The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time

Over 4.5K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time
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Upvote your favorite Ohio State players. No coaches.

A list of the best Ohio State Buckeyes of all time. Since 1890, THE Ohio State University has been one of the most storied programs in college football history. Firstly, using "the" in front of the school name has been a source of pride for most Buckeyes. The school's football team has been one of the best in the NCAA. Ohio State has won seven national championships and its players, some of the most successful in college football history, are also winners of the Heisman Trophy, college football's most prestigious honor. Six Buckeyes have won the Heisman, including Archie Griffin, who is the only two-time winner of the award. Eddie George, the 1995 Heisman winner, is one of the greatest running backs in college history. He set a Buckeyes record when he ran for a whopping 313 yards in a single game versus Illinois. Some of the best Buckeyes players are also on the defensive side of the ball. Despite having a strong NFL career with the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills, middle linebacker Chris Spielman is one of the most beloved Buckeyes player of all time. He was a tackling machine who powered a strong Ohio State defense during the mid-to-late 80s.

Some of the best Ohio State players of all time have had their biggest games arch the school's archrival to the north: Michigan. For years, the two schools have battled it out for the Big Ten title, which used to mean a coveted berth in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day in Pasadena. The best Buckeyes have brought their best to this storied rivalry game and have provided some of the most memorable moments in the series.

This is the list of the best Ohio State Buckeyes of all time. If you see someone missing from this list, feel free to add him to this list. Vote or rerank this list according to who you think should be considered the greatest Ohio State player of all time.
Most divisive: Bobby Hoying
Ranked by
  • Archie Griffin
    Running back
    1,856 votes
    • Birthplace: USA, Columbus, Ohio
    • Age: 69
    • Teams: Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Bulls, Ohio State Buckeyes football
  • Eddie George
    Running back
    1,674 votes
    • Birthplace: USA, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Age: 50
    • Teams: Tennessee Titans, Ohio State Buckeyes football, Dallas Cowboys

    Eddie George was a force to be reckoned with during his time as a running back for the Buckeyes, consistently striking fear into the hearts of opposing defenses with his incredible blend of size, speed, and strength. More than just a bruising ball carrier, George displayed an uncanny ability to find even the smallest seam in the line, making him a constant threat to break off a big play at any given moment. His relentless work ethic and commitment to excellence helped cement his status as one of the best running backs not only in Ohio State history, but in all of college football.

  • Orlando Pace
    1,591 votes
    • Birthplace: Sandusky, Ohio
    • Age: 47
    • Teams: St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears, Ohio State Buckeyes football

    Few offensive linemen have ever dominated their position like Orlando Pace did during his time at Ohio State, leading to his well-deserved reputation as a "once-in-a-generation" talent. Often referred to as a "pancake machine" for his penchant for flattening defenders with ease, Pace's incredibly quick feet, immense strength, and unmatched technique allowed him to protect his quarterback with a level of excellence rarely seen on the college gridiron. With his combination of physical superiority and exceptional mental acuity, Pace will forever be remembered as one of the truly elite players in Buckeye history.

  • Cris Carter
    Wide receiver
    1,444 votes
    • Birthplace: Troy, Ohio, USA
    • Age: 57
    • Teams: Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Ohio State Buckeyes football

    A masterful technician and crisp route runner, Cris Carter left an indelible mark on Ohio State football during his tenure as a wide receiver in the mid-80s, thanks in large part to his uncanny ability to make difficult catches look routine. Blessed with superb hands and an unparalleled knack for getting open, Carter set the standard for future generations of Buckeye pass catchers, making him one of the most revered and influential players in the program's storied history. Known for his flashy but polished playing style, Carter's name will forever be synonymous with excellence in the annals of Ohio State football.

  • Joey Bosa

    Joey Bosa

    1,366 votes
    • Age: 22
    • Teams: LA Chargers

    The elder of the Bosa brothers, Joey made a name for himself at Ohio State as a relentless and tenacious defensive end whose ability to wreak havoc in opponents' backfields put him squarely in the conversation for the best defensive player in college football during his time on campus. With an unwavering motor, outstanding athleticism, and a nearly unmatched understanding of how to use leverage to his advantage, Bosa was an absolute nightmare for opposing offensive linemen and quarterbacks. His impact on the sport as an Ohio State Buckeye was so profound that it helped pave the way for his younger brother, Nick, to etch his own name into Buckeye lore.

  • Ezekiel Elliott
    Running back
    1,597 votes
    • Birthplace: Alton, Illinois
    • Teams: Dallas Cowboys

    A true workhorse running back, Ezekiel Elliott quickly endeared himself to the Buckeye faithful with his relentless running style, tireless work ethic, and uncanny ability to make big plays when it mattered most. Few players could match Elliott's combination of raw power and breakaway speed, making him a constant threat to take it the distance every time he touched the ball. Often described as a "game changer" for his ability to single-handedly swing the momentum of a contest, Elliott will forever be remembered among the greats in Ohio State football history.