Buckeye Pipelines : Will Allen, Marcus Freeman and Braxton Miller Among Buckeye Stars from Wayne

By 11W Staff on April 9, 2022 at 10:10 am
Braxton Miller
Kyle Robertson / USA TODAY NETWORK

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 nine Ohio State football players since 1970: Huber Heights Wayne.

Seven Warriors have played for the Buckeyes since the turn of the century. That number will increase to eight in 2023, when offensive line commit Joshua Padilla is set to join the team.

2021 RECORD 8–3



Wayne's football program has been a playoff mainstay over the past two decades, making multiple state championship games thanks to talented players and stability within the coaching staff. 

Notable Buckeyes from Wayne

DB Will Allen (2000-2003)

The hard-hitting nickel back and safety helped Ohio State win Big Ten and national championships in 2002. In 2003, Allen earned All-American and All-Big Ten honors. 

Allen had the game-clinching interception at the 2-yard line against Michigan in 2002. Picking off John Navarre's desperation pass gave the Buckeyes consecutive victories over the Wolverines for the first time since they accomplished the feat in 1981 and 1982. The win also insured an undefeated regular season and a ticket to Arizona.

Allen had five tackles and a fourth-quarter fumble recovery in the national championship game against Miami.

In 2004, Allen was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. He had a 13-year NFL career and established the Will Allen Foundation in 2008.

At Wayne, Allen helped the team to a state runner-up season and earned All-Ohioan honors as a senior.

LB Marcus Freeman (2005-08)

A run-stopping Will linebacker with coverage skills, Freeman started for three seasons and recorded 264 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and six sacks during his Ohio State career. Freeman earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three times and was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL draft.

As a Warrior, Freeman was a Parade All-American and a two-time All-Ohioan. Today, he is Notre Dame's head coach and will face the Buckeyes in the opening game of the 2022 season.

QB Braxton Miller (2011-15)

Miller guided the Buckeyes to an undefeated season in 2012 and was on the 2014 national championship team. He won two Big Ten Leaders titles, two Big Ten East titles and one Big Ten title. He led the Buckeyes to a program record 24 game-winning streak between 2012 and 2013. 

The gifted quarterback finished his career with 22 games of more than 200 yards of total offense and 10 games of more than 300 yards of total offense games, which were both Ohio State records (since broken by J.T. Barrett) at the time. In all, Miller ended his Buckeye career in the top 10 of 17 different statistical categories. 

Miller's stellar play led to a multitude awards during his time in Columbus. In 2011, he was the CFPA National Freshman of the Year and won the Big Ten's Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year. During the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Miller was the Chicago Tribune's Big Ten MVP (Silver Football Award), the Big Ten's Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year, the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-Big Ten selection in back-to-back years.

The awards and accolades piled up due to the dazzling plays Miller was able to execute using his arm and legs. His seven career conference awards are the most for a single player in Big Ten history. On many occasions he used his video game-esque juke moves to leave defenders helplessly grasping at air. 

Shaking Fools

An injury to his throwing shoulder prior to the 2014 season prevented Miller from concluding his Ohio State career with even more program records.

Miller returned to the field in 2015 as a wide receiver, and that one season was enough to convince the Houston Texans to select him in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft. In two seasons with the Texans, Miller caught 34 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns.

At Wayne, Miller was an All-Ohioan who passed for 2,167 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for 658 yards and 17 touchdowns. He led his team to the state championship game in 2010.

Miller is now part of a group that plans to turn the former Urbana University campus into the Pro Development Institute, which will be a prep school for high school athletes in southwest Ohio.

Wayne Buckeyes (1970-2021)
LB ARNIE JONES 1972-74 Captain in 1974 and was second on the team with 100 tackles and led the team with 8 TFL as a senior. Captain of the football, wrestling and track teams.
DE PAUL JONES 1974-76 Younger brother of Arnie, missed the 1974 season due to an injury and never saw the field in three seasons. Played TE, FB, CB and LB; was 74-15 as a wrestler. 
DB WILL ALLEN 2000-03 2002 national champion, All-American and All-Big Ten in 2003. All-Ohioan and state runner-up as a senior.
WR JOHN HOLLINS 2000-04 Played in 17 games and had one catch for 14 yards, missed the 2001 season due to a knee injury. All-Ohioan with 61 receptions for 1,220 yards and 17 TDs on a state runner-up team as a senior.
LB MARCUS FREEMAN 2005-08 Three-year starting linebacker who recorded 264 total tackles. 2x All-Ohioan and Parade All-American.
DB DONNIE EVEGE 2007-11 2009 Academic All-Big Ten. Mainly played on special teams and as a scout team player. Ran a 4.31 40-yard dash, had 42 tackles and ran for 527 yards and nine TDs as a senior.
QB/WR BRAXTON MILLER 2011-15 Two-time time Silver Football, Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year award winner who broke numerous records during his Ohio State career. State runner-up as a senior, All-Ohioan, passed for 2,167 yards, rushed for 658 rushing yards and 34 total TDs.
DT ROBERT LANDERS 2015-19 Led OSU's defensive linemen in tackles for loss per play in 2016, finished career with 65 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 24.5 TFL. 2nd Team All-Ohioan, All-Area Defensive Player of the Year; won the state championship in the shot put as a junior.
WR L'CHRISTIAN "BLUE" SMITH 2018 Played in three games for a total of five offensive snaps in his only season. Transferred to Cincinnati in May 2019. All-Ohioan as a senior and was also recruited heavily as a basketball player.

More about Wayne

The high school was established in 1956 in the Wayne Township Local School District. The District's name was changed to Huber Heights City Schools when the majority of Wayne Township became part of the city of Huber Heights. 

The Warriors compete in the Greater Western Ohio Conference and Division 1, Region 2. Wayne was 8–2 in the regular season last year and qualified for the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years. The Warriors hosted Dublin Coffman and lost, 27-24, in the first round.

Wayne doesn't have a state title in football, but the team has advanced to the championship game four times (1999, 2010, 2014 and 2015). The Warriors have made the playoffs 18 times.

Across all sports, Wayne holds four OHSAA sponsored state championships. Boys’ track and field has won two titles while boys' basketball and bowling have each won one.

Wayne legend Jay Minton

It's not uncommon for Ohioans to migrate to Florida. In 1998, Jay Minton made the opposite transition. Following a successful stint at Boca Raton, where he coached Greg and Steve Bellisari, he arrived in the Miami Valley. In his second season with the Warriors, Minton led the program to its first state title game. 

Consistency and excellence were the norm during Minton’s 21 seasons at Wayne. The team qualified for the playoffs 16 times and made the postseason seven straight years to close out his career. The Warriors were 187–58–1 and never missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons with Minton at the helm.

Other famous alumni

In addition to the nine Warriors who have gone on to play football at Ohio State, there are many other alumni from Wayne who have achieved success in the sports world and elsewhere, including:

Why are Buckeyes prior to 1970 and some walk-on players not highlighted or included in the rankings? Ohio State's official rosters listed the hometown of players, but did not provide their high school on the roster before 1970. The official rosters released at the start of each season were used, due to this, some walk-on players may not be listed as they were not on the season opening official rosters. 

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