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You decide: Ohio State football’s all-decade safety

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Our 2010-2019 All-Decade Team series continues with the safety position

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State v Clemson Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2010s are coming to an end and we can’t help but reminisce about the memories that the decade brought with it— a national championship, four Big Ten titles, four head coaches, and some of the best to ever wear the scarlet and gray.

To wrap up the decade, we want to hear from you about who you think should comprise the Ohio State Buckeyes’ All-Decade team. From now until the end of the year, we will be going position by position and giving you the candidates so that you can decide who receives this honor more prestigious than a tree in Buckeye Grove, a pair of gold pants, or a ring so big that you have to cary a 10 pound weight in the other hand just to stay balanced.

You’ll be able to vote in the positional articles through Dec. 30 at 12 noon ET, and on Twitter for one week after the poll goes up. Keep in mind that since we are conducting part of the voting on Twitter, we are limited to just four options per position, so this is going to be tough!

Once all the votes are in for every position, we’ll reveal the final All-Decade roster on the final day of the 2010s.


Next up: Safety. Here are your candidates:

Tyvis Powell (2013-2015)

BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State v Notre Dame Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

While his career in the NFL hasn’t exactly panned out, Tyvis Powell will always be a beloved Buckeye safety, also having one of the most memorable plays in recent history in the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.

Powell had a decorated OSU career, playing in 41 games in his three-year stretch in Columbus. Collecting 48 tackles and an interception as a backup in 2013, Powell had perhaps his biggest moment as a Buckeye that season. With the game on the line, the young safety picked off Michigan QB Devin Gardner in the end zone to seal what would be a 42-41 Ohio State victory in 2013.

He really burst onto the scene in 2014 in his first season as a starter. Finishing third on the team with four interceptions, the redshirt sophomore recorded 76 tackles. His greatest achievement that season, however, was being named defensive MVP in the National Championship victory over the Oregon Ducks, finishing with a game-high nine tackles.

In his final season at Ohio State in 2015, Powell finished behind only linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Josh Perry with 71 tackles on the year and three picks.


Vonn Bell (2013-2015)

All State Sugar Bowl - Alabama v Ohio State Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Safeties really come in two different varieties. There are those who function mainly as a sure-tackling last line of defense like Powell, and then there are those who are almost another cornerback on the field with their ability to play the ball. The latter is where you would find Vonn Bell.

Bell played in a backup role as a freshman in 2013 before earning his first start in the Orange Bowl where he would record his first career interception in the loss to Clemson. Earning the starting job in 2014, Bell was an absolute force on the field in all facets of the game. He recorded 92 tackles in the National Championship season, the most by an OSU safety since Mike Doss in 2002, while also grabbing a Big Ten-high six interceptions. Three of those six picks came in some of the biggest games of the season for the Buckeyes, snagging one each against Wisconsin, Michigan and Alabama.

Named a first team AP All-American in 2015, Bell recorded a total of 175 tackles, 24 pass breakups and nine interceptions in 42 games (28 starts) in his Ohio State career. He was an absolutely essential player in the secondary in the Buckeyes’ national title run in 2014 and throughout his time in Columbus.


Malik Hooker (2015-2016)

Ohio State v Penn State Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Despite playing really only one full season at Ohio State, Malik Hooker was one of the most electric defensive players that the Buckeyes have had in the last decade and maybe even beyond.

After redshirting his first year on campus, Hooker appeared in all 13 games in 2015 but almost exclusively on special teams. As a redshirt sophomore in 2016, Hooker earned the job as the starting free safety, and the rest is history. He began his career with a bang, picking off a pair of passes in the team’s first game against Bowling Green.

He would wind up intercepting a whopping seven passes that season with three of them going for touchdowns — including a massive pick-six against Michigan that sparked a comeback victory.

Hooker had an incredible season in the Ohio State secondary, and was named a consensus first team All-American as a result. His ability to track the ball in the air and seemingly make plays at every possible opportunity led him to be drafted No. 15 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2017 NFL Draft. The ballhawking safety was a human highlight reel in his short time donning the Scarlet and Gray.


Jordan Fuller (2016-2019)

Big Ten Football Championship - Ohio State v Wisconsin Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

One of the lucky few current Buckeyes to make the cut for All-Decade Team voting, Jordan Fuller has certainly done enough in his Ohio State career to be in the discussion.

After playing mainly on special teams his freshman year, Fuller was given the tall task of replacing the aforementioned Hooker as the starting safety in 2017. He would finish his first year as the starter with a team-high 57 solo tackles (70 total) and two interceptions, making an appearance on the All-Big Ten third team.

Being named a captain heading into his junior year, Fuller was second on the team with 81 total tackles in 2018, also recording an interception, four pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. Always known for his success both on and off the field, Fuller earned second team All-Big Ten honors and was also named an Academic All-American.

It has been another productive year for Fuller in both facets in 2019, currently sitting at third on the team with 57 total tackles, while being named a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Man of the Year award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy as well as a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Fuller has had a long and fantastic career at Ohio State, with off-field accomplishments almost as impressive as his play on Saturdays.


Remember, since we are limited to four options on Twitter polls, some other great Buckeye corners had to be left out. If you want to tell us how wrong we are for leaving your favorite CB out, or if you want to make your case for one of the candidates, please feel free to do so in the comments below!

Which Buckeye safety should be on Ohio State’s All-Decade team? The top choice will be selected.


Poll

Who was Ohio State’s best safety of the decade?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Tyvis Powell
    (21 votes)
  • 26%
    Vonn Bell
    (172 votes)
  • 63%
    Malik Hooker
    (418 votes)
  • 7%
    Jordan Fuller
    (49 votes)
660 votes total Vote Now