Countdown To Kickoff: Best Buckeye Ever To Wear No. 9

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 nine days from kickoff, so it is time to reveal our pick for the Best Buckeye Ever to don that number.

Not quite as top heavy in terms of talent as No. 10, but Ohio State has had plenty of stars to wear the No. 9 in its history. As we hit just nine days until kickoff at Ohio Stadium, we reveal our pick as the Best Buckeye Ever to wear the No. 9. 

David Boston played for John Cooper from 1996-98 and left Ohio State at the top of multiple school receiving records. He exploded onto the scene as a freshman in 1996, catching 33 passes for 450 yards and seven touchdowns, none more memorable than his game winning score against Arizona State in the final moments of the 1997 Rose Bowl. He also managed to return a punt for a touchdown in a 72-0 shellacking of Pitt in the second week of the season with just seven blockers on the field.

In 1997 as a sophomore, Boston tallied 970 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns but saved his best performance for last. In 1998, Boston had the best single season of any wide receiver in school history. He caught a program record 85 passes for 1,435 yards, also a single season OSU record as the Buckeyes went on to finish with an 11-1 record and a win over Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl. 

In just three seasons, Boston recorded 2,855 receiving yards which at the time was a school record. He still holds the record for most career touchdown receptions with 34 and had the most 100 yard receiving games in program history with 14. 

The next guy on our list ranks second in program history behind Boston in career touchdown receptions at Ohio State. Devin Smith wore No. 9 for his final two seasons in Columbus after switching from No. 15. Smith's speed made him one of, if not the biggest deep threat in school history. His 20.7 career yards per catch average ranks fourth in school history. In 2013, Smith recorded the longest play from scrimmage in school history, catching a pass from Kenny Guiton and taking it 90 yards for a score against Cal. 

Perhaps Smith's most impressive stat isn't determined by the amount of yards he racked up but by the fact that in every game he caught a touchdown pass, the Buckeyes won that game. He left Columbus a national champion and as Ohio State's fifth all time leading receiver in yards with 2,503.

Other notable names on this list include wide receiver Brian Hartline (2006-08), safety Donte Whitner (2003-2005) and linebacker Ed Thompson (1974-76). Hartline ranks 20th in school history in receiving yards with 1,429 yards on 90 career catches and holds the school record for longest punt return in school history, taking a punt back for a score 90 yards against Kent State in 2007. 

Whitner will go down as one of the best safeties for ever play in school history, known for his hard hitting ability in the secondary. In 2005, Whitner was a first team All-Big Ten and first team All-America selection and would go on to be the eighth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. 

Thompson led Ohio State in tackles in the 1975 season with 126 stops, earning first team All-Big Ten honors as a junior. A two year starter, Thompson was a captain of the 1976 Buckeyes that went 9-2-1 and finished the season with a win over Colorado in the Orange Bowl. 

Do you agree with our selections? Make sure to weigh in on our premium message boards with you pick. 

Alders, Gary................... 1981-82, 84

Baird, Steve.............................. 1995

Beltz, Richard H. .................1934-35

Bolyard, Tom.......................1985-86

Booth, William R....................... 1936

Boston, David......................1996-98

Bryant, Ricky....................... 1999-01

Carter, Duron........................... 2009

Cornell, Jashon........................ 2015

Frank, Jason .......................1988-90

Griffin, Adam................... 2010-11-12

Hartline, Brian ....................2006-08

Jackson, Josh .....................1993-94

Knisley, Heath .......................... 1996

Marsh, Tim ............................... 1984

Moore, J.T................................. 2013

Mortin, Mike..............................1987

Murphy, Bob........................ 1972-73

Nein, James R...........................1967

Paul, Tito ..............................1991-95

Reed, Verlon ........................ 2011-12

Rose, Rob.....................2006-08-09

Scott, David.........................1938-40

Scott, Tim................................. 2014

Shabazz, Raheem.............. 2000-01

Shea, Garrett............................ 1996

Smith, Devin.........................2013-14

Taylor, Alvin ...............................1978

Thompson, Ed......................1974-76

Ullery, Brent ............................ 2005

Weaver, Bryan......................... 2002

Whitner, Donte .............2003-04-05

Zwick, Justin ........................... 2002


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