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Who are the highest earning former Ohio State players in the NFL?

Of the 69 players in the NFL who went to Ohio State, who have had the highest earnings over the length of their career?

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

"...those who have gone onto the league from Columbus have done well for themselves, with total career earnings of $463,584,158, an even more impressive figure when you consider that 15 of those players are going to be rookies this coming season."

-Alex Gleitman, Bucknuts

Ever wonder who the most profitable Buckeye is in the NFL? Of the 69 former Ohio State Buckeyes football players currently in the NFL, 51 are on rosters throughout the league and are earning income. Others, like nose tackle Ryan Pickett, have not officially retired, but are also not playing football anymore. According to data from Spotrac, the total number places Ohio State at the No. 6 spot in current NFL players from the school. The data, which tracks career earnings for all players, shows who the top-earning former Buckeyes are for the length of their careers.

At the top of the list is Cleveland Browns safety Donte Whitner, who has earned over $61 million during his nine-year career. Pickett came in at No. 2 with $45.62 million in earnings, followed by New York Jets center Nick Mangold, whose career earnings total $39.58 million. Linebacker A.J. Hawk, Mangold’s classmate, took the No. 4 spot, having earned $36 million during his career.

While none of the 15 rookies made the top-20 cut, despite massive rookie contracts, New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith came in at the No. 20 spot after his rookie season, earning just over $3 million. However, assuming that these 15 players play through their initial, four-year contracts, they are expected to earn a cumulative $111 million on the low end.

Pickett, wide receiver Santonio Holmes, guard Rob Sims and safety Will Allen, who are the top-earning, inactive players on the list, came in at the No. 2, 5, 11 and 13 spots, respectively. Surprisingly, long snapper Jake McQuaide, who went undrafted in 2011, has been with the Rams his entire career and comes in at the No. 18 spot.

Check out the full list here.

"We’re thrilled to be able to continue our season in the NCAA Tournament. It’s a testament to our senior class and the leaders on this team who have pushed us the entire year."

-Ohio State softball head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly, via the Ohio State University

Despite losing out to Northwestern in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament last week, the Ohio State Buckeyes softball team has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament scheduled to begin this weekend. The team is headed to the Knoxville Regional, where they will face No. 22 Arizona in the first round of the tournament. The other two teams in the four-team regional include No. 14 Tennessee and Marist, who won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The first round consists of 16 regions of four teams each playing a double-elimination structure, with one team from each region advancing to the super regionals, best-of-three series.

Ohio State went 33-18-1 on the season, including 13-9-1 in conference. Highlights of the regular season include nine wins over teams with an RPI in the top 75 nationally, including six  of these games won outside of Columbus. Four Buckeyes were named to All-Big Ten teams, including two, Cammi Prantl and Alex Bayne, who were first-team selections.

This is Ohio State’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010, and the eighth in program history. The team has previously made it to the super regionals in 2009, but has not made it to the College World Series since 1982.

In all, six Big Ten teams were selected to the 64-team tournament field, including Minnesota, who won the conference championship over Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament last weekend. Michigan, who is ranked No. 2 nationally, is the only school in the conference to host a regional, and is looking to avenge its loss to Florida in last year’s finals.

The No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes women’s rowing team is cruising on its way to history, winning its fourth-straight conference rowing title over the weekend in Indianapolis. The win is also the seventh title in program history, a Big Ten record.

With four first-place finishes in five events recorded Sunday on wins by the first varsity eight, second varsity eight, first varsity four and third varsity four, the Buckeyes tallied 174 points to defeat No. 11 Wisconsin, who finished in second place with 159 points. No. 10 Michigan came in third with 154 points, followed by No. 14 Indiana with 115 points. Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan State and Rutgers rounded out the results. The Buckeyes earned a second-place finish in the second varsity four, and did not participate in the second novice eight final. Due to high winds in Indianapolis over the weekend, all preliminary events Saturday were cancelled, so all races conducted Sunday were finals.

Five Buckeyes earned all-conference honors at the conclusion of the tournament, including three who were named First Team all-Big Ten, and junior Sarah Peffley won the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The Buckeyes, who are three-time defending NCAA champions, will head to Gold River, California for the NCAA Championships at the end of the month.

"Sometimes you have to offer a guy early (who is) out of state to get in the game. I leave more up to the position coaches who understand that area. If you want to get in the game, sometimes you have to do that. I won’t say it’s positive or negative."

-Urban Meyer, via Ari Wasserman,

Urban Meyer and his position coaches have taken a truly national approach to recruiting. While this means that many young prospects across the country receive offers from Ohio State early on in their high school careers, it also means that many native prospects do not receive the same offers until much later in their recruiting cycle.

Meyer has built up the number of incoming freshmen who are not from the state, with less than half of each incoming class made up of players from Ohio. In a state where many of the elite players grow up as Ohio State fans and dream of playing for the Buckeyes, the coaching staff cannot easily afford to fill the class too early and risk losing out on elite recruits from outside Ohio.

Ohio State will generally offer several players in Ohio early, aiming to get the best players in the state in a given recruiting class. But that often means missing out on "second tier" players, who may then receive offers from other schools--like Michigan--and would not receive an Ohio State offer oftentimes until their senior year. While Meyer says that many of these are "fine players," it is simply not feasible to offer 100 players in-state. While the native players are certainly not lower on Meyer’s priority list, however, he is able to get in the game later with these types of recruits who may be considering leaving the state. Michigan commit Leonard Taylor, for instance, received an offer from the Wolverines early on, but now that the Buckeyes have followed up with an offer of their own, Meyer has a chance to bring him to Columbus.