LGHL Staff Pick: Our Favorite Ohio State All-Americans
In honor of July 4, LGHL staff pick their favorite Ohio State All-Americans. They might not be founding fathers, but who knows? They could end up one day on Mount Rushmore in the state of Ohio.
Matt Tamanini: Kelsey Mitchell
If we’re talking about the Ohio State All-Americans, there’s no way I can go with anyone other than Kelsey Mitchell. In four seasons from 2015 to 2018, she was named to four All-America teams. In 2015, 2017 and 2018 as a member of the second team, and in 2016 she got a first team nod.
When her career ended at Ohio State, she finished with 3,402 points, which is just behind NCAA all-time leading scorer Kelsey Plum of Washington. The three-time Big Ten Player of the Year averaged 24.4 points, 4.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game and shot 46.1% from the field, including 40.3% from beyond of the arc. During his four-year career, Mitchell’s Buckeyes won a B1G title and shared a second.
Despite having some of the biggest names in Ohio State’s football and men’s basketball teams, Mitchell is the absolute embodiment of Buckeye’s excellence. For those of my generation and before, Katie Smith has always been OSU WBB GOAT, but if we look at it objectively, Kelsey Mitchell is without a doubt the best player in the history of the program and one of the most big Ohio State All-Americans in school. the story.
David Wheeler: AJ Hawk
All-American consensus in 2004 and 2005, AJ Hawk is my choice for the following reasons:
1. I love the name (and like AJ, I prefer the initials to “Aaron James”). Hawk is a real defensive name.
2. He teamed up with Bobby Carpenter (another favorite) to dominate.
3. He married Brady Quinn’s sister and beat Quinn and the Hated Irish at the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.
4. He was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) and played for my favorite pro team – the Packers – with my favorite pro player – Brett Favre. Hawk, who played nine seasons with Green Bay, still holds the Packers all-time record for most tackles at 922.
5. Her hair.
Josh Dooley: Tommy Rowlands
As a native of Columbus, I had to go with a local legend like my favorite All-American Buckeye. Tommy Rowlands won two state wrestling titles at Bishop Ready High School and was named the National High School Champion in 1999. He stayed home to attend Ohio State University, where he became one of the athletes. most accomplished individuals in the history of the school.
Rowlands was not fair an All-American: He was a 4x All-American for the Buckeyes and the OSU Hall of Fame inductee. He fought for three NCAA titles, won two and set all kinds of records that still stand for the program. What makes him my favorite is the fact that he represented the good ol ‘US of A for many years.
From 2004 to 2012, Rowlands was varsity world champion, Pan American champion, 2x US Open champion and 6x member of the national team. Sadly, he never made it to the Olympics – instead being picked as a replacement in 2008 and 2012. He dominated in Columbus and abroad, and will always be one of my favorites.
Brett Ludwiczak: James Laurinaitis
My favorite Ohio State All-American is “Lil ‘Animal” James Laurinaitis. Even though he grew up in Minnesota, he felt like Laurinaitis had been ripped from Ohio like other great Buckeye linebackers Chris Spielman, Tom Cousineau and Andy Katzenmoyer. Laurinaitis was a three-time All-American and two-time Defensive Player of the Year while at Columbus. You can also tell that Laurinaitis has loved the state of Ohio and Columbus since making his home in the area with his family after retiring from the NFL. There aren’t many Buckeyes who can be held in higher esteem than Laurinaitis.
Justin Golba: Christina Clemons
For me, that’s an easy answer. Christine Clemons. The 11-time All-American, 10-time Big Ten Champion and two-time NCAA champion is a Buckeye legend. It’s a great story, it feels good because she just qualified for her first Olympics at the age of 31. Not to mention the fact that she comes from my hometown of Waldorf, MD, and went to a high school two miles from mine. As a former high school track athlete in Charles County, she is a legend to me and rightly so. Most decorated female athlete in Ohio State Athletics history.
Meredith Hein: Jesse Owens
Okay … maybe that’s a bit of cheating, because technically Jesse Owens didn’t win All-American honors while at Ohio State, but the Olympic gold medalist and greatest track star who ever lived (yes, I said it) literally used his sport to resist tyranny and fascism during the 1936 Olympics. – what could be more American than that? The Buckeye Bullet challenged Hitler, trampling the dictator’s idea of ââAryan superiority into the ground and demonstrating, even for Americans at home, a message of equality long before the civil rights movement began.
Even with all of his accolades (Owens won eight NCAA Individual Championships at Ohio State), we have to remember that Owens was not allowed to live on campus and suffered racism even as one of the greatest student-athletes of his age. His legacy is a reminder of how far we’ve come and how much work remains to be done – and the opportunity that exists for America.
In the end, Owens was a great American on and off the track, hands down, and we can continue to celebrate him today.