Buckeye Pipelines: Glenville Has Been a Geyser of Talent for Ohio State Throughout the 21st Century

By Matt Gutridge on June 4, 2022 at 10:10 am
Ted Ginn Sr.
Ted Ginn Sr.

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 21 Ohio State football players since 2002: Glenville.

2021 RECORD: 9–4



The first Tarblooder to make a Buckeye roster was Troy Smith. 20 more Glenville alumni played for the Buckeyes between 2002 and 2016.

Although there has been a slight drought in the pipeline, it appears the tap might be opening up again. Class of 2023 linebacker Arvell Reese and 2024 cornerback Bryce West are both strong candidates to play their college football in Columbus.

If they ultimately choose to become Buckeye, they’ll be following a lineage of Tarblooders who went on to wear the scarlet and gray that also includes Ted Ginn Jr., Donte Whitner, Cardale Jones and Marshon Lattimore.

Notable Buckeyes from Glenville

QB Troy Smith (2002-06)

Smith became Ohio State’s seventh Heisman Trophy winner in 2006. He was also a team captain and the winner of the Walter Camp, Davey O'Brien and AP Player of the Year awards that season, when he led the Buckeyes to their second straight Big Ten title.

In addition to the two conference championships, Smith led the Buckeyes to several other big wins, including a victory over No. 5 Notre Dame in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl and a win over No. 2 Texas in Austin. Combining his strong, accurate arm with great decision-making and running ability that kept defenses off-balance, Smith went 25-3 as Ohio State's starting quarterback and was undefeated in The Game.

Smith was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014, the same year his number was placed on permanent display in Ohio Stadium. 

The Ravens selected him in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Smith began his high school career at St. Edward, playing for the Eagles as a sophomore and junior before transferring to Glenville as a senior. As a Tarblooder, Smith threw for 969 yards and 12 touchdowns while running for 329 yards and four touchdowns.

S Donte Whitner (2003-05)

The talented safety left an impact with his hard-hitting style of play in his three seasons with the Buckeyes. Whitner was an All-American and All-Big Ten player during his final season with the team, when he recorded 73 tackles and two interceptions and helped the Buckeye defense finish fifth in the nation.

The Buffalo Bills selected Whitner with the 8th pick of the 2006 NFL Draft. Over an 11-year NFL career with the Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and Washington Commanders, Whitner started 152 of the 157 games he played in and collected 923 tackles, 11 interceptions and two pick-sixes. He was named to three straight Pro Bowls from 2012-14.

At Glenville, Whitner earned the opportunity to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl after recording 60 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, three interceptions and nine receiving touchdowns as a senior.

WR Ted Ginn Jr. (2004-06)

Many believed Ginn was going to be a stud cornerback in Columbus. During his senior year in high school, Ginn was named the national defensive player of the year by USA TODAY and SuperPrep.

However, Ginn made his mark at Ohio State on offense and special teams as an electric wide receiver and return specialist.

Ginn holds the following return records for Ohio State:

  • Four punt return touchdowns in a season (2004)
  • Six career punt return touchdowns
  • Most punt return yards per attempt in a season (25.6, 2004)
  • Most career kickoff returns

His speed and receiving skills put many of Ohio State's opponents in a bind. The Buckeyes often utilized the “Ted Ginn formation” where he would line up as the lone receiver to the wide side of the field.

This would either give Ginn single coverage or require the defense to shade another defensive player to his side. This gave Smith the option of throwing to Ginn in single coverage, finding the other open receiver or audibling to a run.

Either way, Ginn's presence on the field made Ohio State's offense a defense’s nightmare.

Ginn's speed made it possible for him to do everything. An All-American in 2006, Ginn finished his Buckeye career with 135 receptions for 1,943 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also rushed 28 times for 213 yards and three touchdowns and threw a 38-yard touchdown pass.

The Miami Dolphins selected the dynamic Ginn with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He caught 412 passes for 5,742 yards and 33 receiving touchdowns and had seven return touchdowns during his 14-year NFL career.

Ginn, whose father Ted Ginn Sr. has been the Tarblooders’ coach since 1997, played cornerback, quarterback, wide receiver and running back at Glenville. As a senior in 2003, Ginn had eight interceptions and returned five of them for touchdowns, including one for a state-record 102 yards. Ginn also threw for 932 yards and 12 touchdowns, ran for 845 yards and 17 touchdowns and returned four punts and one kickoff for a score that year. He earned Division I Offensive Player of the Year honors for those accomplishments.

If his football skills weren't enough, Ginn was also the national champ in the 110-meter high hurdles as a junior in high school. He won the state title in back-to-back years and posted the fastest time in the country as a senior.

QB Cardale Jones (2012-15)

Jones is the best third-string quarterback in college football history. He led the Buckeyes on their glorious three-game run against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon to win the national championship in 2014, which started with a 257-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 59-0 rout of the Badgers.

To the surprise of many, Jones returned to the team for the 2015 season. He started the first five games of the season before J.T. Barrett took over for the rest of the year.

Jones was drafted by the Bills in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft. He made his only regular-season NFL game appearance that year. While he is still attempting to continue his professional football career, he was recently released by the CFL’s Edmonton Elks after being signed to replace Barrett.

At Glenville, Jones was a third-team All-Ohioan and passed for 2,168 yards and 18 touchdowns. He spent one year at Fork Union Military Academy in 2011, where he was roommates with Michael Thomas, before joining the Buckeyes in 2012.

CB Marshon Lattimore (2014-16)

After a redshirt year in 2014, Lattimore saw limited action in 2015 due to a hamstring injury. Entering his redshirt sophomore season, the talented cornerback was still unknown to most of the football world. His anonymity would be short-lived. 

In Ohio State’s second game of the 2016 season against Tulsa, Lattimore intercepted two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown. The tone was set for the rest of the year.

Over the 13-game season, Lattimore racked up 41 tackles, deflected nine passes and snagged four interceptions. His exceptional play earned him All-Big Ten honors and a ticket to the NFL.

The New Orleans Saints selected Lattimore with the 11th overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft. Through five seasons with the Saints, the four-time Pro Bowler has started all 73 games of his career. Lattimore has collected 298 tackles, 74 pass breakups, 13 interceptions and a pick-six over his career. His consistent play in New Orleans was rewarded with a five-year contract extension worth $97.6 million in the fall of 2021.

At Glenville, Lattimore was an All-Ohioan and a U.S. Army All-American. He caught 40 passes for 911 yards and 16 touchdowns as a receiver during his senior year in high school.

Glenville Buckeyes (1970-2021)
10 QB TROY SMITH 2002-06 Ohio State's 7th and most recent Heisman Trophy winner, went 25-3 and 3-0 against Michigan as OSU’s starting quarterback. Played for St. Edward for three seasons and Glenville as a senior, threw for 969 yards, 12 TDs and ran for 329 yards and 4 TDs for Glenville.
1 WR DAREUS HILEY 2003 On the 2003 roster. Four-year starter who played QB, WR, and CB, he had more than 2,500 all-purpose yards of offense and 28 TDs and 5 INTs as a senior, for his career, Hiley had 4,282 yards of offense, 58 TDs and 18 INTs.
9 S DONTE WHITNER 2003-05 All-American and All-Big Ten as a senior. Played in the All-American Bowl, recorded 60 tackles, 10 TFL, 3 FF, 3 INTs and caught 9 TD passes as a senior.
7 WR TED GINN JR. 2003-06 All-American in 2006, caught 135 passes for 1,943 yards and set multiple punt return records during his career. Played CB, QB, WR and RB for Glenville, returned 5 INT for TD as a senior, returned an INT for a state record 102 yards, threw for 932 yards and 12 TDs, ran for 845 and 17 TDs and was the D1 Offensive Player of the Year.
44 LB CURTIS TERRY 2004-08 Played in 46 games and had 26 tackles and 5.5 TFL, missed the 2007 season because of foot and ankle issues. All-Ohioan as a senior when he had 25 TFL including 12 sacks, over 3 years he played QB, RB, DE, LB and safety, also played basketball and track.
3 S JAMARIO O'NEAL 2005-08 Started the last 8 games of the 2006 season, finished his career with 49 tackles, 1 INT and 2.5 TFL, went by JO or J-Mo. All-Ohioan as a junior and senior, had 65 tackles, sacks and 3 INTs and was a Parade All-American his senior season.
4 WR RAY SMALL 2006-09 Small finished his up-and-down four years with 61 catches for 659 yards and three TDs, as well as one punt and kickoff return TD each. All-Ohioan, had 35 receptions for 521 yards and 10 TDs as a senior, also had 5 TDs on returns, was the league MVP.
9 DL ROBERT ROSE 2006-09 Shoulder injuries slowed him down in 2007, he had shoulder surgery in 2008, started four games and had three TFL and two sacks as a senior. All-Ohioan and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, had 77 tackles and 17 sacks as a senior.
70 OL BRYANT BROWNING 2006-10 Three-year starter on the offensive line and 2010 captain. All-Ohioan and captain as a senior, ranked No. 1 academically in his class, lettered three years in football and track.
7 S JERMALE HINES 2007-10 Two-year starter who recorded 157 tackles and three interceptions as a Buckeye. Defensive MVP of the team, All-District, played QB and LB as a junior.
41 FB JERMIL MARTIN 2009 On the team for one season, had 11 carries for 84 yards. All-Ohioan at DE, 81 tackles, 22 TFL and 8 sacks as a senior, 27 career sacks.
55 DE JONATHAN NEWSOME 2009-10 Had 20 tackles over two seasons, transferred to Ball State. Captain and Plain Dealer All-Star, had 101 tackles and 17 sacks as a senior.
79 OL MARCUS HALL 2009-13 Starter as a junior and senior, most remembered for his exit in The Game. All-Ohioan, U.S. All-American game, Parade All-American, also played basketball and track.
2 S CHRISTIAN BRYANT 2010-13 Three-year starter at safety who recorded 168 tackles and two interceptions at Ohio State. All-Ohioan, played QB, RB, WR and returned punts and kickoffs, US. Army All-American Bowl, had 82 tackles and 5 INTs as a senior.
12 QB CARDALE JONES 2012-15 Led Ohio State to wins over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon to win the national championship in the 2014 season. Threw for 2,168 yards ad 18 TDs and earned 3rd team All-Ohioan honors his last season with Glenville, attended Fork Union Military Academy before enrolling at Ohio State.
30 DB DEVAN BOGARD 2012-14 His Ohio State career ended after he tore his ACL three times in three seasons.  All-Ohioan who was one of the top DBs in the state, known for his hard hits, had 91 tackles and 2 INTs as a senior.
35 LB CHRIS WORLEY 2013-17 Captain in 2017, missed three games with a foot injury, played in 50 games with 24 starts, finished with 154 tackles and two sacks. Made 89 tackles, 9 sacks, 8 INTs and 7 forced fumbles as a senior.
1, 34 S ERICK SMITH 2014-17 Played in 33 games and had 73 tackles, 1.5 TFL and an interception.  All-Ohioan, had 10 tackles and a pick six in the 2013 state championship game, consensus top 5 safety prospect.
2 CB MARSHON LATTIMORE 2014-16 All-Big Ten selection in 2016, finished OSU career with 45 tackles and 4 interceptions and a pick-six. All-Ohioan and U.S. Army All-American who had 40 receptions for 911 yards and 16 TDs as a senior.
64 OL MARCELYS JONES 2014 Left the program after one season. All-Ohioan and the first in the class of 2014 to commit. 
70 DE CURTIS HENRY 2016 Spent one season with the Buckeyes as a walk-on. Played with Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith at Glenville.

More on Glenville

Glenville is located on the east side of Cleveland. The Tarblooders compete in the Senate League and Division IV, Region 13.

Last season, the Tarblooders lost their first three games of the year before rallying to win seven straight games to close out the regular season with a 7–3 record. In the playoffs, Glenville defeated Beaver Local and Villa Angela-St. Joseph before losing to Ursuline.

Glenville became the first Cleveland public school to advance to the Division I football state championship in 2009. The Tarblooders returned to the title game in 2013 and fell just short, this team as a member of Division II. 

The Tarblooders hold 17 OHSAA state championships, all of them won by the boys’ track and field team. The first title was in 1959, with the latest coming in 2022. Ted Ginn Sr. has earned six state titles, including five straight from 2003 to 2007, as track and field coach.

The legacy of Ted Ginn Sr.

Ted Ginn Sr. grew up in Louisiana but moved to Cleveland during the 1970s when he was in high school. He attended Glenville and played center and linebacker for tor the football team. 

Ginn began his football coaching career in 1976 as a volunteer assistant for the Tarblooders. He was hired as a paid assistant in 1986 and took over the program in 1997. Ginn has guided Glenville to 18 playoff appearances, including state runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2013.

Although he has had to take time away from coaching the football team on multiple occasions due to battles with cancer, Ginn Sr. has always come back to the sidelines. In an interview with MaxPreps in 2013, Ginn Sr.'s wife Jeanette said, “We try to slow him down, but he's a man of big vision and has a lot of passion for what he does. It's a little difficult.”

One of his passions was creating a school for the youth of Cleveland. Ginn Academy opened its doors in 2007 and is Ohio's only all-boys public school. An emphasis is placed on higher education, but students can also prepare for careers in various fields of skilled labor.

The Ginn Academy has been run by its namesake since the beginning. Students who attend Ginn Academy play sports for their local schools.

Ginn Sr. was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. Ginn Sr. was recognized with the Ohio's Finest Award at the 2019 Ohio State Football Coaches Clinic.

Other famous alumni

In addition to the 21 Tarblooders who have gone on to play football at Ohio State, there are many other alumni from Glenville who have achieved success in the sports world and elsewhere, including:

Why are Buckeyes who only played 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. Walk-on players who were never on a season-opening roster also were not included in Ohio State’s media guides.

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