99 Warriors: No. 1, Three-Time All-American and Second-Round Draft Choice Tom Skladany

By David Wertheim on August 31, 2018 at 8:05 am
No. 1 Tom Skladany

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. 1 Tom Skladany

Through his junior season at Ohio State, Tom Skladany had already been named a first-team All-American twice. 

K/P Tom Skladany

b. June 29, 1955 (Bethel Park, PA)

  • All-American (1974, 1975, 1976)
  • First "specialist" in Big Ten history to receive a football scholarship
  • Second-Round NFL Draft Choice (1977)

And in his senior season, he was once again named All-American.

One of the best punters in the history of the game, Skladany became the first specialty player given a football scholarship in Big Ten football history in 1972. He is the only three-time All-American punter in the history of college football.

Skladany is also the only specialist in the history of Ohio State football to be chosen as a team captain, according to his official Ohio State bio.

Skladany was selected in the second round of the 1977 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. Skladany made history when he became the first player to ever hold out for a full season, as he did so due to a contract dispute. After the 1977 campaign, he was traded to the Detroit Lions, for whom he played five seasons and made one Pro Bowl. Following one year with the Philadelphia Eagles, Skladany retired after sustaining a back injury. He is also a past President of the NFL Alumni Association of Ohio (1989–2013).

Skladany is one of just eight three-time All-Americans in Ohio State history, along with Chic Harley, Wes Fesler, Lew Hinchman, Merle Wendt, Archie Griffin, Mike Doss, and James Laurinaitis.

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