Over the weekend the latest class was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame up in Canton. Ohio State has 10 inductees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which ranks fourth all-time. The only schools to produce more hall of famers than Ohio State are Michigan, USC, and Notre Dame.
The last Ohio State player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was legendary offensive tackle Orlando Pace in 2016. In the coming years there should be more inductions of former Buckeyes, since Ohio State is producing plenty of great professional football players. There is a chance that the number of Buckeyes in Canton could expand to 11 in 2023, since Randy Gradishar is a finalist nominated in the Seniors category.
With how many former Buckeyes have made an impact in the NFL over the last decade, everyone has to have at least one that they are rooting for earn a spot in Canton. Today we want to know which former Ohio State player you want to see enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the future. The choice doesn’t need to be the next Ohio State to join the Pro Football Hall of Fame fraternity, but just someone that you will be rooting for to become a member down the road.
Today’s question: Which former Ohio State player currently in the NFL do you want to see in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Joey Bosa
I was torn between Joey Bosa and Chase Young here. I just think right now Bosa is putting together a better body of work. Young definitely deserves to have a great career, especially since he is stuck playing for a team that is owned by noted scumbag Daniel Snyder. I’m just a little worried that Young struggled in the nine games he played in his second year in the league, and there are injury concerns ahead of the start of this season.
Not that a little early career adversity can’t be overcome. Bosa’s NFL career started with a contract holdout that was settled just a couple weeks before the season started. The defensive end missed the first four weeks of the season due to a hamstring injury. Even with missing time in training camp and early in the year, Bosa still won AP Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 10.5 sacks in 2016.
Since bursting onto the scene in 2016, Bosa has been dominant when he has been able to stay on the field. The only concern about Bosa is he only played in seven games in 2018 due to injury, and 12 games in 2020. In the three seasons that Bosa has been able to play all 16 games, he has recorded at least 10.5 sacks each time. Through six years in the league, Bosa has 58 career sacks and has been selected to the Pro Bowl in four of those years.
The scary thing is Bosa could be even better this year, since the Chargers acquired Khalil Mack to line up across from Bosa on the defensive line. You can also see Bosa’s skills evolving, since last year he really focused on separating his opponents from the football, recording seven forced fumbles. When you put it all together, Bosa’s body of work so far in the NFL is definitely nothing to shrug at... or since it’s Bosa, we probably should shrug.
Meredith’s answer: Denzel Ward
When I think of future NFL Hall of Fame players from Ohio State, the list is, of course, a lengthy one, but selfishly I have to go with Denzel Ward. Ward left Ohio State in 2018 as the fourth-overall pick by the Cleveland Browns. The fifth-year cornerback is entering the 2022 season as the second-highest-paid player at his position, having just signed a monster contract in the spring.
That contract was well-deserved. Ward got his second trip to the Pro Bowl last season. Ward had three picks in 2021, including one that he returned for a touchdown. He also had 10 passes defended and 34 solo tackles.
Ohio State has just one defensive back in the Hall of Fame (Dick LeBeau). Given the Buckeyes success in the defensive secondary, it feels only right that one of the current greats makes his way into the hall.
As an Ohio native from Macedonia, we can expect a huge throng in northeast Ohio for Ward’s induction someday. He’s literally a hometown hero, spending his career in Ohio. Unless he breaks my heart and leaves Cleveland someday (please, no). Good news is, it looks like he wants to stick around!