Although Ohio State recruits football players from all over the nation, some high schools have produced more Buckeyes than others.
In Buckeye Pipelines, a new series here at Eleven Warriors, we’ll be putting the spotlight each week on a high school program who has had numerous and notable alumni go on to play for the Scarlet and Gray.
For the first edition of Buckeye Pipelines, we take a look at a program that will also be represented in this weekend’s Super Bowl: Cincinnati’s Archbishop Moeller High School, the alma mater of former Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard, who will play for his hometown Bengals as they look to win their first NFL championship on Sunday.
Hubbard, who played safety at Archbishop Moeller, ended up growing into the defensive end position at Ohio State, where he had a productive four-year career from 2014-17 before being drafted by the Bengals in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft. And just two days before playing in the Super Bowl, Hubbard credited Moeller with playing an integral role in getting him to where he is now.
“Moeller was really my first opportunity to learn what it means to be a part of a team and win,” Hubbard said. “We won two state championships my junior and senior year, and I learned that those relationships you build on a team are what contributes to winning games. My teammates that I played with at Moeller are my closest friends to this day.”
He isn’t the only former Crusader who went on to star for the Buckeyes, though, as Ohio State has had 20 players from Moeller.
Notable Buckeyes from Moeller
LB Vic Koegel (1971-73)
Koegel helped the Buckeyes win back-to-back Big Ten titles in 1972 and 1973. Koegel led the Buckeyes with 126 tackles as sophomore in 1971 and was an All-Big Ten player in 1973, when he helped Ohio State defeat USC in the Rose Bowl and was second on the team with 96 tackles. The Falcons selected him in the 12th round of the 1974 NFL draft.
Koegel was coached by Gerry Faust at Moeller, where he was an All-Ohioan at linebacker. Today, he is the president of Koegel Training and Development and a senior instructor and consultant for Think Training.
LOCATION: CINCINNATI, OH
CONFERENCE: GCL SOUTH
2021 RECORD: 11–4
24 OHSAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
9 STATE FOOTBALL TITLES
13 NON-OHSAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
3RD-MOST PLAYERS ON OHIO STATE'S ROSTER (19)
3RD-MOST ROSTER APPEARANCES (68)
OL Joe Lukens (1979-82)
Lukens started 47 out of 48 games in his four-year career as a Buckeye. After starting at right tackle in 1979, Lukens earned All-Big Ten honors as Ohio State’s starting right guard in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
He was also a captain in 1982. Ohio State won two Big Ten titles and went 3–1 in The Game during his time in Columbus. The Dolphins selected Lukens in the 11th round of the 1983 NFL Draft.
Following his football playing days, he went on to become the co-founder and president of Assured Neace Lukens, one of the 50 largest insurance agencies in the nation. He also started a sports virtue program called sportsleader.org.
The Crusaders won every game except for one during Lukens’ four seasons on the squad. He was an All-Ohioan and All-American as a senior. Lukens’ older brother, Bill, was a captain of the 1976 Ohio State team.
OL Rob Murphy (1995-98)
A three-year starter at left guard, Murphy was a first-team All-American in both 1997 and 1998. Ohio State went 43–7 record during his time with the team, winning two Big Ten championships (1996, 1998) and the 1997 Rose Bowl and 1999 Sugar Bowl during Murphy’s years as a starter.
Ranked as the top offensive lineman in the state of Ohio and the nation’s No. 18 offensive lineman as a recruit, Murphy earned All-Ohio and All-America honors at Moeller, where he also played hockey for three years and wrestled as a senior.
Murphy went on to play in the NFL, XFL and CFL and is now a firefighter in Florida.
DE Sam Hubbard (2014-17)
After redshirting during the 2014 national championship season, Hubbard was a staple in Ohio State’s defensive end rotation from 2015-17, recording 116 total tackles with 30 sacks, 17 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles over the course of his three playing seasons with the Buckeyes.
Hubbard was a captain of the 2017 team, made the Academic All-Big Ten team three times (2015, 2016, 2017) and was also an Academic All-American in 2017. The Buckeyes won two Big Ten championships during Hubbard’s Ohio State career and went undefeated in The Game with Hubbard on the squad.
An All-Ohioan at safety for Moeller, Hubbard was as a four-star prospect ranked as the No. 7 player in Ohio for the 2014 recruiting class. The Crusaders won back-to-back state titles during Hubbard's junior and senior seasons, where he was also a standout player in lacrosse (which you may or may not have heard on a TV broadcast or two during his Ohio State career).
Hubbard is now in his fourth season with the Bengals after signing a four-year, $40 million contract extension with the team in July. He has already recorded 239 total tackles with 34 tackles for loss and 24 sacks in his NFL career and has been at his best in the Bengals’ run to this year’s Super Bowl, recording 14 total tackles with three sacks, a forced fumble and a pass deflection.
|POS||PLAYER||YEARS||OHIO STATE CAREER||HS CAREER|
|OL||TOM BACKHUS||1967-69||Played 259 minutes over 21 games during his Ohio State career. Started 5 games for the 1968 national championship team.||Captain of the football team, All-Ohio Center, North-South All-Star, second-team All-American, Moeller Hall of Fame.|
|FB||RANDY KEITH||1971-73||Played in 22 games as a sophomore and junior, rushed for 344 yards and 4 TDs in 1972, did not see the field in 1973.||Rushed for 1,150 yards and 26 TDs as a senior, Moeller Hall of Fame.|
|LB||VICTOR KOEGEL||1971-73||All Big Ten as a senior, 263 career tackles, won Big Ten titles in 1972 and 1973.||All-Ohioan at LB, Moeller Hall of Fame.|
|OT||STEVE KOEGEL||1973-75||Played in 6 games for 7.5 minutes.||Played with his older brother before following him to Ohio State.|
|LB/DT/OL||MARK LANG||1974-77||Started at defensive tackle in 1976 and was moved to offensive guard where he started all 12 games in 1977.||All-Ohioan who played RB and LB, Moeller Hall of Fame.|
|OT/TE||GREGORY STORER||1974-77||Caught 3 passes for 52 yards as a senior, played in 34 career games.||All-Ohioan at OT, Moeller Hall of Fame.|
|OL||JOE LUKENS||1979-82||Earned All-Big Ten honors three times, a captain in 1982, started in 47 games.||All-Ohioan and All-American at OL, Moeller Hall of Fame.|
|C||JOSEPH APKE||1980-81||Played in 3 games for 6 minutes in 1980.||All-Ohioan and All-American at center, captain of the football and basketball teams, earned 10 varsity letters.|
|OG, C||TIM ODOM||1982-85||Played in 13 games as a Buckeye.||All-Ohioan and All-American at guard, team won 2 state championships and went 38–1 during his 3 years on the team.|
|OL||JACK THRUSH||1989-93||Started all 12 games during his senior year and played in 38 games during his career.||All-Ohioan and team captain of the football team.|
|TE||MAX LANGENKAMP||1992-94||Entering his senior year, he had only played in 1 game, saw action in 12 of 13 games in 1994 and had 1 catch for 11 yards.||All-City player as a senior, had 10 receptions for 200 yards as a senior, also played basketball and baseball.|
|TE||STEVE LANGENKAMP||1993||Transferred from Kentucky where he caught 1 pass for 8 yards. Never saw game action at Ohio State.||All-Ohioan at TE, caught 14 passes for 207 yards and 2 TDs as a senior.|
|HB/FB||MATT KELLER||1995-99||A captain of the 1999 team and had 30 career starts, had 16 carries for 61 yards as a senior.||Rushed for 1,116 yards and 15 TDs during his senior year, team was state runner-up his junior season, Moeller Hall of Fame.|
|OL||ROB MURPHY||1995-98||All-American in 1997 and 1998, All-Big Ten in 1998, won Big Ten titles in 1996 and 1998.||Ohio's top OL as a senior.|
|TE||RYAN HAMBY||2001-05||2-year starter at TE, finished his career with 45 receptions for 482 yards and 5 TDs, 2002 National title.||Was a standout in both football and basketball, won a state title with the Crusaders on the hard court.|
|LB/FB||RYAN LUKENS||2004-08||Two-time Academic All-Big Ten (2008, 2007), had 8 career tackles.||All-Cincinnati and 2nd team All-Ohio, was captain of the team, also won the state wrestling tournament at 189 pounds as a junior, Moeller Hall of Fame.|
|QB/LB||ROSS OLTORIK||2009, 2012||Walked on as a QB in 2008 and made the roster in 2009, earned a scholarship for baseball and left the football team before returning as a LB in 2012.||Holds the single season and career passing yard records, Moeller Hall of Fame.|
|DE||SAM HUBBARD||2014-17||National title in 2014, Captain in 2017, earned Academic All-Big Ten three times and Academic All-American in 2017.||All-Ohioan at safety, won consecutive state titles, committed to play lacrosse for Notre Dame in 2012.|
|CB||LOGAN KELLEHER||2015-16||Walked on during winter workouts of 2015.||All-City and All-Greater Catholic League player, won state titles in 2012 and 2013.|
|TE||JAKE HAUSMANN||2016-20||Earned 3 varsity letters, Academic All-Big Ten in 2018 and 2020, 3 career catches for 26 yards and a TD.||Had 95 catches for 1,349 yards and 17 TDs during his HS career, All-Ohioan as a senior.|
More on Moeller
An all-male Catholic high school located in suburban Cincinnati, Moeller completes in Cincinnati’s Greater Catholic League and in Division I, Region 4. The Crusaders went 7–3 in the regular season last year, then won four playoff games before losing to Springfield, 22-21, in the state semifinals.
The football program has won nine state championships (2013, 2012, 1985, 1982, 1980, 1979, 1977, 1976, 1975). The team won five national championships during the '70s and '80s before Gerry Faust left the program to become Notre Dame’s head coach in 1981.
Across all sports, Moeller has won 24 OHSAA state championships and 12 non-OHSAA state titles. The Crusaders have nine state championships in football, eight in both baseball and volleyball, five in basketball, three in lacrosse and one each in ultimate frisbee, golf and rugby.
Other Famous Alumni
Aside from the alumni who actually played for the Buckeyes, another Moeller alumnus Ohio State fans will know well is Paul Keels, who is now the voice of the Buckeyes’ radio broadcasts for football and men’s basketball.
Eleven Warriors caught up with Keels to get his thoughts on how Moeller helped him get to where he is now.
“While at Moeller it was crucial to develop good study habits and skills,” Keels told Eleven Warriors. “That comes into play now with researching and preparing for game broadcasts. I also recall how one of our teachers specifically took time to teach us about things like handling a checkbook and also about purchasing a vehicle. Obviously the great football tradition was a big influence.”
Although Mr. Keels did not start his announcing career until after high school, he did have an experience on the hallowed grounds of Ohio Stadium.
“My senior year Moeller played Warren Harding in the state playoffs at Ohio Stadium ... and along with other students, I got on the field at halftime to form a tunnel when the team came out of the locker room for the second half,” Keels recalled. “As we went back to the stands, one of my buddies tackled me on the field ... so I sometimes tell folks I was ‘tackled’ on the field at Ohio Stadium.”
Other famous men of Moeller:
- NFL players Steve Apke, Bob Crable, Tony Hunter, Greg Huntington, Greg Jones, Michael Munoz, Rico Murray, Steve Niehaus, Matt Tennant, Tom Waddle and Doug Williams
- NCAA football coaches Russ Huesman and Greg Hudson
- MLB players Buddy Bell, David Bell, Mike Bell, Andrew Brackman, Adam Hyzdu, Stephen Larkin, Bill Long, Len Matuszek, Eric Surkamp, Brent Suter and Alex Wimmers
- NBA player Jaxson Hayes
- Byron Larkin, Xavier basketball’s all-time leading scorer