COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State football program is mourning the loss of Dimitrious Stanley, the leading receiver on the 1996 Rose Bowl champion team, who has passed away after a nearly four-year battle with prostate cancer. Stanley, who leaves a wife and young daughter, was 48.
A four-year letterman – 1993-96 – and a member of the 1993 and 1996 Big Ten championship teams coached by John Cooper, Stanley played in 45 games and started 13 times. He started all 12 games in 1996 when Ohio State was 11-1 and finished No. 2 in the nation following the Rose Bowl win over Arizona State.
Stanley led the Buckeyes in receiving in 1996 with 43 receptions for 829 yards and eight touchdowns. He was an honorable mention all-Big Ten Conference selection and was twice named Big Ten player of the week.
His 1996 campaign included a career-high 10 receptions and 199 receiving yards, and the game-winning 48-yard touchdown catch against Wisconsin. He had five catches in the Rose Bowl victory, including a 72-yard touchdown and three catches during the dramatic, game-winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter of the 20-17 victory. His 85-yard opening kickoff return at Notre Dame was one of the key plays in the Ohio State victory in South Bend, Ind. He led the nation in kickoff returns for much of the season and averaged 24.8 yards per return.
As a junior in 1995, his accomplishments included catching a 17-yard touchdown pass in the win over Notre Dame at Ohio Stadium.
For his career, Stanley had 63 receptions for 1,136 yards, an 18.0 yards-per-catch average (seventh-best at Ohio State) and he scored 13 touchdowns. He graduated from Ohio State in 2001 with his degree in communications.
Stanley’s father, Wayne, coached running backs at Ohio State for five years under Earle Bruce, from 1979 through 1983.
Stanley, who is originally from Worthington, Ohio, remained in central Ohio after stints in professional football in the Canadian Football League with Winnipeg and in the Arena League with New Jersey. He was a fixture for a number of years as a co-host on The Football Fever, the college football show on local ABC affiliate WSYX, and he was a candidate for Columbus City Council in 2015.