Twenty-five years ago this year, John Cooper coached his first game on the sidelines at Ohio State, and we at Buckeye Sports Bulletin are celebrating the anniversary by allowing fans to vote on the best players to play in the Cooper era to make an All-John Cooper team.
Cooper is a lightning rod among Ohio State fans, as his struggles against Michigan and in bowl games are well documented, but at the same time, he put Buckeye football back on the map and served as a bridge for the program into the modern era of college football while also remaking the team into a high-flying, nationally contending outfit.
For his efforts, Cooper has been named to the Rose Bowl and College Football halls of fame, and he joined the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall.
The offenses and defenses are complete, leaving only the specialists to fill out the roster. Which kicker and punter should join the All-Cooper squad?
What follows are thumbnail bios of the contenders in chronological order.
Dan Stultz: Chosen as a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2000 when he made 19 field goals. … Led the Buckeyes in scoring with 91 points in 2000, 92 in 1998 and 92 in ’97. Finished his career second all-time at OSU in scoring with 342 points, a mark that is now third. … Made four field goals at Illinois in 2000, including the game winner. … Made two field goals in the 1998 Sugar Bowl, including a long of 40. … Was 19 for 24 on field goals in 2000, and those 19 makes are tied for fourth in OSU’s single-season annals. … Finished his career with 59 made field goals, second at OSU. … Was 59 for 91 (64.8) in his career, a percentage that places 10th in OSU annals. … Made 10 consecutive field goals over a four-game span of 2000, third best all-time. … His 55-yarder vs. Indiana in 1997 is tied for the second longest make in school history.
Josh Jackson: Led the team with 73 points in 1994. … Made 62 consecutive extra points at one point in 1995-96. … Totaled 254 points from 1993-96, good for ninth all-time at OSU. … Made 14 of 17 field goals in 1994, a percentage of 82.4 that is seventh all-time at OSU. … His field-goal percentage of 73.5 (36 of 49) is sixth all-time at OSU. … Made nine consecutive field goals over seven games from 1994-95, tied for sixth all-time.
Tim Williams: Named a first-team All-Big Ten choice in 1993. … Was perfect on extra points in 1990 (40 for 40), 1993 (39 for 39) and 1992 (31 for 31). … His career mark of 98.6 percent (143 for 145) on extra points attempted was an OSU record at the end of his career and now second all-time. … His 86 consecutive PATs made from 1991-93 is a school record. … Led the Buckeyes in scoring each year from 1990-92, scoring 79 points in both ’90 and ’92 and 63 in 1991. … His 290 career points are good for seventh in OSU history. … Is third all-time with 49 made field goals. … Had a career percentage on field goals of 63.6 (49 of 77). … Made eight field goals of 50 yards or more, third all-time at OSU. … Had a career-long make of 52 yards, something he accomplished twice.
Pat O’Morrow: Led the Buckeyes with 77 points in 1988. … Made all 23 extra points in 1988 he attempted. … Made 74 of 77 career PATs, including 63 in a row at one point. … Made 18 field goals in 1988, tying for sixth in OSU single-season annals. … Those makes came in 23 tries, giving him a season percentage of 78.3 that places tied for 11th in OSU record books. … Finished his OSU career 30 for 47 on field goals (63.8 percent). … Went 4 for 4 on field goals vs. Syracuse in 1988.
Brent Bartholomew: Named a first-team All-Big Ten choice in 1997 when he averaged 45.2 yards per punt, fifth-best in OSU’s single-season records. … Averaged 41.9 yards per punt in his career, sixth best for an OSU punter … Had 10 punts for 443 yards, a 44.3-yard average, at Michigan in 1997. … Averaged 51.6 yards on seven punts vs. Toledo in 1998, second-best in OSU’s single-game annals before this season. … His 237 career punts are most in OSU history.
Scott Terna: A native of Hawaii, he started in both 1993 and '94. ... Averaged 41.3 yards on his 60 punts in 1994. ... His most famous punt pinned Michigan at the 1-yard line early in the team's 1994 win vs. Michigan, Cooper's first.