1956 Outland Trophy Winner
Jim Parker was Ohio State’s first Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s top interior lineman. He also is the player by which his former coach, the late Woody Hayes, measured all other offensive linemen.
“Jim Parker was the greatest offensive lineman I ever coached. I’m not sure there has ever been a better offensive guard,” said Hayes upon Parker’s induction into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame. “He was everything an offensive lineman should be.”
Indeed, Parker could do it all. A tremendous athlete, the 6-2, 200-pounder could pull and run block with the best of them. And on the relatively few occasions when the Buckeyes decided to throw the ball, getting around the agile, quick-footed Parker was next to impossible.
Parker was a three-year starter and two-time All-American for the Buckeyes. He won the Outland Trophy as a senior in 1956. During his three years as a starter, Ohio State won 23 of 28 games, captured the 1954 National Championship and won back-to-back Big Ten titles in 1954 and ’55.
Parker, who was born in Macon, Ga., but played his last two years of high school football in Toledo, Ohio, was the Buckeyes’ MVP in 1956.
A first round pick of the Baltimore Colts the following spring, he went on to enjoy a distinguished career in the NFL as a perennial all-pro pick.
In addition to being a charter member of the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame, Parker also is a member of the College Football and the Professional Football halls of fame.
His play set a standard of excellence for all future Ohio State linemen.