2 Dayton natives among Ohio State College Football Hall of Fame nominees

Keith Byars, 1983, OSU football

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Keith Byars, 1983, OSU football

Dayton natives Keith Byars and Chris Ward join Jim Otis to form the trio of Ohio State Buckeyes on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the coming year.

Byars starred at Roth High School before running for 3,200 yards in Scarlet and Gray.

He broke the single-season rushing record in 1984 when he ran for 1,764 yards. That mark has since been surpassed by Eddie George and Ezekiel Elliott, but Byars’ record of 2,441 all-purpose yards still stands.

After graduating from Patterson in the early ‘70s, Ward was a two-time All-American offensive lineman for the Buckeyes in 1976 and ’77. He blocked for Archie Griffin in Griffin’s second Heisman Trophy campaign and was a four-time Big Ten champion.

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Otis was an All-American fullback who led the 1968 national champion Buckeyes in rushing. The Celina native is still 16th on the career rushing list with 2,542 yards.

Five former Bengals are also in the running along with St. Henry grad Jeff Hartings.

An offensive lineman who spent 11 seasons in the NFL, Hartings was a two-time All-American at Penn State in the mid-90s.

The 2019 CFB Hall of Fame class will be announced in January.

Twenty-five Ohio State players are already members, including Troy native Bob Ferguson, a fullback for the 1961 national champions.

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