Dayton native among Ohio State players on College Football Hall of Fame ballot

Credit: Jeff Gross

Credit: Jeff Gross

James Laurinaitis and Dayton native Chris Ward are two Ohio State football legends on the ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2023.

Ward is back on the ballot after a one-year absence.

A two-time All-American offensive lineman for the Buckeyes in 1976 and ‘77, the Patterson grad blocked for Archie Griffin in Griffin’s second Heisman Trophy campaign and was a four-time Big Ten champion.

He was the No. 4 pick in the 1978 NFL Draft and played 100 pro games for the Jets and Saints.

Laurinaitis also has been on the ballot for multiple years, including last year when safety Mike Doss was selected for the 2022 HOF class that will be inducted later this year.

A linebacker who grew up in Minnesota, Laurinaitis was a three-time All-American and two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in his four years at Ohio State (2005-08). He won the Butkus Award in ‘07 and the Nagurski Award in 2006.

He spent eight years in the NFL, all but one with the Rams.

Ohio State has had 27 men inducted into the CFB HOF as players, including running backs Keith Byars of Dayton Roth and Bob Ferguson of Troy.

Former Bengals Ki-Jana Carter (Penn State), Peter Warrick (Florida State), Justin Smith (Missouri) and Garrison Hearst (Georgia) are also players from FBS schools to be on the 2023 nominee list along with Ashley Ambrose of (Mississippi Valley State) from the FCS.

Players must have been first-team All-Americans to be eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame, 10 years removed from their last college game and no longer active in the pros.

All members of the National Football Foundation vote on the ballot, but ultimately the class is selected by the NFF Honors Court, which Griffin chairs.

The 2023 inductees will be announced early next year.

About the Author