99 Warriors: No. 30, Three-Year Starter, Team Captain and Rose Bowl Champion, Greg Bellisari

By James Grega on August 2, 2018 at 8:05 am
Greg Bellisari

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. 30 Greg Bellisari

One of the original Silver Bullets is our pick for the best Buckeye ever to wear the No. 30. 

LB Greg Bellisari

b. June. 21, 1975 (Boynton Beach, FL)

  • Academic All-American (1995-96)
  • Academic All-Big Ten (1994-96)
  • Team Captain (1996)
  • Rose Bowl Champion (1997)

Linebacker Greg Bellisari came to Columbus in 1993 and after one season, cracked the starting lineup on a defense that would soon become one of the best in school history. 

Bellisari's first year as a starter saw plenty of ups and downs as Ohio State finished with a 9-4 record that saw the Buckeyes lose an embarrassing 63-14 contest to No. 1 Penn State, but ultimately rebound to defeat Michigan in the season finale, just one of two victories John Cooper collected against the Wolverines. 

The 1995 season saw Ohio State jump out to an 11-0 start with six of those wins coming against top-25 teams. However, the Buckeyes were upset by Michigan in the final week of the regular season as Tim Biakabutuka ran wild for 313 yards as the Wolverines sent Ohio State home with a 31-23 loss.

Bellisari's senior season saw him named a captain of the Silver Bullets, as he was flanked by the likes of Andy Katzenmoyer and Ryan Miller at the linebacker positions. The Buckeyes once again ran the table in the regular season until the matchup with Michigan dropping a 13-9 contest at home to the Wolverines, ending their hopes of a national title. 

However, Ohio State was still able to secure the signature win of the Cooper era, defeating Arizona State 20-17 in the 1997 Rose Bowl. In that game, Bellisari collected five tackles and a sack.

Bellisari had a brief two-year stint in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before leaving the NFL to pursue a career in medicine. An Orthopedic Surgeon, Bellisari works in Upper Arlington, just a short drive from campus. 

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Photo: Ohio State Dept. of Athletics

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