In order to help us get through the long summer months, we will be starting a countdown of the top 25 Buckeyes of the decade (2000-2009).
The staff submitted their ballots and the votes have been tallied. We will unveil a new Buckeye in the countdown once a week and as the season approaches the frequency may increase (I haven’t done the exact math to figure out how this is going to work out).
We will only be covering football players for this countdown, even though Ohio State has had some fine basketball players over the last decade as well, sorry Evan Turner.
One thing to note is that we didn’t really define what it means to be in the “Top 25 Buckeyes of the Decade.”
Do you measure on the field accomplishments? wins and losses? statistics? post season accolades? who you’d want most on this year’s team?
In the end, it is a mix of all of the above and then some, which means that different people will have different opinions about this list. We tried to eliminate some of the individual biases by polling all five writers here at the BBC, and I have to say I am happy with the results. However, by no means is this list definitive, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts.
And with that, here are the guys that didn’t quite make the cut for the top 25, but did receive votes, making them worthy of an honorable mention.
DL Kenny Peterson (2002)
Peterson is best known for being a member of the dominating defensive front that helped lead the Buckeyes to a National Championship in 2002.
Since football is a team sport, and the rest of that defensive line in 2002 kicked some serious ass as well, I will also take this time to mention Tim Anderson, Darrion Scott, and the rest of that defensive line rotation, this honorable mention is for all of you.
Peterson was selected in the 3rd round of the 2003 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers.
P B.J. Sander (2003)
Sander was a First-Team All-American and All-Big Ten honoree in 2003. He had a remarkable season that year, setting Ohio State records for punt attempts (82) and yards (3,553) in a season.
For his efforts, he received the Ray Guy award, given out to the best collegiate punter in the country each year.
Sander also holds the third highest career punting average in Ohio State history at 42.2 yards per punt.
He was selected in the 3rd round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers.
Speaking of punters, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Andy Groom here.
Groom was the punter on the 2002 National Championship squad who also earned 1st Team All-Big Ten and All-American honors. Groom is first amongst Ohio State punters with a career average punt of 45 yards.
Not too shabby.
Sander and Groom were the driving force behind Tressel-ball in the early years, and both are deserving of this honorable mention.
Unsurprisingly, I was unable to find a good picture of either player.
LB Marcus Freeman (2006-2008)
Freeman was a three year starter at linebacker for the Buckeyes and appeared in a total of 51 games with 37 starts during his career.
He battled injury issues for most of his time as a Buckeye, even sitting out an entire season in 2005. Despite this, he was extremely talented and ranks 19th all time at Ohio State with 268 career tackles.
Freeman was overshadowed a bit by other linebackers on the roster, but he did earn Second-Team All-Big Ten honors twice and is well deserving of this honorable mention.
He was selected in the 5th round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears, but his NFL career has been cut short due to a heart condition.
WR Brian Robiskie (2007-2008)
Robiskie was a two year starter for the Bucks who led the team in receiving yards and receptions both years. His 935 receiving yards (52 receptions) in 2007 is the 11th most for a receiver in a season in Ohio State history.
Robiskie is 8th in the record books with 127 career receptions and 10th in career receiving yards (1,866).
Also notable for Robiskie was his game winning TD reception in the epic #1 versus #2 Ohio State-Michigan game in 2006.
He was taken in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns.
DT Ryan Pickett (1998-2000)
Pickett just barely makes this list by playing on the 2000 team, which is partly why he is only honorable mention.
He was a three year starter for the Buckeyes, and has had a productive NFL career with the St. Louis Rams from 2001-2005 and with the Green Bay Packers from 2005-present.
He was selected in the first round in the 2001 NFL draft by the Rams.
S Will Allen (2003)
Allen only started one year for the Buckeyes in 2003, but he was a major part of the 2002 National Championship secondary.
He had game preserving interceptions against Cincinnati and Michigan in 2002. You may also remember Allen as the guy that destroyed Willis McGahee’s knee in the championship game.
I won’t post a picture of it, but yeah, that was him.
Allen was a First-Team All-American and All-Big Ten selection in 2003, and was drafted in the 4th round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Bucaneers.
Allen is still active in the NFL, and is currently a member of the Pittsburgh Stealers.
S Kurt Coleman (2007-2009)
Coleman was a three year starter at safety for the Bucks.
He earned First-Team All-American and All-Big Ten honors as a senior in 2009 after recording 68 tackles, 5 interception, and 3 forced fumbles. He returned those 5 interception a total of 129 yards (including 1 TD) which is good for the 3rd most INT return yards in a season by a Buckeye.
Coleman was selected in the 7th round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
TE Ben Hartsock (2002-2003)
Hartsock was a two year starter at TE and another key component of the 2002 National Championship squad. He started in a total of 31 games during his career.
He is 7th all time in career receiving yards for a TE at Ohio State with 513. He was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a Fist-Team All-Big Ten TE in 2003.
Hartsock was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts and is currently a member of the New York Jets.
DT Quinn Pitcock (2004-2006)
Pitcock was a three year starter for the Buckeyes and earned First-Team All-American and All-Big Ten honors in 2006.
He had 8 sacks in 2006, including 3 in one game against Cincinnati, which is tied for the 15th best season and the 5th best game in Ohio State history.
Pitcock was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
LB Cie Grant (2002)
Grant was only a starter for one year, and he didn’t exactly light up the record books, but he is here for two reasons.
That wraps it up for the honorable mentions. Stay tuned for the unveiling of #25 next week.