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Countdown: 51 Days Until Ohio State Football

Matt Gutridge's picture
July 11, 2019 at 9:35am

Recruiting is said to be the lifeblood of college football. This series will countdown the top 100 high schools in Ohio that have provided the Buckeyes with football players. The rankings are based on how many times a player from each high school has been listed on Ohio State's roster between 1970 and 2018.

No. 51, Akron Central-Hower


Three players from Central-Hower have been listed on 15 Ohio State rosters. The gentlemen that represented the Eagles were all in Columbus between 1982 and 1987.

Expectations were high for running back John Wooldridge (1982-86) heading into his senior season. He led the team in rushing as a junior in 1985, and his 57-yard touchdown run against Iowa was the longest for that season. Wooldridge was also second on the team in rushing as a sophomore in '84. Unfortunately, those expectations were never met as his senior season ended with a knee injury against Alabama in the first half, of the first game of the season. Wooldridge finished his last year with 10 carries for 30 yards in two quarters of play.

Wooldridge rushed for over 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior and was an All-Ohioan at Central Hower. He finished his high school career with 40 touchdowns. 

WR Nate Harris (1983-87) started 12 games as a junior in 1986 and caught 30 passes for 496 yards and two touchdowns. He saved his best for last that season as he hauled in 6 passes for 105 yards against Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl victory.

With the unexpected departure of Cris Carter, big things were expected of Harris for his senior season in 1987. Unfortunately, he did not take care of business in the classroom and was ineligible to play. At Central-Hower, Harris was a two-time All-Ohioan and caught 132 passes for 2,508 yards.

Ray Jackson (1983-87) played the rover position for the Ohio State defense. As a senior, he was second on the team with 44 solo tackles (only Chris Speilman had more) and was fourth with 72 stops. Jackson had an impressive 9 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. In high school, he was a two-way player. The Eagles used him at both quarterback and tailback while he anchored the defense at cornerback. 

Back To School

Cental-Hower was located in Summit County and was a member of the Akron City Series. The team's season was 2005 and the program competed in Division III, Region 9. The Eagles went 4–6 in their final season.

Central-Hower's football team did not finish strong. Between 1999-2005 the Eagles did not have a winning season and were 13-57 in those seven seasons. Twice (1999 and 2003) the program finished the year without a victory. Between 2002 and 2004, Central-Hower had a 19-game losing streak


Central-Hower operated from 1970-2006. The school was re-opened and was named National Inventor's Hall of Fame STEM High School in 2012. The new high school does not compete in sports.

Information on Central-Hower's history is scarce. From my research, I believe the school won one state championship. In 1980, the boys' basketball team captured Central-Hower's only state title. 

Famous Alumni

Famous names you may know: Other than the Buckeyes listed above, nobody of note.

Explanation of the Rankings
School "A" had 14 players appear 16 times on Ohio State's roster. School "B" had 11 players appear 20 times on Ohio State's roster. School "B" will have the higher ranking. Why? Even though school "B" has less players, those players played for more years. 

If two or more schools have the same number of appearances, the tie will be broken by the school with the highest average of roster appearances per player. If there is a tie in the average, the tie breaker will be the school with the most prominent Ohio State player. 

Top 100 Ohio High Schools
100 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 35 34 33 32 31
30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21
20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

2,784 days since Ohio State has not defeated That Team.
142 days until The Game.

Are you a former player, graduate, live near or have something to add about today's featured high school? Please share your story with us in the comments. What makes the 11W community unique is the amount of great information everybody is willing to share.

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Eleven Warriors unless otherwise noted.

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