Big Ten: Les Horvath

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Jim Tressel grew up watching Bob Hope's USO shows and remembers Woody Hayes visiting troops in Vietnam.

But possibly the biggest reason why Tressel accepted an invitation to visit troops in the Middle East late this spring hits a little closer to home. The Ohio State head coach will join colleagues Mack Brown, Rick Neuheisel, Houston Nutt and Tommy Tuberville for a week-long trip on the Under Armour Coaches Tour.

"I recall vividly, as I learned more and more about my dad," Tressel said, "that serving his country came first to him, even more than his football playing and wanting to live a civilian life."

In 1943, Lee Tressel enrolled at Ohio State and went through a successful spring practice as a back. Coaching legend Paul Brown had recruited Tressel to the Buckeyes.

"He had a real good spring game," Jim Tressel said. "I think he threw a touchdown to [1944 Heisman Trophy winner] Les Horvath and Les Horvath threw one to him or he ran one or something like that.

"Then he made the decision that despite that thrill and lifelong dream of playing at Ohio State, he thought that he needed to serve his country, just like so many of the kids did at that time."

Lee served in the Navy in the South Pacific and then returned to Baldwin-Wallace, where he starred as a fullback and later coached for 23 seasons.

The younger Tressel shares his father's admiration for those serving in the military and looks forward to interacting with troops in Afghanistan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates during the trip, which takes place May 28-June 4.  Numerous military personnel have visited Ohio State in recent years, and a display case filled with pictures, flags, battalion coins and Buckeyes memorabilia sits in the football offices.

Tressel had been invited to join last year's tour but declined so he could attend his daughter's college graduation. When tour organizer Mike Whalen asked again, Tressel didn't hesitate.

"It's a tremendous honor," Tressel said. "When the Ohio State coach is there, the Texas coach is there, the UCLA coach is there, that's like bringing home right into their tents or wherever they stay. It will just be a sense of warmth for them, and they'll see from us that we believe they're the ones people should take note of. They're the ones doing the tough duty.

"What we do over here is a lot of fun, and I'm sure people recognize Ohio State football and all of that, but it's not as recognizable as that flag with the stars and stripes."

Ohio State's Mount Rushmore

February, 18, 2009
2/18/09
5:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Much like Penn State, Ohio State's storied history makes it tough to identify only four faces of the program. The Buckeyes have produced eight three-time All-Americans, most recently linebacker James Laurinaitis. They boast six Heisman Trophy winners (seven trophies) and four Maxwell Award winners. 

There are a few slam-dunk selections, but some tough calls as well. Here's my list for Ohio State's Rushmore. 

  • Woody Hayes -- The coaching icon will always be the face of Ohio State football. He won five national championships and 13 Big Ten titles in 28 years on the sidelines at Ohio State. The fiery Hayes went 205-61-10 as Buckeyes coach and led the team to four Rose Bowls.
  • Archie Griffin -- He remains college football's only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and one of the game's all-time greats. The College Football Hall of Famer had 5,589 career rushing yards and 26 touchdowns at Ohio State. In his four years the Buckeyes went 40-5-1.
  • Chris Spielman -- There's certainly some debate about Ohio State's greatest defensive player, but Spielman certainly is at or near the top of the list. Plus, there are few figures more revered in the state of Ohio than Spielman, a two-time All-America selection who won the Lombardi Award in 1987. Spielman embodies Ohio State football and holds the school record for solo tackles (283).
  • Chic Harley -- Yes, Ohio State football did exist before Hayes arrived, and Harley symbolized the program's dominance during the 1910s. A halfback and a safety, Harley led Ohio State to its first Big Ten championship in 1916 and another title in 1917. Harley earned All-America honors in all three seasons he played and helped Ohio State to a 21-1-1 record, with his lone loss coming in his final game.
There were many others considered for the list, including Jack Tatum, Howard Cassady, Les Horvath, Eddie George, Vic Janowicz, Bobby Hoying, Jim Tressel, David Boston, Jim Parker, Cris Carter and Orlando Pace.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

As Wisconsin speedster David Gilreath plans to torch the Big Ten this fall, most of the attention in Madison remains under center. Wisconsin's quarterback competition features fifth-year senior Allan Evridge, junior Dustin Sherer and sophomore Scott Tolzien.

Here are Gilreath's thoughts on who might be throwing him passes this fall:

"They all look good. Allan looks like the veteran guy, like he should be. He probably looks the best to me, him and Dustin, they both know the offense front and back. But it's going pretty well. The guys, we're all kind of jelling together. We have a little bit of chemistry, but we haven't really been in there when the bullets are flying out there yet on the field. As the season goes on, we'll build even more chemistry with whoever is in there, especially with Allan."

Elsewhere:

  • NFL training camp is never easy for rookies, but Redskins offensive linemen Kerry Brown might be dreading the coming weeks. Brown played for Appalachian State, which, in a normal year, would make him fairly inconspicuous. But everything after the Mountaineers knocked off Michigan, a game Redskins lineman Jon Jansen -- a former Wolverine -- hasn't forgotten.
  • Add Illinois defensive end Will Davis to the Ted Hendricks Award watch list (sorry, no link yet).
  • Bleacher Report has a list of the top 10 Heisman Trophy snubs. Here's the Big Ten recap: Ohio State QB Les Horvath shouldn't have won in 1944, Purdue QB Bob Griese should have won in 1966, Ohio State RB Archie Griffin shouldn't have won in 1975 and Michigan CB Charles Woodson shouldn't have won in 1997.

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