COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sunday was a special day for a number of current and former Ohio State student-athletes as 139 Buckeyes received degrees at spring commencement, held Sunday afternoon at Ohio Stadium.
Cameron Heyward, Brian Rolle and Dane Sanzenbacher were three of 15 football student-athletes at commencement. The trio helped the Buckeyes to 44 wins during their careers, tied for the most among any senior class in Ohio State history, and a Rose and Sugar Bowl win.
Heyward, the 31st overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, was a first team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and the media in 2010, starting 46 career games, totaling 163 tackles, 37.5 TFL and 15.5 sacks. At the team banquet in December, Heyward was awarded the Bill Willis Trophy from coaches as the team’s outstanding defensive player after helping the Ohio State defense rank among the national leaders in several statistical categories.
Rolle, a sixth-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles, earned first team All-Big Ten and SI honorable mention All-America laurels as the Buckeyes’ middle linebacker in 2010. The Immokalee, Fla., native recorded 208 tackles, 21.5 TFL and four interceptions in his career.
Sanzenbacher, voted 2010 team MVP, was a first team All-Big Ten selection after catching 55 passes for 948 yards and 11 touchdowns. For his career, Sanzenbacher recorded 1,879 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in 28 career starts.
Sam Marder, a two-time captain and three-time All-American on the softball team completed her career at Ohio State as the all-time record holder for home runs (61), RBI (191), walks (232) and intentional walks (56). Marder also ranks second with a .384 career batting average, third with 147 runs scored, sixth with 216 hits and 10th with 224 games played. She was a four-time All-Big Ten and All-Region selection and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Steven Kehoe, a three-year starter for the men’s volleyball team, helped the Buckeyes win the 2011 NCAA Championship and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the championship. This past season, he was a first team AVCA All-American, a first team selection and player of the year in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the MIVA Tournament in leading the Buckeyes to the regular season and tournament championships. An AVCA second team All-American in 2010, Kehoe was the MIVA Player of the Year and a first team all-conference selection. He was named to the MIVA All-Tournament team as the Buckeyes won both the regular season and tournament championships.
R.J. Umberger, an All-American hockey player who skated for the Buckeyes from 2001-03, continued to work on his degree after leaving college for a professional hockey career. He is now an alternate captain for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets and has played in 474 NHL games with the Flyers and Blue Jackets combined. In 2011 he won the CBJ’s Most Courageous Player Award as voted by his teammates and won the Jackets Fans Most Valuable Player Award, as voted by fans. He also received the team’s Player Community Service Award in 2010. He is one of just seven Buckeyes to be named an All-American and played in 112 games in his career, ranking 31st in program history with 129 points. He was an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Ohio State diver Katie Bell capped her Ohio State career with an honorable mention All-America honor at the 2011 NCAA championships. The honor was her second as she was named an All-American at the 2009 NCAA championships by taking fifth on the 10-meter platform. Bell returned to competitive diving after missing a year with a shoulder injury and won the gold medal on the synchro 10-meter and silver on the 10-meter platform at the 2011 USA Diving Winter Nationals in Iowa City, Iowa.
Matt Allare of the men’s tennis team is one of three 2011 seniors that own the program’s most wins all-time (140), most NCAA wins all-time (14), claimed a 55-0 all-time Big Ten record and never lost a home match, going 73-0. The 2011 ITA Midwest Region Senior of the Year and All-Big Ten selection is part of a senior class that leaves Ohio State with four Big Ten regular-season and four Big Ten tournament titles. In NCAA play, the class went to the program’s only final (2009) along with four quarterfinal appearances (2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011).
Aisling Coyle of the field hockey team was named to the 2010 NCAA All-Tournament team after she punched Ohio State’s ticket to the semifinals, scoring a goal off a penalty stroke in a 3-2 overtime win over Syracuse Nov. 15 in State College, Pa. The Glasgow, Scotland, native added the honor to her first team NFHCA All-America selection, NFHCA West Region Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year awards. Coyle was also a unanimous first team All-Big Ten, NFCHA first team All-West Region selection and a first team All-American by womensfieldhockey.com in 2010.
Golfer Bo Hoag, a PING All-Mideast Region selection for the third consecutive season, finished 2011 tied for first on the Buckeye squad with a 72.63 stroke average and had a team-best 12 rounds under par this season. His seven rounds in the 60s were second on the squad. Hoag tallied two Top 10 finishes this season, including a second-place finish at the Windon Memorial (Sept. 26-27) en route to first team All-Big Ten honors for the second time in his career.