Oct. 19, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Eddie George, the Heisman Trophy-winning tailback who holds the single season and single game rushing records for Ohio State and ranks second only to the great Archie Griffin in career yards, will be honored at halftime of Ohio State’s Oct. 28 Homecoming game against Wisconsin. The Ohio State University Department of Athletics will recognize George for his pending induction into the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame in December, and his official enshrinement this summer in South Bend, Ind.
George, who will be on the Westwood One radio national broadcast team calling the game against the Badgers, will become the 23rd Ohio State player to enter college football’s Hall of Fame. He is one of only six individuals with his name honored in lights in the north end zone of Ohio Stadium.
1,927 Yards and 24 TDs
“It was a special time in my life to be able to wear that uniform and to put on that helmet on every Saturday, and to play in front of 100,000 people was just a dream for me,” George said during an interview two Saturdays ago before the Buckeyes took on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Neb. “This is a tremendous feeling to be inducted as a Buckeye.”
Ohio State’s sixth Heisman Trophy winner rushed for a school-record 1,927 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior in 1995. Included in that total were three 200-yard games highlighted by a still-standing school-record 314-yard performance against Illinois.
“I made the choice [after fumbling twice as a freshman vs. Illinois] I was going to dig a little deeper, fight through the hardships and fight through the adversity,” George recalled. “And then low-and-behold, the team I struggled against early in my career I won the Heisman off later in my career.”
Game Put “Us All” on the Map
George’s Heisman Trophy – and Doak Walker Award, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year, Big Ten MVP and All-America – season also included a 207-yard, two-touchdown effort against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. A photo of George, out front and running away from a number of Irish defenders, remains one of the iconic images in Ohio State’s storied football history.
“That was the game that put us all on the map from a national standpoint,” George said. “We wanted them…so bad! I remember running out into the stadium before kickoff. You could feel the energy. It was so thick. It was intense. We rode that wave and it is one of the highlights of my life.”
George, who rushed for 1,442 yards as a junior after a combined 399 yards rushing his first two seasons (giving him 3,768 career yards), was drafted in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. He was named the 1996 NFL Rookie of the Year and played nine years in the league, earning four Pro Bowl berths.
He received his degree in landscape architecture from Ohio State in 2001 through the school’s degree completion program. Later that year his No. 27 jersey was retired by the Athletics Department. In 2006 he was inducted into the Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame.
Eddie, and his wife Taj, live in Tennessee with their two sons, Eriq and Jaire.