We continue our countdown of the 9 greatest defensive backs to ever don the Scarlet and Gray and then go on to play on Sundays at the highest level with numbers 4 through 1. To recap:
We start off the remainder of our countdown with someone who is near and dear to all Buckeye hearts. This 6 foot safety out of Piscataway, NJ has played his entire NFL career with one team and helped that team tremendously as they claimed a Super Bowl for a town that so desperately needed uplifting. A Thorpe Award winner in college as well as an All-American, Malcolm Jenkins comes in at #4 on our list.
Winfield is probably one of the most decorated defensive backs to come out of Columbus in the history of the program. He’s a three time Pro Bowler as well as an All-Pro Corner. His 27 interceptions put him in some elite Ohio State company, tied with another one our list. Only Winfield is still active, but he will need some banner years in the later stages of his career to catch #1.
#2 – Tie: Chris Gamble/Nate Clements
Gamble is on this list at this spot because of his Ohio State history as well as his staying power in the NFL. Gamble also has 27 career interceptions but two returned for touchdowns as opposed to none for Winfield. But Gamble is possibly best known for creating over a decade of butthurt from fans of the University of Miami (Boats & Hoes, not OH) on what some still call the worst pass interference call in the history of the game.
Nate Clements, on the other hand, is tied with Gamble at the penultimate spot on this list primarily for his NFL talent and promising career. In 13 seasons in the bigs, Clements has picked off the QB a whopping 36 times, one short of our list leader as far as OSU DBs are concerned. He’s returned 5 of those for your run of the mill pick 6’s, and has forced 23 fumbles. Also, one boulder has been dropped on everyone’s favorite Ugg wearing Wolvereenie QB.
Which of course brings us to numero uno on our list of all time greatest defensive backs from Ohio State. When it came down to it, there really was no other choice than the Assassin himself, Jack Tatum.
This really says more than I ever could.