Following a one-year reprieve, Ohio State players are back in the Super Bowl.
For the 22nd time in the last 24 years, the Buckeyes will be represented on at least one of the two Super Bowl teams. In all, three out of every four Super Bowls have had at least one Ohio State player.
How many Buckeyes have won multiple Super Bowls? How many have won both a national championship and a Super Bowl with Ohio State? Do you know the number of yards a Buckeye quarterback has thrown for? That’s some of the information you will learn in today's piece.
(Author’s note: For the purposes of this article, Super Bowl participants are defined as players who were on the active 53-man rosters of teams who played in the Super Bowl, even if they did not actually play a snap in the game. Players who were on injured reserve or on practice squads are not included.)
|JIM TYRER||1967, 1970 (Kansas City Chiefs)|
|MATT SNELL||1969 (New York Jets)|
|BOB VOGEL||1969, 1971 (Baltimore Colts)|
|TOM MATTE||1969 (Baltimore Colts)|
|JIM MARSHALL||1970, 1974, 1975, 1977 (Minnesota Vikings)|
|PAUL WARFIELD||1972, 1973, 1974 (Miami Dolphins)|
|MORRIS BRADSHAW||1977, 1981 (Oakland Raiders)|
|NEAL COLZIE||1977 (Oakland Raiders)|
|JACK TATUM||1977 (Oakland Raiders)|
|LEONARD WILLIS||1977 (Minnesota Vikings)|
|RANDY GRADISHAR||1978 (Denver Broncos)|
|BOB BRUDZINSKI||1980 (Los Angeles Rams), 1983, 1985 (Miami Dolphins)|
|DOUG FRANCE||1980 (Los Angeles Rams)|
|ARCHIE GRIFFIN||1982 (Cincinnati Bengals)|
|RAY GRIFFIN||1982 (Cincinnati Bengals)|
|PETE JOHNSON||1982 (Cincinnati Bengals), 1985 (Miami Dolphins)|
|TOM OROSZ||1983 (Miami Dolphins)|
|JOHN FRANK||1985, 1989 (San Francisco 49ers)|
|SHAUN GAYLE||1986 (Chicago Bears)|
|MIKE TOMCZAK||1986 (Chicago Bears), 1996 (Pittsburgh Steelers)|
|PEPPER JOHNSON||1987, 1991 (New York Giants)|
|WILLIAM ROBERTS||1987, 1991 (New York Giants), 1997 (New England Patriots)|
|JOE STAYSNIAK||1992 (Buffalo Bills)|
|JIM LACHEY||1992 (Washington Redskins)|
|KEITH BYARS||1997 (New England Patriots)|
|TERRY GLENN||1997 (New England Patriots)|
|TOM TUPA||1997 (New England Patriots), 2003 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)|
|TITO PAUL||1999 (Denver Broncos)|
|WILLIAM WHITE||1999 (Atlanta Falcons)|
|EDDIE GEORGE||2000 (Tennessee Titans)|
|CHRIS SANDERS||2000 (Tennessee Titans)|
|JOE GERMAINE||2000 (St. Louis Rams)|
|ORLANDO PACE||2000 (St. Louis Rams), 2002 (St. Louis Rams)|
|LORENZO STYLES||2000 (St. Louis Rams)|
|JOE MONTGOMERY||2001 (New York Giants)|
|MIKE VRABEL||2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 (New England Patriots)|
|RYAN PICKETT||2002 (St. Louis Rams), 2011 (Green Bay Packers)|
|RICKEY DUDLEY||2003 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)|
|RODNEY BAILEY||2006 (Seattle Seahawks)|
|TYLER EVERETT||2007 (Chicago Bears)|
|SANTONIO HOLMES||2009 (Pittsburgh Steelers)|
|MALCOLM JENKINS||2010 (New Orleans Saints), 2018 (Philadelphia Eagles)|
|WILL SMITH||2010 (New Orleans Saints)|
|WILL ALLEN||2011 (Pittsburgh Steelers)|
|A.J. HAWK||2011 (Green Bay Packers)|
|MATT WILHELM||2011 (Green Bay Packers)|
|JAKE BALLARD||2012 (New York Giants)|
|JIM CORDLE||2012 (New York Giants)|
|ALEX BOONE||2013 (San Francisco 49ers)|
|TED GINN||2013 (San Francisco 49ers), 2016 (Carolina Panthers)|
|LARRY GRANT||2013 (San Francisco 49ers)|
|DONTE WHITNER||2013 (San Francisco 49ers)|
|NATE EBNER||2015, 2017, 2019 (New England Patriots)|
|BRADLEY ROBY||2016 (Denver Broncos)|
|COREY "PHILLY" BROWN||2016 (Carolina Panthers)|
|KURT COLEMAN||2016 (Carolina Panthers)|
|ANDREW NORWELL||2016 (Carolina Panthers)|
|JOHN SIMON||2019 (New England Patriots)|
|JAKE MCQUAIDE||2019 (Los Angeles Rams)|
|DARRON LEE||2020 (Kansas City Chiefs)|
|NICK BOSA||2020 (San Francisco 49ers)|
|ELI APPLE||2022 (Cincinnati Bengals)|
|VONN BELL||2022 (Cincinnati Bengals)|
|SAM HUBBARD||2022 (Cincinnati Bengals)|
|ISAIAH PRINCE||2022 (Cincinnati Bengals)|
|Winning players/years in bold|
Best Buckeye performances in the big game
Did you know only seven Ohio State players have had a rushing attempt in the Super Bowl? Six running backs and punter Tom Tupa.
Eddie George fell just shy of 100 yards and the Tennessee Titans finished feet short of defeating the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. George was the team's bell-cow and scored consecutive touchdowns in the second half to give the Titans a 16-13 lead with 7:21 remaining in the game.
If titles were earned on heart and effort alone, George should have been hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy on January 30, 2000.
The only Ohio State ballcarriers to break the century mark in the big game are Matt Snell and Tom Matte. They battled against each other in Super Bowl III.
Matte gained 116 yards on 11 carries for the Baltimore Colts. His 10.5 yard average per rushing attempt and long run of 58 yards are both Ohio State records in the Super Bowl.
On the opposite sideline, Snell rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown as he powered the New York Jets to the 16-7 upset victory over Matte's Baltimore Colts.
Joe Namath gets the publicity, but it was Snell's running prowess that propelled the Jets to the stunning win.
Mike Vrabel caught a touchdown pass and recorded at least one sack in consecutive Super Bowls. Against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, Vrabel dropped Jack Delhomme for a game-high two sacks. He also caught a one-yard touchdown pass to put the Patriots up 29-22 with 2:51 remaining in the game. New England won its second Super Bowl, 32-29, when Adam Vinatieri booted a walk-off 41-yard field goal.
In Super Bowl XXXIX, Vrabel gave the Patriots a 14-7 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles when he caught a 2-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter. Yes, an Ohio State defensive player leads all Buckeyes with two career touchdown receptions in the Super Bowl. Along with the 24-21 victory over the Eagles, Vrabel also dropped Donovan McNabb for a sack to establish Ohio State’s career Super Bowl sack record at three.
With three rings and Buckeye records of two receiving touchdowns and three sacks, Vrabel has a strong argument for Ohio State's most accomplished Super Bowl career. What cannot be argued is Santonio Holmes having the program's best single-game Super Bowl performance.
In Super Bowl XLV, Holmes hauled in a game-high nine receptions for 131 yards and the championship-winning touchdown for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Down 23-20 to the Arizona Cardinals with 2:30 remaining in the game, Holmes went to work. On the nine-play drive, the receiver caught four passes for 73 yards including a short pass Holmes turned into a 40-yard gain to the Cardinals' six-yard line. That set the stage for his memorable last catch of the contest.
Holmes ran a corner route and displayed his ridiculous body control as he contorted his body, and against the laws of gravity, was able to tap both of his feet for the game-winning six-yard touchdown. With the heroic performance, Holmes became the first (and only) Ohio State player to earn Super Bowl MVP honors.
As first-time participants in the Super Bowl, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Sam Hubbard and Isaiah Prince become the 62nd, 63rd, 64th and 65th different Buckeyes to make it to the big game.
Two former Ohio State players have played in four Super Bowls: Jim Marshall and Mike Vrabel. Vrabel was victorious in all but one of his Super Bowl trips – all with the Patriots – and joins Nate Ebner as the only Buckeyes who have won three Super Bowls.
Marshall and the Minnesota Vikings were defeated in all four of their Super Bowl appearances.
Paul Warfield made three trips to the Super Bowl with the Miami Dolphins, winning two of them; William Roberts played in two Super Bowls with the New York Giants and one with the Patriots, winning two with the Giants; Bob Brudzinski played in one Super Bowl with the Rams and two with the Dolphins, losing all three.
Twelve other Buckeyes have participated in two Super Bowls: Jim Tyrer, Bob Vogel, Morris Bradshaw, Pete Johnson, John Frank, Mike Tomczak, Pepper Johnson, Tom Tupa, Orlando Pace, Ryan Pickett, Malcolm Jenkins and Ted Ginn.
Overall, former Ohio State players have been on the winning side of 42 of their 87 combined Super Bowl appearances going into next Sunday’s game. Darron Lee became the most recent winner as he was the only Buckeye on the Kansas City Chiefs two years ago. If the Bengals win, Ohio State will have a winning record with players on Super Bowl rosters, as the Rams do not have any Buckeyes on their active roster (though Jordan Fuller is on injured reserve).
National champion and Super Bowl winner
There are 11 former Buckeyes who have won Super Bowls as NFL players and national championships when they were at Ohio State. In the table below, you can see the players who have won titles at both the collegiate and NFL levels.
|Player||National Championship Years||Super Bowl Years (Teams)|
|JIM TYRER||1957||1970 (Kansas City Chiefs)|
|MATT SNELL||1961||1969 (New York Jets)|
|BOB VOGEL||1961||1970 (Baltimore Colts)|
|PAUL WARFIELD||1961||1973, 1974 (Miami Dolphins)|
|JACK TATUM||1968, 1970||1977 (Oakland Raiders)|
|MORRIS BRADSHAW||1970||1977, 1981 (Oakland Raiders)|
|SANTONIO HOLMES||2002||2009 (Pittsburgh Steelers)|
|WILL SMITH||2002||2010 (New Orleans Saints)|
|A.J. HAWK||2002||2011 (Green Bay Packers)|
|MATT WILHELM||2002||2011 (Green Bay Packers)|
|DARRON LEE||2014||2020 (Kansas City Chiefs)|
If Cincinnati wins, the number will jump to 14 as Eli Apple, Vonn Bell and Sam Hubbard will join the exclusive group of players to win a national championship in college and a Super Bowl.
Among players who won national titles at Ohio State, Warfield, Tatum and Bradshaw are tied for the most combined Super Bowl and national championship wins among former Ohio State players, with three each.
Apple, Bell, Hubbard and Prince will make this year’s Super Bowl the 12th time Ohio State has had at least three representatives in the big game.
The first time this occurred was in 1977, when Tatum, Bradshaw and Neal Colzie helped lead the Oakland Raiders to a victory over Marshall, Leonard Willis and the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI.
The St. Louis Rams’ roster included three Buckeyes in 2000 – Orlando Pace, Joe Germaine and Lorenzo Styles – when they beat Eddie George, Chris Sanders and the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.
There were five Buckeyes in the big game once again in Super Bowl 50, when Bradley Roby and the Denver Broncos defeated a Carolina Panthers team that included Andrew Norwell, Ted Ginn, Jr., Corey “Philly” Brown and Kurt Coleman.
Three other Super Bowls have included four Buckeyes. Keith Byars, Terry Glenn, Tupa and Roberts all played for the Patriots in their loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI in 1997. A.J. Hawk, Matt Wilhelm and Pickett played for the Packers in their win over Will Allen and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in 2011. Alex Boone, Donte Whitner, Larry Grant and Ginn played for the San Francisco 49ers in their loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
The full table of Super Bowls that have included three or more Buckeyes:
|Game||Date||Buckeyes on Winning Team||Buckeyes on Losing Team|
|SUPER BOWL III||Jan. 12, 1969||Matt Snell (New York Jets)||Tom Matte, Bob Vogel (Baltimore Colts)|
|SUPER BOWL XI||Jan. 9, 1977||Morris Bradshaw, Neal Colzie, Jack Tatum (Oakland Raiders)||Jim Marshall, Leonard Willis (Minnesota Vikings)|
|SUPER BOWL XVI||Jan. 24, 1982||None (San Francisco 49ers)||Archie Griffin, Ray Griffin, Pete Johnson (Cincinnati Bengals)|
|SUPER BOWL XIX||Jan. 20, 1985||John Frank (San Francisco 49ers)||Bob Brudzinski, Pete Johnson (Miami Dolphins)|
|SUPER BOWL XXXI||Jan. 26, 1997||None (Green Bay Packers)||Keith Byars, Terry Glenn, Tom Tupa, William Roberts (New England Patriots)|
|SUPER BOWL XXXIV||Jan. 30, 2000||Joe Germaine, Orlando Pace, Lorenzo Styles (St. Louis Rams)||Eddie George, Chris Sanders (Tennessee Titans)|
|SUPER BOWL XXXVI||Feb. 3, 2002||Mike Vrabel (New England Patriots)||Orlando Pace, Ryan Pickett (St. Louis Rams)|
|SUPER BOWL XLV||Feb. 6, 2011||A.J. Hawk, Ryan Pickett, Matt Wilhelm (Green Bay Packers)||Will Allen (Pittsburgh Steelers)|
|SUPER BOWL XLVII||Feb. 3, 2013||None (Baltimore Ravens)||Alex Boone, Ted Ginn, Larry Grant, Donte Whitner (San Francisco 49ers)|
|SUPER BOWL 50||Feb. 7, 2016||Bradley Roby (Denver Broncos)||Corey "Philly" Brown, Kurt Coleman, Ted Ginn, Andrew Norwell (Carolina Panthers)|
|SUPER BOWL LIII||Feb. 3, 2019||Nate Ebner, John Simon (New England Patriots)||Jake McQuaide (Los Angeles Rams)|
|SUPER BOWL LVI||Feb. 13, 2022||Result TBD – Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Sam Hubbard, Isaiah Prince (Cincinnati Bengals)|
Super Bowl LVI conference breakdown
Using the current 53-man rosters for the Bengals and Rams, players from the Power Five conferences will likely account for just under 80 percent of the combined rosters. The SEC and Big Ten are the only conferences with over 20 players represented between the two teams.
|CONFERENCE||SEC||BIG TEN||ACC||BIG 12||PAC-12||C-USA||AAC||MWC||IND||COL||BIG SKY||MVL||IVY||NSIC||GNAC|
|Los Angeles Rams||12||10||6||4||8||3||1||2||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
As there is an obvious number gap between players from the schools of the P5 and other conferences in this year's Super Bowl, there is also a wide difference when looking at the amount of players from the SEC and Big Ten (46) compared to the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 (37).
The number of times a Buckeye has been on a Super Bowl roster.
Different Ohio State players to make the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl starts for Ohio State players. This number will likely jump to 50 if Apple, Bell, Hubbard and Prince start for the Bengals.
The number of Super Bowl rings accumulated by Buckeyes.
Different NFL teams that have made the Super Bowl with Buckeyes on their roster.
|RUSHING YARDS||131||MATT SNELL||III (JETS)|
|RUSHING ATTEMPTS||30||MATT SNELL||III (JETS|
|RUSHING AVERAGE||10.5||TOM MATTE||III (COLTS)|
|LONGEST RUSH||58||TOM MATTE||III (COLTS)|
|RUSHING TDS||2||EDDIE GEORGE||XXXIV (TITANS)|
|RECEIVING YARDS||131||SANTONIO HOLMES||XLIII (STEELERS)|
|RECEPTIONS||9||SANTONIO HOLMES||XLIII (STEELERS)|
|RECEIVING AVERAGE||20.0||COREY "PHILLY" BROWN||50 (PANTHERS)|
|LONGEST CATCH||45||TED GINN, JR.||50 (PANTHERS)|
XXXIX, XXXVIII (PATRIOTS)
|MOST TACKLES||10||WILLIAM WHITE||XXXIII (FALCONS)|
|MOST SOLO TACKLES||9||WILLIAM WHITE||XXXIII (FALCONS)|
|MOST ASST. TACKLES||3||
|MOST SACKS||2||MIKE VRABEL||XXXVIII (PATRIOTS)|
|MOST TFL||1||MALCOLM JENKINS||XLIV (SAINTS)|
|PASSES BROKEN UP||3||BRADLEY ROBY||50 (BRONCOS)|
It's a fact
- An Ohio State player has never intercepted a pass or recovered a fumble in the Super Bowl.
- Bob Brudzinksi tallied 21 tackles over three Super Bowl appearances.
- Corey Brown averaged 20 yards per reception and Ted Ginn Jr. averaged 18.5 yards per reception for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, the two highest receiving averages ever for Buckeye players in the Super Bowl.
- Tom Tupa and Tom Orosz are the only Buckeyes to punt in a Super Bowl. Tupa averaged 45.1 per punt in Super Bowl XXXI and 38.1 in Super Bowl XXXVII. Orosz averaged 37.8 yards per boot in Super Bowl XVII.
How many Super Bowl points have been scored by Ohio State Buckeyes?
One would think the number would be fairly high. One would be wrong. Ohio State players have scored 42 points in the Super Bowl. Eddie George and Mike Vrabel lead all Buckeyes with with 12 points. George scored twice in the loss to the Rams and Vrabel caught short touchdown passes in back-to-back Super Bowls.
|MIKE VRABEL||XXXXVIII, XXXIX||12|
How many yards has an Ohio State quarterback thrown for in a Super Bowl?
Zero, nada, zilch, none. Surprisingly, a Buckeye has never even attempted a pass in the Super Bowl.
With that said, let's tackle the Joe Burrow conundrum. Is Burrow a former Ohio State player? Yes. Does Burrow consider himself a Buckeye? Yes. Will Burrow's performance against the Rams count toward Ohio State's Super Bowl stats? No. With the introduction of the transfer portal, who is considered an Ohio State player and not considered an Ohio State player became a tricky statistical dilemma.
To put clarity to the situation, the following rule will be applied when it comes to our Super Bowl and NFL draft stats going forward: If Ohio State is listed as the player's college, the player's stats will be counted toward Ohio State. If another school is listed as the player's college, the stats will not be counted for Ohio State.
Examples: Trey Sermon finished his collegiate career with Ohio State and played one season in Columbus. Ohio State is listed as Sermon's college. Sermon's draft status and NFL stats count toward Ohio State.
Joe Burrow spent more years in Columbus than Baton Rouge and graduated from Ohio State. However, LSU is listed as Burrow's college. Therefore, Ohio State will not get credit for Burrow's passing stats in Super Bowl LVI.
Too long, didn't read? Burrow's NFL stats count for LSU. However, he considers himself a Buckeye. Feel free to root for him as the Buckeye he is.