Buckeye Pipelines: Paul Warfield, Korey Stringer, Maurice Clarett and Boom Herron Among Former Ohio State Stars from Warren G. Harding

By 11W Staff on February 26, 2022 at 10:10 am
Boom Herron

Although Ohio State recruits football players from all over the nation, some high schools have produced more Buckeyes than others.

Buckeye Pipelines puts 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.

This week, we take a look at a school that has produced fifteen Ohio State football players since 1970: Warren G. Harding. Since the turn of the century, five Raiders have played for the Buckeyes, including freshman sensation Maurice Clarett.

Warren Harding
2021 RECORD 5–6



Another notable recent Buckeye from Harding is former Ohio State running back Dan “Boom” Herron. Now living in Detroit, working in the trucking business and engaged to a successful lawyer, Herron told Eleven Warriors that playing for the Raiders and coach Thom McDaniels had a big impact on his Ohio State career and life.

“First off, I’ve got to give a shoutout to coach McDaniels, because without him, and obviously all of my other coaches and my teammates, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to Ohio State,” Herron said. “When Coach McDaniels came, man, he just turned everything up. He’s not just a great coach, but a great person. A great person that you would want your child to be around to grow up and become a man. He helped us all become better football players, but also better men. He did so much for all of us, on and off the field.”

Notable Buckeyes from Warren G. Harding

RB Paul Warfield (1961-63)

The most notable graduate from Harding is Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Paul Warfield. He was a two-sport athlete at Ohio State as he played football and earned two varsity letters on the track team.

In Woody Hayes' offense, Warfield was utilized as a running back. He was an All-American as a senior and earned All-Big Ten honors as a junior and senior. The Cleveland Browns selected him with the 11th selection of the 1964 NFL draft.

As a rookie with the Browns, Warfield was moved to wide receiver where he excelled. The combination of Jim Brown's power running and Warfield's speed on the outside produced an NFL Championship Game victory over the Baltimore Colts. Following the 1969 season, the Browns traded the future Hall of Fame receiver to the Miami Dolphins, where he won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1973 and 1974.

During his high school football career at Warren G. Harding, Warfield scored a combined 185 points during his junior and senior seasons. He also played basketball and was a standout track athlete. Warfield won the broad jump state title in 1958 and set the Class AA state record as he claimed the 180-yard hurdles title in 1960.  

OT Korey Stringer (1992-94)

Stringer and was a two-time All-American and All-Big Ten honoree and the Buckeyes’ team MVP in 1994. In 1993, Stringer and Dan Wilkinson earned All-American honors as sophomores, becoming the first Ohio State sophomores to do so since Ken Fritz and Art Schlichter in 1979. Stringer was also the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year in 1992 and was named the conference's Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1993 and 1994.

He went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings, who selected Stringer with the 24th overall pick of the 1995 NFL Draft. He made the Pro Bowl in 2000, but tragically died after suffering a heat stroke during training camp in August 2001. Minnesota retired his No. 77 and his name is in the Vikings’ Ring of Honor. 

Stringer was an All-Ohioan for Warren G. Harding as a junior and senior. He was also the Division I Lineman of the Year and an All-American as a senior. The Raiders went undefeated and won the state championship his junior year.

RB Maurice Clarett (2002)

Clarett helped lead the Buckeyes to a perfect 14–0 season and national championship during his lone season with the team. Clarett exploded onto the scene as he raced for 175 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener against Texas Tech. He finished the year with then-Ohio State freshman records of 1,237 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.

He played a key role in Ohio State’s Fiesta Bowl victory over Miami to win the national title. Following an interception by Miami safety Sean Taylor, Clarett chased him down and stripped the ball away to get possession back for the Buckeyes. On his final play as a Buckeye, he scored the game-winning touchdown in Ohio State’s double overtime victory.

Regrettably, Clarett's Ohio State career ended following the 2002 undefeated season. He ran into legal trouble after a brief stint with the NFL’s Denver Broncos, but has since turned his life around. Clarett founded The Red Zone in 2016 to provide mental health, addiction and recovery, school-based social work and other services in the Youngstown area. Clarett also has a podcast, The Champ Program, with Jay Richardson.

Clarett was Ohio's Mr. Football, a U.S. Army All-American and USA Today's Offensive High School Player of the Year during his senior season at Warren G. Harding, where he spent his final three years of high school after attending Austintown-Fitch as a freshman.

RB Dan “Boom” Herron (2007-11)

Herron was Ohio State's captain in 2010 and the Buckeyes’ team MVP in 2011. He rushed for 1,155 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2010, including a career-high 190 yards in a 38-14 victory over Penn State, and the Buckeyes won three Big Ten titles, a Rose Bowl and a Sugar Bowl during his time on the team. 

Herron was one of five players suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season, his senior season at Ohio State, after violating NCAA rules by selling team memorabilia. Herron still rushed for 675 yards and three touchdowns in seven games and went on to be selected in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft, but he’s happy that college athletes are able to benefit from their name, image and likeness now so they don’t have to go through what he did.

“It would have been great. Some of us may have gotten drafted higher, some of us may have had longer careers,” Herron said. “I am happy for the guys that can make a couple of dollars off their names, get what they deserve.

“Do I feel like we were done wrong? Absolutely. Look at what’s going on now. It’s just like you know, it’s crazy. Ten years ago guys got suspended and their names get tarnished and their careers get tarnished by something that’s basically getting praised today.”

At Warren G. Harding, Herron was an All-Ohioan and ran for 1,434 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. He was ranked as the second-best running back in the state of Ohio in the 2007 recruiting class.

Warren G. Harding Buckeyes (1970-2021)
RB PAUL WARFIELD* 1961-63 All-American (1963) and 2x All-Big Ten (1962, 1963); earned 2 varsity letters in track.  Scored 92 points as a junior and 93 points as senior, won the broad jump and 180-yard hurdles.
QB JAMES RICHBURG 1975 On the roster for 1 season, did not see the field. HS All-American, played QB and S, led Harding to the state championship.
LB/DE KELTON DANSLER 1975-78 2x All-Big Ten (1977, 1978) who played in 45 games, had 92 tackles and 5 TFL as a senior. Won the state title in 1974, played FB and LB.
LB JOHN EPITROPOULOS 1977-1980 Twin of Ernie, voted "Top Defensive Player" of the 1980 spring game, finished second on the team with 94 tackles as a senior. All-Ohio LB
OG ERNIE EPITROPOULOS 1977-80 Twin of John, played in 4 games as a senior and 15 during his career. Top high school moment was his block that allowed his teammate to score the winning TD against rival Alliance.
DE/LB DAVID ALLEN 1977-78 On 2 rosters, but only played in 1 game for 1.5 minutes. Trumbull County Player of the Year, honor student who went to Boys State.
WR TYRONE HICKS 1978-79 Caught 6 passes for 106 yards and 2 TDs and ran for 49 yards as a senior. Also a fine player at KO return. Did not play football in 1976 and 1977, won the 100 meter Big Ten title in 1978  All-Ohioan at HB, ran for 1,066 yards and 15 TDs as a senior.
OL GREG ZACKEROFF 1984-88 Played in a total of 40 games and was a starter for his final 36 contests. All-Ohioan, Trumbull County Lineman of the Year and captain as a senior.
OT KOREY STRINGER 1992-94 1994 team MVP, 2-time All-American, Big Ten and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. 1st team All-American, Ohio D1 Lineman of the Year, 2-time All-Ohioan state runner-up as a junior.
OG LeSHUN DANIELS 1994-96 Began his career as a DT, but started three years at right guard and was the team's Offensive Lineman of the Week after the Wisconsin game in 1995, started 38 of the 42 games he played in. All-Ohioan who held Harding to a 22-2 record during his final 2 years, played with Korey Stringer.
WR VANNESS PROVITT 1997-00 Had a pelvic fracture and dislocated hip in 1998, broke his ankle in 1999, after the injuries his 40 time went from 4.6 to 4.4, had 16 catches for 228 yards as a senior. All-Ohioan, caught 3 TDs and was the MVP of the Ohio-PA Big 33 Classic.
RB MAURICE CLARETT 2002 Rushed for 1,126 and led the Buckeyes to the national championship and a 14-0 record. Ohio's Mr. Football, All-American, USA Today's Offensive Player of the Year.
LS DIMITRIOS MAKRIDIS 2004-07 Walk-on in 2003 who worked his way up the depth chart, 2x Academic All-Big Ten player in 2006, 2007. Was a MLB and LS who was an All-County player and earned 3 varsity letters.
HB DAN "BOOM" HERRON 2007-11 Team MVP in 2011, captain in 2010 and won 3 Big Ten titles. All-Ohioan, rushed for 1,434 yards and 18 TDs as a senior.
LS GEORGE MAKRIDIS 2010-13 Three-year player at long snapper who shared the job with Bryce Haynes, entered his senior season with 205 successful snaps. 3-year starter in football, played baseball and was the No. 1 singles tennis player as a junior.
HB PATRICK WISE 2015 Walk-on in 2005 who spent four years in the Navy before joining the team. Played football and track.

*Warfield played before 1970 and does not count in the pipeline rankings.

More about Harding

A co-ed public high school located in Warren, Ohio, Harding competes in the All-American Conference and Division 2, Region 5. The Raiders won four of their final five regular season games and qualified for the playoffs with a 5–5 record in 2021, but a playoff run was not to be as Harding fell to Austintown-Fitch, 35-28, in the first round. 

The Raiders have made the playoffs for four consecutive seasons and six of the last seven. 

Across all sports, Warren G. Harding has won five OHSAA state championships. The football team has won three state titles while baseball and boys’ track and field have each earned one.

Prior to 1990, Warren had two high schools: Warren G. Harding Panthers and Warren Western Reserve Panthers. The two schools consolidated in 1990.

Herron has a soft spot for his hometown.

“Warren is a very small town,” Herron said. “Ohio State’s campus, I think they say, is bigger than Warren. Ohio State’s campus has more people on campus than the whole city of Warren, Ohio. Thankfully we have a great community, a small community. A lot of those kids they lean on sports and different activities.”

Harding coaching legacy

Phil Annarella brought the Raiders the state title in his first season as head coach in 1990. Joe Novak led Warren Western Reserve to a state in 1972, and Ed Glass was the head coach for Warren G. Harding when the team won the state championship in 1974.

Herron’s coach at Warren G. Harding, Thom McDaniels (2000-06), is perhaps the best-known coach in school history. Prior to coaching for the Raiders, McDaniels was named the USA Today National High School Coach of the Year in 1997, when he coached at Canton McKinley. Although he never won a state title during his seven-year tenure, his teams made the playoffs five times and were state runners-up in 2002.

His sons Josh and Ben McDaniels are both now NFL coaches. Josh McDaniels recently became the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, while Ben McDaniels is the Houston Texans’ wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.

“Having Coach McDaniels come over, he just impacted it in such a crazy way,” Herron said. “Man, he played such a big part and changed guys’ lives. I gotta give it to him all the time. Not just on the field, but off the field. He taught us so many things.

“That’s why you see his sons, they do well in coaching,” Herron added. “I got mad love for the McDaniels family as a whole.”

Harding has made six playoff appearances since Steve Arnold took over as Harding’s coach in 2012.  

Other famous alumni

In addition to the the many former Raiders who have gone on to play football at Ohio State, there are several athletes and other alumni from Warren G. Harding who have achieved success in the sports world and elsewhere.

Other famous people from Harding include:

Why are Buckeyes prior to 1970 not included in the overall statistics? Ohio State's official rosters listed the hometown of players, but did not provide their high school on the roster before 1970. 

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