We're counting down the days to kickoff with “99 Warriors,” the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes by jersey number, as voted by the staff of Eleven Warriors.
No. 79 Chris Ward
The top Buckeye to wear No. 79 also ranks as one of the best offensive tackles in Ohio State history.
LT Chris Ward
b. Dec. 16, 1956 (Dayton, Ohio)
- First-Team All-American (1976, 1977)
- First-Team All-Big Ten (1975, 1976, 1977)
- Academic All-American (1975)
- Team Captain (1977)
- Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame (1989)
In his first season as Ohio State's starting left tackle in 1975, Chris Ward helped pave the way for Archie Griffin's second Heisman Trophy-winning season, all the while earning first-team All-Big Ten honors and helping lead the Buckeyes to a conference title.
In his two subsequent seasons as the Buckeyes' left tackle in 1976 and 1977, Ward earned first-team All-American honors – consensus in 1976 and unanimous in 1977 – as Ohio State won two more Big Ten titles.
In addition to his excellence on the field, Ward was also a top performer in the classroom, earning Academic All-American honors in 1975.
Ward went on to play for seven seasons in the NFL after being selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 1978 NFL draft by the New York Jets.
A 1989 inductee into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame, Ward is among the nominees for the College Football Hall of Fame's class of 2019.
Photo: Ohio State Dept. of Athletics