Former Buckeyes football players Keith Byars, Tom Cousineau and Jim Otis are on the 2016 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.
In a release sent Tuesday, the Ohio State University announced former running back Byars, linebacker Cousineau and fullback Otis advanced past the district screening stage to make the ballot.
Byars (1982-85), from Dayton, Ohio, was a unanimous first-team All-American and Heisman Trophy runner-up who led the nation in rushing (1,764), all-purpose yards (2,441) and scoring (144) in 1984. He was the 1984 Big Ten MVP and was a two-time All-Big Ten selection. He ranks fifth all-time at Ohio State with 4,369 career all-purpose yards and fifth with 3,200 career rushing yards.
Cousineau (1975-78), from Fairview Park, Ohio, was a two-time consensus first-team All-American and three-time All-Big Ten performer. He recorded 572 career tackles, ranking second all-time in OSU history, and he held nine school records at career’s end. Cousineau was the first Buckeye to be selected No. 1 in the NFL Draft when Buffalo chose him with its first pick in 1979.
Otis (1967-69), from Celina, Ohio, was named a consensus first-team All-American in 1969 and was a member of Ohio State’s 1968 national championship team. He was also named first-team All-Big Ten Conference in 1969 and led the Buckeyes to two Big Ten titles, in 1968 and 1969. Ohio State’s rushing leader for three consecutive years, Otis finished his career with 2,542 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns.
Ohio State has had 24 players inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and 11 former coaches, including Jim Tressel, who will be enshrined this December.