The All-Time All-Ohio HS football team: Staubach, Griffin, Csonka, Schlichter…


All-Time Ohio High School Football Team

When colleague Jon Spencer authored a story about a TV show
discussing Ohio’s greatest high school football players, it triggered a
thought. The thought became an obsession. The Internet is a
wonderful thing and I scoured it. Each click led to another and that led to a conclusion…Ohio has long wielded a cornucopia of high school football talent.

When colleague Jon Spencer authored a story about a TV show
discussing Ohio’s greatest high school football players, it triggered a
thought. The thought became an obsession.

The Internet is a
wonderful thing with Web sites for the College Football Hall of Fame,
the Pro Football Hall of Fame, All-American teams from the past
century, and various sources from around the state, particularly in
Cleveland, Youngstown, Canton, Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and

I used all of them and more, and each led to one conclusion. Ohio has long wielded a cornucopia of high school football talent.

players making first- and second-team all-time All-Ohio includes
offensive and defensive legends, with special team superstars and a
huge and stunning honorable mention list.

I could make a spectacular squad from the guys that didn’t make this list, and there are more than 180 that did.

would start with LeBron James, twice an All-Ohio receiver before not
playing his senior year. National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said
James would’ve been the No. 1 prospect in the nation his senior year
had he played football. Makes me want to add LeBron as an addendum.

Heisman Trophy winner, Troy Smith, didn’t make it. He shared the
quarterback job his junior year at Lakewood St. Edward, and completed
42 percent of his passes his senior year at Glenville, not enough to
make this team.

Likewise, one No. 1 overall pick in the NFL
draft didn’t make it, “Big Daddy” Dan Wilkinson was such a high school
project out of Dayton he had to redshirt at Ohio State.

Terry Glenn, who won the Biletnikoff Award at Ohio State, isn’t on the
team either. He was a walk-on out of Brookhaven, and had a teammate,
Marlon Kerner, who was a much better high school player. Kerner isn’t
here either.

In Mansfield, don’t look for Hugh Douglas. The NFL
Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1995 wasn’t all-conference as a prep

Some kids won Mr. Football and didn’t make it.

of Grantland Rice’s immortal Four Horseman at Notre Dame were from
Ohio. Knute Rockne called Don Miller the greatest open field runner he
ever coached. Unfortunately, Miller sat the bench and barely played at
Defiance High School. Can’t have benchwarmers on this team.

other one, quarterback Harry Stuhldreher, hailed from Massillon, but
played his senior year at Kiski Prep in Pennsylvania. He wound up an
honorable mention selection because he was a significant player for the

Len Dawson is a Pro Football Hall of Famer who was a
gunslinger at Alliance in the early 1950s, before the term was applied
to quarterbacks. Dawson was ahead of his time, and an honorable-mention
pick here, but I simply couldn’t rate him ahead of two other superb
high school quarterbacks, Art Schlichter and Roger Staubach. That’s the
kind of competition we’re talking about.

Ohio produced
out-of-state Heisman Trophy winners at Georgia (Youngstown Chaney’s
Frank Sinkwich) and Princeton (Maumee’s Dick Kazmaier). Both were
honorable mention on this list, as was Ohio State’s Les Horvath (of
Parma) and No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Ki-Jana Carter, from
Westerville South.

The toughest choice for me was at running
back. My favorite college football player is Archie Griffin. He was
Ohio’s Class AAA Back of the Year as a senior at Eastmoor, and
absolutely deserves to be on this team. However, I couldn’t get him on
my first team because I couldn’t rate Griffin as a better high school
back than Keith Byars or Robert Smith.

Vic Janowicz might be the
state’s greatest all-around player. He could run, pass, kick, play
defense, and all at an elite level. Some say he was the best defensive
back in Ohio State history, that’s why he’s in the secondary here.

for Chic Harley, who may be Janowicz’s only rival in the all-around
player department. Perhaps the first true skill-position superstar in
Ohio’s prep ranks, he fits nicely into the secondary, too.

Henry is probably my favorite player on the first team. A three-time
national high school All-American who graduated at Mansfield Senior in
1914, he was a charter member of both the college and pro football
halls of fame. Henry was a fearsome two-way lineman and punter (with an
NFL record 94-yard boot on his resume). Henry attended Washington &
Jefferson College, and when he signed with the Canton Bulldogs it was a
Page 1 story in the Canton Repository. Jim Thorpe forming the NFL was
on Page 3.

Obviously, Ohio State has long feasted on this array
of talent, but Ohio schoolboys have fueled lots of other college
programs, too. Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Nebraska, USC, UCLA,
Navy, Duke, Toledo, Miami of Ohio and Bucknell all have youngsters on
this first or second team.

If you see a name and don’t recognize it, Google it, you’re probably in for a great story.

from the Newark area and never heard of Tom Hamilton. A 6-foot-1,
180-pound halfback, he’s a College Football Hall of Famer thanks to a
brilliant career at Navy in the 1920s. Hamilton attended Doane Academy
in Granville and became head coach at Navy at age 28. He later served
as athletics director for the Midshipmen and eventually at Pittsburgh.

That’s a typical tale on this team.


there is no end-of-argument list, and lots of room for discussion. I’m
pretty confident in the sources used here, but if you have a beef of
why someone should or shouldn’t be on the team, or a conflicting source
on one of these players, I’d love to hear about it.

Be sure to fire off an e-mail and lend your thoughts on what I hope will be a fun, thought-provoking discussion.







QB Art Schlichter, 6-3, 210, Miami Trace, Ohio State

RB Robert Smith, 6-3, 210, Euclid, Ohio State

RB Keith Byars, 6-3, 235, Dayton Roth, Ohio Sate

FB Marion Motley, 6-1, 232, Canton McKinley, South Carolina State

OL Pete Henry, 6-3, 245, Mansfield Senior, Washington & Jefferson

OL Jim Parker, 6-3, 273, Toledo Scott, Ohio State

OL Orlando Pace, 6-6, 330, Sandusky, Ohio State

OL Bob Brown, 6-4, 280, Cleveland East Tech, Nebraska

OL Dan Dierdorf, 6-3, 275, Canton Glenwood, Michigan

TE Kyle Rudolph, 6-7, 245, Cincinnati Elder, Notre Dame

WR Cris Carter, 6-3, 210, Middletown, Ohio State

WR Desmond Howard, 5-10, 185, Cleveland St. Joseph’s, Michigan


DL Bill Willis, 6-2, 213, Columbus East, Ohio State

DL Alan Page, 6-4, 245, Canton Central Catholic, Notre Dame

DL Ross Browner, 6-3, 247, Warren Western Reserve, Notre Dame

DL Jim Houston, 6-2, 216, Massillon, Ohio State

LB Jack Lambert, 6-4, 220, Mantua Crestwood, Kent State

LB Andy Katzenmoyer, 6-4, 245, Westerville South, Ohio State

LB Tom Cousineau, 6-2, 230, Lakewood St. Edward, Ohio State

LB Chris Spielman, 6-1, 225, Massillon, Ohio State

DB Vic Janowicz, 5-9, 185, Elyria, Ohio State

DB Chic Harley, 5-8, 160 Columbus East, Ohio State

DB Charles Woodson, 6-1, 200, Fremont, Michigan

DB George McAfee, 6-0, 178, Ironton, Duke


P Tom Tupa, 6-4, 220, Brecksville, Ohio State

PR Ted Ginn, 5-11, 180, Cleveland Glenville, Ohio State

PR Bam Childress, 5-7, 170, Bedford Chanel, Ohio State

K Lou Groza, Martins Ferry, 6-3, 240, Ohio State

KR Paul Warfield, 6-0, 188, Warren Harding, Ohio State

KR Cliff Battles, 6-1, 194, Akron Kenmore, West Virginia Wesleyan


COACH: Paul Brown, Massillon, 1932-1940, 80-8-2 record, 6 state titles, 4 national titles.

TEAM: Fostoria, 1912 national champions, 8-0 and outscored foes 596-0.




QB Roger Staubach, 6-2, 190, Cincinnati Purcell, Navy

RB Archie Griffin, 5-8, 180, Columbus Eastmoor, Ohio State

RB Maurice Clarett, 6-0, 230, Warren Harding, Ohio State

FB Larry Csonka, 6-3, 235, Stow, Syracuse

OL Mike Michalske, 6-0, 210, Cleveland W. Tech, Penn State

OL Chris Ward, 6-4, 275, Dayton Patterson, Ohio State

OL John Hicks, 6-3, 258, Cleveland John Hay, Ohio State

OL Jack Cannon, 5-11, 193, Columbus Aquinas, Notre Dame

OL Jim Lachey, 6-6, 294, St. Henry, Ohio State

TE Jim Mandich, 6-2, 224, Solon, Michigan

WR Joey Galloway, 6-0, 170, Bellaire, Ohio State

WR Wes Fesler 5-11, 180, Youngstown South, Ohio State


DL Gary Jeter, 6-4, 259, Cleveland Cathedral Latin, USC

DL Irv Eatman, 6-7, 293, Dayton Meadowdale, UCLA

DL Jim Marshall, 5-11, 208, Columbus East, Ohio State

DL Mel Long, 6-1, 230, Toledo Macomber, Toledo

LB Jim Lynch, 6-1, 225, Lima Central Catholic, Notre Dame

LB Randy Gradishar, 6-3, 236, Champion, Ohio State

LB Clarke Hinkle, 5-11, 202, Toronto, Bucknell

LB Bob Babich, 6-2, 225, Campbell Memorial, Miami (Ohio)

DB Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, 5-10, 172, Columbus Central, Ohio State

DB Michael Doss, 6-0, 200, Canton McKinley, Ohio State

DB Antoine Winfield, 5-9, 170, Akron Garfield, Ohio State

DB Dave Brown, 6-1, 185, Akron Garfield, Michigan


Arden, Ironton; Gordon Bell, Troy; Ted Bell, Youngstown Mooney; Todd
Bell, Middletown; LeCharles Bentley, Cleveland St. Ignatius; Alex
Boone, Lakewood St. Edward; Aaron Brown, Warren Western Reserve; Harold Brown,
Kent Roosevelt; Fred Bruney, Martins Ferry; Bob Brudzinski, Fremont
Ross; Hubert Bobo, Chauncey-Dover; Rob Carpenter, Lancaster; Ki-Jana
Carter, Westerville South; Chris Chambers, Bedford; Matt Christopher,
Lake; Nate Clements, Shaker Heights; Ollie Cline, Fredericktown; Bob
Crable, Cincinnati Moeller; Tom Curtis, Aurora; Pete Cusik, Lakewood
St. Edward; Thom Darden, Sandusky; Tim Davis, Warren Western Reserve;
Len Dawson, Alliance; Van Ness DeCree, Warren Western Reserve; Tom
DeLeone, Kent; Doug Donley, Cambridge; Bob Dove, Youngstown South; Marc
Edwards, Norwood; Ray Eichenlaub, Columbus East; Curtis Enis,
Mississinawa Valley.

Bob Ferguson, Troy; Dave Foley, Cincinnati
Roger Bacon; Tim Fox, Canton Glenwood; Hiawatha Francisco, Cincinnati
Moeller; Simon Fraser, Upper Arlington; Dennis Franklin, Massillon;
Benny Friedman, Cleveland E. Tech; Ken Fritz, Ironton; Dave Gallagher,
Piqua; Elvis Grbac, Cleveland St. Joseph’s; Ray Griffin, Columbus
Eastmoor; Ralph Gugliemi, Grandview Heights; Anthony Gonzalez,
Cleveland St. Ignatius; Bill Hackett, London; Antonio Hall, Canton
McKinley; Tom Hamilton, Granville Doane Academy; Jeff Hartings, St.
Henry; John Havlicek, Bridgeport; Chuck Heater, Tiffin; Erick Howard,
North Canton Hoover; Buster Howe, Zanesville; Les Horvath, Parma; Bob
Hoying, St. Henry; Tony Hunter, Cincinnati Moeller; Mike Ingram,
Bellaire; Joe Johnson, Fostoria; Chuck Jones, Chillicothe; Gomer Jones,
Cleveland South; Dick Kazmaier, Maumee; Dwight Kelley, Bremen; Rex
Kern, Lancaster; Bernie Kosar, Boardman; Ken Kuhn, Louisville; Dante
Lavelli, Hudson; Dave Leggett, New Philadelphia; Jeff Logan, North
Canton Hoover; Rob Lytle, Fremont Ross; Dick Mack, Bucyrus.

Mack, Cleveland Heights; Willie Mack, Mansfield Senior; Nick Mangold,
Kettering Alter; Mario Manningham, Warren Harding; Marcus Marek,
Masury; Jim Martin, Cleveland East Tech, Johnny Mattress, Cincinnati
Princeton; Ben Mauk, Kenton; Rufus Mayes, Toledo Macomber; Napoleon
McCallum, Millford; O.J. McDuffie, Gates Mills Hawken; Dee Miller,
Springfield South; Rip Miller, Canton McKinley; Damon Moore, Fostoria;
Michael Munoz, Cincinnati Moeller; Steve Myers, Kenton; Mike Nugent,
Centerville; Ray Nolting, Cincinnati Hughes; Jim Otis, Celina; Joe
Pickens, Cleveland St. Ignatius; Ahmed Plummer, Cincinnati Wyoming;
Larry Poole, Akron Garfield; Ricky Powers, Akron Buchtel; Omar Provitt,
Warren Harding; Ray Pryor, Hamilton; Brady Quinn, Dublin Coffman; Javon
Ringer, Dayton Chaminade-Julienne; Robbie Robertson, Barberton; Ben
Roethlisberger, Findlay; Esco Sarkkinen, Fairport Harbor; Don Scott,
Canton McKinley; Mike Sensibaugh, Lockland; Kurt Shumacher, Lorain;
Frank Sinkwich, Youngstown Chaney; Inwood Smith, Mansfield Senior

Snow, Cincinnati Academy of Physical Education; Percy Snow, Canton
McKinley; Tim Spencer, St. Clairsvillle; Frank Stams, Akron St.
Vincent-St. Mary’s; Pete Stinchcomb, Fostoria; Steve Strinko,
Middletown; Korey Stringer, Warren Harding; Dana Stubblefield, North
Bend Taylor; Harry Stuhldreher, Massillon; Tyrrel Sutton, Akron Hoban;
Billy Taylor, Barberton; Bob Timberlake, Franklin; Steve Tovar, Elyria;
Aurelius Thomas, Columbus West; Jim Tyrer, Newark; Jeff Uhlenhake,
Newark Catholic; Garin Veris, Chillicothe; Richard Volk, Wauseon; Mike
Vrabel, Walsh Jesuit; Chris Wells, Akron Garfield; Chuck Webb, Toledo
Macomber; Merle Wendt, Middletown; Gary Williams, Wilmington; Larry
Zelina, Cleveland Benedictine; Trent Zenkewicz, Cleveland St. Ignatius;
Mike Zordich, Youngstown Chaney; Justin Zwick, Massillon.

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