Hall of Fame Ballot Includes Byars, Otis and Ward
June 4, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three Ohio State Buckeye greats – RB Keith Byars, FB Jim Otis and OT Chris Ward – have advanced past the district screening committee and are among the 76 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision named to the official ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced the ballot for the 2019 class today.

Only three nominees per school can advance past the district screening committee to the national ballot. The Buckeyes on the ballot, briefly:

RB #41 Keith Byars (hometown: Dayton, Ohio) – Ranks eighth at Ohio State in career rushing yards with 3,200, sixth with 4,369 all-purpose yards and second with 50 touchdowns scored … he was a unanimous All-American and Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1984 when he led the nation in rushing with a then-school record 1,764 yards, in all-purpose yards (a still-standing school record of 2,441 yards) and in scoring (144 points).

FB #35 Jim Otis (Celina, Ohio) – A member of the 1968 national championship team and a consensus All-American in 1968 … he is one of only four Buckeyes to lead the team in rushing for three seasons … ranks 16th at Ohio State in rushing with 2,542 career yards.

OT #79 Chris Ward (Dayton, Ohio) – Helped Ohio State win four consecutive Big Ten Conference championships ... a two-time All-American, including consensus honors in 1976 and unanimous honors in 1977 … named first-team all-Big Ten Conference three times … helped pave the way for Archie Griffin’s second Heisman Trophy season.

Criteria for Hall of Fame consideration includes, first and foremost, first-team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise its consensus All-America teams (Associated Press, Walter Camp, AFCA, FWAA and The Sporting News). While football achievements in college are of prime consideration, posts-football record as a citizen is also weighed.

The ballot was emailed today to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which will deliberate and select the class. The FBS Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, and the Divisional Honors Court, chaired by former Marshall head coach, longtime athletics director and NFF Board Member Jack Lengyel, include an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.

The announcement of the 2019 Class will be made Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Ohio State Buckeyes (25) in the College Football Hall of Fame
Player | Position At OSU | Inducted
Chic Harley | Halfback 1916-17, 19 | 1951
G. Stinchcomb | Halfback | 1917-20 | 1973
Wes Fesler | End | 1928-30 | 1954
Gomer Jones | Center | 1934-35 | 1978
Gust Zarnas | Guard | 1935-37 | 1975
Bill Willis | Tackle | 1942-44 | 1971
Les Horvath | Quarterback | 1940-42, 44 | 1969
Warren Amling | Guard/Tackle | 1944-46 | 1984
Jim Daniel | Tackle | 1939-41 | 1977
Vic Janowicz | Halfback | 1949-51 | 1976
H. Cassady | Halfback | 1952-55 | 1979
Jim Parker | Guard | 1954-56 | 1974
A. Thomas | Guard | 1955-57 | 1989
Archie Griffin | Tailback | 1972-75 | 1986
Jim Stillwagon | Middle Guard | 1968-70 | 1991
Bob Ferguson | Fullback | 1959-61 | 1996
Randy Gradishar | Linebacker | 1971-73 | 1998
John Hicks | Tackle | 1970, ’72-73 | 2001
Jack Tatum | Def. Back | 1968-70 | 2004
Jim Houston | End | 1957-58 | 2005
Rex Kern | Quarterback | 1968-70 | 2007
Chris Spielman | Linebacker | 1984-87 | 2009
Eddie George | Running Back | 1992-95 | 2012
Orlando Pace | Left Tackle | 1994-96 | 2014
Tom Cousineau | Linebacker | 1975-78 | 2016

Most Players in the College Football Hall of Fame
FBS Schools
46 – Notre Dame
31 – USC
30 – Michigan
25 – Ohio State
22 – Army
21 – Oklahoma
19 – Pittsburgh
18 – Minnesota
18 – Navy
18 – Alabama

Most Hall of Fame Inductees This Century – 2000-18
11 – USC
9 – Notre Dame
9 – Texas
8 – Ohio State
8 – Oklahoma
8 – Michigan
6 – Nebraska
6 – Alabama
5 – Pittsburgh
5 – Penn State
5 – Florida
5 – Georgia