Scarlet Sunrise: Randy Gradishar to become Ohio State's next Pro Football Hall of Famer

On3 imageby:Andy Backstrom02/10/24

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Randy Gradishar to become Ohio State’s next Pro Football Hall of Famer

Former Ohio State linebacker Randy Gradishar will become the 11th Buckeyes product to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Gradishar will jon Cris Carter, Sid Gillman, Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, Dick LeBeau, Orlando Pace, Jim Parker, Ed Sabol, Paul Warfield and Bill Willis.

That ties Ohio State with who else but Michigan for the third-most Pro Football Hall of Famers all-time. Notre Dame and USC lead the way with 14 apiece.

The complete Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 includes Gradishar, defensive end Dwight Freeney, return man and wide receiver Devin Hester, wide receiver Andre Johnson, defensive tackle Steve McMichael, defensive end Julius Peppers and linebacker Patrick Willis.

After being picked No. 14 overall in the 1974 NFL Draft, Gradishar was part of the Denver Broncos “Orange Crush Defense” through the ’70s and early ’80s.

Gradishar was a seven-time Pro Bowler and a two-time first-team All-Pro. Plus, he won NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1978. Before this cycle, he had already been a Hall of Fame finalist three times: twice as a modern-era finalist (2003 and 2008) and once as a seniors candidate in 2020. He’s the Broncos’ all-time leading tackler (2,049 tackles). Gradishar also posted 19.5 sacks, 20 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries and four defensive touchdowns in his NFL career.

Before turning pro, he emerged as a star linebacker for legendary Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes, piling up 320 total tackles in three years. He was a two-time first-team All-American with the Buckeyes and even ended up sixth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1973.

And now Gradishar is finally receiving the highest honor in football. The Warren, Ohio, native will be inducted into the Hall on Aug. 3 in Canton.

What hiring of Chip Kelly as offensive coordinator means for Buckeyes

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day hired his mentor, Chip Kelly, as his new offensive coordinator after former OC Bill O’Brien officially accepted the Boston College head coaching job.

Like O’Brien, Kelly will serve as OC and quarterbacks coach for the Buckeyes.

“We are extremely excited to have Chip and his wife, Jill, joining our program,” Day said in a statement. “His experience as a head coach at Oregon, UCLA and in the NFL will bring immediate value to our entire team. I am really looking forward to reconnecting with Chip, introducing him to our staff and team and chasing a championship together.

“I would also like to wish coach Bill O’Brien and his family well as he takes over at Boston College.”

Day and Kelly go way back. While Day quarterbacked University of New Hampshire in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Kelly was UNH’s OC. Then Day coached under Kelly at UNH and in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. Now, they’re back together again.

Lettermen Row broke down what that means for Ohio State. Check it out here.

RELATED

Bill O’Brien accepts Boston College head coaching job after short Buckeyes stint

O’Brien leaving for BC capped his 21-day stay in Columbus. He’s returning home to coach the Eagles, who are still searching for their first eight-plus-win season since 2009.

The move made sense for O’Brien. He’s from Boston; he went to high school at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts; his wife Colleen is a BC grad; and he played and coached at Brown, not to mention his two different stints with the New England Patriots.

O’Brien is bringing his NFL and college head coaching experience to Chestnut Hill.

For the full story on his departure from Ohio State, go here.

Counting down

Buckeyes vs. Akron: 203 days
Buckeyes vs. Michigan: 294 days

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