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Countdown To Kickoff: Best Buckeye Ever To Wear No. 17

As the countdown to Ohio State's season opener against Bowling Green gets closer, the Buckeye Sports staff is continuing its Best Buckeye Ever series. We stand just 17 days from kickoff, so it is time to reveal our pick for the Best Buckeye Ever to don that number.

The last few numbers in this countdown have not given us a clear winner, and as we hit just 17 days until kickoff at Ohio Stadium, we continue along that same theme. 

There are a number of Buckeyes worth mentioning here, but none that really stand out as the best. That being said, we are going to start off with a name that all Ohio State fans will remember, but maybe not for all the right reasons. 

Quarterback Todd Boeckman played for Ohio State from 2004-08 and had quite the roller coaster ride while wearing the Scarlet and Gray. After sitting the bench for three seasons behind eventual Heisman winner Troy Smith, Boeckman earned his chance to start in 2007 after beating out Rob Schoenhoft in fall camp. 

After leading Ohio State to an unbeaten record and back-to-back wins over Penn State and Wisconsin, ESPN analyst Skip Bayless even suggested Boeckman should be considered the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Then came a Senior Night game against Illinois. In that game, Boeckman completed just 13-of-23 passes, no touchdowns and three interceptions as the No. 1 Buckeyes were shocked at home by the Fighting Illini. 

Despite that performance, the stars aligned and OSU still got its shot at a national title. Boeckman again however, failed to put together a solid performance. He threw two interceptions and fumbled three times in addition to taking five sacks as the Buckeyes lost their second straight title game, this time to LSU. 

Boeckman returned as the starter in 2008, but only lasted three games. After dropping a 35-3 game to USC in Los Angeles, Boeckman was replaced as the starter by Terrelle Pryor for the remainder of the season. He would return in spot duty however in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl to throw a touchdown pass to Pryor in a 24-21 loss. 

Despite a difficult run, Boeckman's career numbers are solid. During the 2007 season, he threw 25 touchdown passes to just 14 interceptions, collecting 2,379 yards through the air. The 25 touchdown passes Boeckman threw in 2007 rank as the fourth best single season in school history. His career 63.4 completion percentage ranks him second in school history behind only current Buckeye signal caller J.T. Barrett. 

Other names to note at No. 17 include wide receivers Chris Sanders (1991-94) and Jalin Marshall (2013-15). Sanders ranks tied for 17th in program history in career yards per catch (15.8), and grabbed 71 passes as a member of the Scarlet and Gray. While Marshall only wore No. 17 for one season in 2014 (redshirted in 2013), he made a significant impact in that season helping the Buckeyes to a national title. He caught 38 passes for 499 yards and six scores during Ohio State's run to a title in 2014. 

We will also give a mention to Earle Bruce, who wore No. 17 for his first and only season as a player at Ohio State as a walk-on running back in 1951. 

The full list of No. 17's at Ohio State can be found below. Make sure to weigh in on our premium message boards with you pick. 

Backus, Clark ......................1982-83

Baker, Jerome.......................... 2015

Bartschy, Ross D. ................1937-39

Bell, Sean ............................1985-87

Belmer, Cliff...............................1978

Boeckman, Todd................2004-08

Bruce, Earl.................................1951

Buchanan, Ben ....2008-09-10-11-12

Butler, Devonte ........................ 2013

Cash, Jeremy............................2011

Dinan, Doug ............................. 1988

Fisher, Richard ......................... 1945

Frazier, Rashad ........................ 2014

Freeman, Marcus.................... 2004

Galloway, Timothy...............1979-80

Holmes, Santonio ................... 2002

King, Percy..........................1995-99

Knecht, John............................ 1936

Kolk, Craig............................... 2002

Lambert, Howard L. ..................1961

Lucki, Martin.........................1970-71

Marshall, Jalin......................2013-14

McFadden, Rick .......................2001

McMurray, Preston..............1956-58

Meindering, Wesley............1965-66

Mitchell, Kato ........................... 2014

Moore, Theodore.....................1990

Morrison, Steven A. ............1972, 74

Nichols, Harold ........................ 1940

Onyejekwe, Emeka.................2000

Richburg, James.......................1975

Sanders, Chris......................1991-94

Sarac, Nik................................. 2014

Schwartz, Grant.................. 2009-10

Siems, Justin..............2009-10-11-12

Stamp, Andy........................1996-97

Trapuzzano, Robert.................. 1969

Van Meter, Howard.................. 1935

Wagner, John ............................1987

Wetzel, Damon H. ...............1932-34

Willis, Zach .........................2006-07

Woolf, Scott..............................1980


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