Friday, May 2, 2008

Ohio State Football All 2000's Team

With the horrors of the 1990's behind us, Buckeye fans were eager for a brighter future, and Coach Jim Tressel gave us just that. With three appearances in national title games, with a 2002 national championship, as well as multiple Big Ten titles and a 2005 class which produced five first round draft picks, the program seems to be back where Woody would have wanted it. For the first time since the 1970's, Ohio State has won the decade against Michigan, with two seasons remaining, and looks like the favorite to win the 2008 national championship.

Though there is still more to come before the decade is finished, already an impressive array of talent fills the All-Decade team. Nothing is set in stone, but here is a look at the best of the decade so far.

BACKFIELD

QB Troy Smith - Heisman Trophy winner and All-American, no one else can hope to match him in this time span.

FB Jamar Martin - Branden Joe was a very good runner, but Martin was more of a complete package.

TB Chris Wells - 1,600+ yards in 2007. And miles to go before he sleeps, and miles to go before he sleeps.

OFFENSIVE LINE

OL Nick Mangold - Called the best Center prospect to come out of college in the last fifteen years, an All-American who jumped right into the starting position in the NFL.

OL LeCharles Bentley - Either Bentley or Mangold would have to move to guard, but neither one can be left off the All-Decade team. An All-American.

OL Alex Boone - Another year to go, his agility is reminiscent of Pace and Hicks and his strength is unquestioned.

OL Kirk Barton - An All-American and part of the powerful 2007 O-Line.

OL Alex Stepanovich - A number of talented athletes could go in this last spot, including Datish and Olivea, but we'll go with Stepanovich because... just because.

RECEIVERS

WR Michael Jenkins - Strong career with great numbers to back it and a good attitude as well. No relation to the CB with the same last name.

WR Anthony Gonzalez - There is plenty of competition for the second receiver spot, but Gonzalez was stronger than either Holmes or Ginn and was just as fast. Keep an eye out for Robiskie in 2008.

TE Ben Hartsock - At a position which Ohio State does not generally stack with talent, Hartsock was a solid performer in all aspects.

DEFENSIVE LINE

DE Vernon Gholston - A physical specimen non-pareil, one wonders what would have happened with a senior season. All-American and #6 pick in the NFL draft.

DE Will Smith - Is beginning to dominate in the pros like he did for OSU, helping them win a national title. Big Ten Defensive MVP and All-American.

DT Quinn Pitcock - An All-American who caused no end of troubles for offenses as he charged up the middle.

DT Tim Anderson - Never attracted too much notice, but did great work for the Buckeyes' in 2002 and 2003. Continues to perform well in the NFL.

LINEBACKERS

LB A.J. Hawk - The best LB to don the Scarlet and Gray since Chris Spielman. Described by some as a force of nature. Two time All-American and Butkus award snub.

LB James Laurinaitis - Let's see what happens in 2008; Hawk's position at the top is not entirely secure. This one will almost certainly be another three time All-American for the Buckeyes.

LB Matt Wilhelm - An All-American that the 'experts' said could not make it in the pros. He is now having the last laugh. An integral part of the 2002 national champions.

DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD

CB Malcolm Jenkins - Holds his own with the best Buckeyes of all time, and he still has a senior season to impress us some more. No relation to the WR with the same last name.

CB Nate Clements - A tough call with Gamble waiting in the wings, but Clements was a lock down corner, and he is now getting, in the NFL, the recognition he should have gotten in college.

S Mike Doss - Three time All-American? Say no more.

S Donte Whitner - Got some All-American recognition, but the NFL valued him a bit more accurately. Will Allen, Nate Salley and Donnie Nickey are acceptable alternatives.

20 comments:

alison said...

the kaiser! golston! hawk! and ben hartsock! this list makes me happy

Spirit of 73 said...

alison,

Those are names that make every good Buckeye happy!

Kevin said...

C'mon, can't you add Special Teams for the 2000's just to get Teddy on the list? We've never had a returner close to him, and he changed games just from the fact that he was waiting back there to receive the kick. So fast.

Spirit of 73 said...

Kevin,

Teddy was a good one, no doubt, but I have been leaving off special teams from earlier decades mainly because I don't feel knowledgeable enough about them. I wanted to stay consistent.

As far as Teddy being the best, Neal Colzie and Thomas Barrington were standout kick returners too. Barrington's '65 season is the best in OSU history for kickoff returns.

It was hard leaving Mr. Ginn Jr. off the list, but if you play for Ohio State, being great isn't enough to get on the All-Decade Team!

Kevin said...

Well, I certainly can't argue with your last sentence!

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