' defensive coordinator in 1994.

Shawn Springs

Shawn Springs, CB (1993-96)
1975 (Williamsburg, VA)
High School: Springbrook (MD)

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 41-8-1 with Springs on the team.
1993 Big Ten Title.
1996 Big Ten Title.
1993 Defeated BYU 28-21 to win the Holiday Bowl.
1997 Defeated Arizona State 20-17 to win the Rose Bowl.

1996 All-American.
1996 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
1996 All-Big Ten.
1995 All-Big Ten.
1994 Academic All-Big Ten.
1998 Pro Bowl.
2004 All-Pro.
2010 Named to the Seattle Seahawks 35th Anniversary Team.

Springs' senior bio per the Ohio State Team Guide:

6-0, 190...from Silver Spring, MD...One of the most talented all-around defensive backs in college football and a leading candidate for postseason honors in 1996, including the Thorpe Award as the top DB in the nation...won first team all-Big Ten honors last year and has been named to several preseason All-American teams heading into what will be his third year as a starter.

An outstanding student, who has been named to the Big Ten's All-Academic team...timed at 04.4 in the forty and has a 38-inch vertical leap.

Named to several All-America teams (in high school)...played running back and defensive back. His father, Ron, played for Ohio State in the mid-1970s and then went on to star at running back for the Dallas Cowboys...hobbies include collecting trading cards of top defensive backs...president of the Majority of One, a campus organization that focuses on improving academic standing of minority student-athletes.

Springs' Ohio State career per ohiostatebuckeyes.com:

In 1996, Shawn Springs was one of the top cornerbacks in college football and the dominant defensive player in the Big Ten - despite not recording an interception. Most teams simply chose not to test him. The 1996 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (selected by the conference head coaches) was named to the first-team Walter Camp, Football Coaches, Sporting News and Football News All-America teams.

He finished the year with 39 tackles and a team-high 15 passes broken up. In his final game as a Buckeye, he held Arizona State receiver Keith Poole to just one catch for 10 yards in the Rose Bowl. He finished that game with five tackles and four passes broken up. Springs finished his career as a two-time All-Big Ten selection. The Seattle Seahawks selected him with the third overall selection in the 1997 NFL Draft.

Springs was signed to a seven-year $20 million dollar contract as a rookie. At the time it was the largest deal ever signed by a Seattle Seahawk or NFL rookie cornerback.

Springs creates a scholarship at Ohio State:

Former Ohio State University football player Shawn Springs has donated a scholarship, the Shawn Springs "Majority of One"  Postgraduate Scholarship, to be given annually to a minority student-athlete at OSU.


The scholarship, worth $1,500 to $2,000, will be awarded to a minority student-athlete based not only on his or her academic achievements, but also on his or her involvement both inside and outside of the Ohio State community. The winner of the scholarship will be a person, or persons, exemplifying outstanding character, drive and achievement.

As a student-athlete Springs excelled both on the playing field and in the classroom. He was named USA Today's Positive Performer in 1996, an award given to collegiate student-athletes who are making positive differences by overcoming obstacles, aiding society and challenging stereotypes on and off campus.

Shawn Springs played in the NFL from 1997-2009. In that time he played in 169 games made 592 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 33 interceptions, 138 pass deflections and 2 touchdowns.

Tyson Gentry

Tyson Gentry, P (2004-08)
High School: Perkins

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 51-12 with Gentry on the team.
2005 Big Ten Title.
2006 Big Ten Title.
2007 Big Ten Title.
2008 Big Ten Title.
2004 Defeated Oklahoma State 33-7 to win the Alamo Bowl.
2006 Defeated Notre Dame 34-20 to win the Fiesta Bowl.
Went 5-0 against That Team.

Gentry's injury per ohiostatebuckeyes.com:

Ohio State football player Tyson Gentry  remains hospitalized at The Ohio State University Medical Center after suffering a serious neck injury during practice Friday in Ohio Stadium.

Gentry, a sophomore punter and wide receiver from Sandusky, Ohio, was injured after being tackled on a pass play. He underwent surgery Friday night and is currently resting comfortably with his family at his side.

"Ty is alert and in good spirits and is receiving the very best in medical care," said his father, Bob. "My wife, Gloria, and I want to thank the wonderful team of doctors and nurses for all that they have done for him. We also want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. We ask that you continue to keep our son in your prayers."

"Tyson is a wonderful young man, who loves the game of football and loves being at Ohio State and following in the footsteps of his dad," said Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. "Our players, coaches and everyone in the Ohio State Athletics Department family are praying fervently for his recovery."

Ohio State spokesperson Steve Snapp will update the media as more information becomes available and in accordance with the Gentry family's wishes.

Malik Hooker

Malik Hooker, DB (2014-16)
High School: New Castle

Ohio State
The Buckeyes were 37-4 with Hooker on the team.
2014 National Champion.
2014 Big Ten Title.
2015 Big Ten East Title.
2016 Big Ten East Title.
Defeated No. 1 Alabama 42-35 to win the Sugar Bowl.
Defeated No. 2 Oregon 42-20 to win the CFP National Championship.
Defeated No. 8 Notre Dame 44-28 to win the Fiesta Bowl.
Went 3-0 against That Team.

2016 Team MVP.
2016 All-American.
2016 All-Big Ten

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

6-2, 205...from New Castle, PA...Malik Hooker is in his third season with the Buckeyes and he's on the cusp of earning a starting spot at one safety position...he came through spring drills as the team's No. 1 safety, a position he grabbed and held right from the start as the coaches seek replacements for NFL-bound, two-year starters Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell...Hooker who red-shirted the 2014 season as a true freshman, is majoring in sport industry.

Hooker played just two years of high school football and was a two-year starter at wide receiver and cornerback at New Castle HS...basketball was his preferred sport---he was Division 1 prospect---before he first played football during the 2012 football season...helped New Castle to a 54-2 record on the hardwood as a sophomore and junior and to consecutive WPIAL championships.

No. 24 In The NFL Draft


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107 days until The Game.

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