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. 11 Antoine Winfield
DB Antoine Winfield
b. June 24, 1977 (Akron, Ohio)
- Consensus All-American (1998)
- Jim Thorpe Award Winner (1998)
- First Round Draft Choice (1999)
One of the best defensive backs ever to play in Columbus, Antoine Winfield was a two-and-a-half year starter for the Buckeyes, and earned numerous accolades.
After stepping into a full-time starting role at the beginning of his junior season, Winfield led Ohio State with exactly 100 solo tackles, and set a career high with 13 tackles in a win over Missouri.
In his senior season, Winfield was voted a team captain, and started all 12 games. He was third on the Buckeyes with 80 total tackles, but interestingly did not record an interception. Nevertheless, Winfield was still named a consensus All-American, and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. Winfield also won two team awards: the Arnie Chonko Award as the team’s best defensive back, and the Bill Willis Award as the best defensive player.
Following his time at Ohio State, Winfield was selected in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, for whom he played four seasons. Following his time in Buffalo, Winfield transitioned to Minnesota, for whom he played from 2004-2012. He was named to three straight Pro Bowls during that time, from 2008-2010. He was also a second-team All Pro in 2008, and was named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings of all-time.
Winfield was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.