Ohio State University was established in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, and classes began just a few years later. In 1878, the name was changed to The Ohio State University, and in 1890, the first football game in the school’s history took place. Since then, the university’s football program has brought home eight national championships (most recently in 2014), seven Heisman winners (including Troy Smith, Eddie George, Archie Griffin, and Howard Cassady), and a slew of players who made their name in the NFL.
Past NFL players include James Laurinaitis, A.J. Hawk, Orlando Pace, Mike Vrabel, and Cris Carter. Also, 11 former Buckeyes were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Dick LeBeau, Jim Parker, and Lou Groza.
There are currently 44 former Ohio State players in the National Football League. Some teams have several, while others just have one. Let’s take a look to see where everyone falls.
Dotting the “i”
The Indianapolis Colts have the most former Buckeyes on their roster, including John Simon, Jack Mewhort, Malik Hooker, and Johnathan Hankins (plus Joshua Perry on the practice squad). The New Orleans Saints have four former Ohio State players, including Michael Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, Ted Ginn, and Vonn Bell.
Among former Buckeyes that currently play in the NFL, there are a few that definitely stand out. Last year’s leading rusher, for example, was an Ohio State player – Ezekiel Elliott. He rampaged for 1,631 yards for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016, averaging a league-best of 108.7 yards per game. During his time as a Buckeye he earned the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award, and then was drafted fourth overall in the 2016 draft by the Dallas Cowboys.
Ryan Shazier is another former Ohio State player. Shazier was drafted 15th overall in 2014 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the linebacker is a part of a formidable linebacking corps, along with fellow former Buckeyes Cameron Heyward, who was selected 31st overall in 2011.
Defensive end Joey Bosa is another intriguing player to mention here. This former Buckeyes was drafted third overall in 2016 by the Chargers and has been quite the sack master since his NFL debut. He racked up 10.5 sacks his first season and is on pace to break this mark in 2017 (he has 8.5 as of week nine).
So you’ve been keeping tabs on Ezekiel Elliott since his first year at Ohio State, or you’ve been a fan of the Ohio State University’s football program for years? Good news. Fanatics has a huge assortment of quality Buckeyes garb, as well as the NFL jerseys of some of the best and brightest that have come out of the Columbus, Ohio, campus.