“Face of Position”, Offensive Line

It’s almost the summer doldrums and you’re most likely stuck between repeatedly lining up for last year’s Rose Bowl win over Utah on the DVR, reading rankings and lists that include the state of Ohio, and longing for the start of college football Season.

Sounds like a perfect time to start a series that we’re starting here at Buckeyes Wire. We call it the “face of the position” and it really is exactly what it sounds like. When you think of a position group in the state of Ohio, who do you think of? From quarterback to linebacker to placekicker and beyond, OSU has some of college football’s most legendary and historic players who have carved their place among the game’s best.

However, a player stands out from all the rest when you cloak them behind the colors of scarlet and gray, and this is where we will ask for your support.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting players in the running for a position at Ohio State and asking for your vote in a Twitter poll to identify a player as who you think might fill that position.

We’ve already looked at quarterback position, running backs, and wide receivers. We stay on the ball offensively and look at the offensive line as a group. It’s a position that’s probably a little underestimated in OSU history, given that some all-time great players have also become a force in the NFL.

We will vote for five days and announce the winner at the end. Be sure to scroll down to cast your vote from the nominees and enroll a candidate if you have another player in mind.

Korey Stringer (1992-1994)

Mandatory Credit: US PRESSWIRE

The basic principle

Stringer was an anchor for offensive tackle and opened huge holes for a number of great buckeye running backs including Eddie George, Raymont Harris and Robert Smith.

A three-year starter in tackle for the Buckeyes, Stringer was a consensus All-American in 1994. The Minnesota Vikings selected him in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft with the 24th overall pick. He started 91 games for the Vikings and secured a Pro Bowl berth in 2000.

Unfortunately, he passed away the following year at the age of 27. He left far too early but left his mark as a player and as a person.

Orlando Pace (1994-1996)

Jan 1, 1997; Pasadena, California, United States; FILEPHOTO; The Ohio State Buckeyes tackle Orlando Pace (75) in action against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the 1997 Rose Bowl. Ohio State defeated Arizona State 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Photo by USA TODAY Sports

The basic principle


That one word is the best way to sum up Orlando Pace’s illustrious Ohio State career. He didn’t just open up careers, he slapped opposing defenders on the butt. In fact, he was so dominant that he received unanimous All-American honors in 1995 and 1996. In 1996 he joined the Heisman as an offensive lineman.

Pace has been just as successful in the NFL, starting in 165 games with seven Pro Bowl appearances. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013 and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

If those credentials don’t scream “greatest offensive lineman in school history,” I don’t know what does! But is he the face of the position in OSU history? You can decide that.

Jim Parker (1953-1956)

Ohio State Warden Jim Parker is pictured on November 23, 1955. (AP Photo/Gene Smith)

The basic principle

For those of you too young to remember, Parker was one of the best collegiate offensive linemen to ever play the game, and he did it for a run-heavy Woody Hayes offense.

Hayes later called him “the greatest offensive lineman I’ve ever coached.”

And it’s probably true. Parker was a three-year starter and two-time All-American at Ohio State, also adept at elite-level run-and-pass blocking. In 1956, he became the first in the program’s history to take home the Outland Trophy for college football’s top interior designer.

In addition to being inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame, Parker is also enshrined in the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame after a distinguished career with the Baltimore Colts.

John Hicks (1969-1972)

Nov 24, 1973; Ann Arbor, MI; The Ohio State Buckeyes tackle John Hicks (74) in the fight against the Michigan Wolverines. The game ended in a 10:10 draw. Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The basic principle

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that two of “Woody’s Boys” would go on to be two of the greatest offensive linemen in program history. Hicks was a fiery warrior who excelled from the moment he stepped onto campus. Rookies were not eligible to play during his time, but as soon as he took the field he dominated.

Hicks helped launch the career of two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin, and achieved a one-two in 1972 by winning the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award. Miraculously, he came second in the Heisman poll that same season.

He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and was a two-time Ohio State All-American. A younger offensive lineman will be remembered by many, but he cannot be forgotten.

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