#10 - Chris Spielman
#9 - Rex Kern
#8 - Jim Stillwagon
#7 - Randy Gradishar
Ohio State’s second Heisman Trophy winner was possibly one of the Buckeyes greatest all around athletes to ever set foot on the gridiron at Ohio Stadium.. From 1949-1951, Vic Janowicz was more than just a half back; he was a place kicker, punter, and even quarterback. He excelled in every phase of the game and led a terribly mediocre 1950 Ohio State squad to a 6-3 record.
How remarkable was Janowicz’s performance in 1950? Well can you imagine a player from a team lingering near .500 winning a Heisman today? In 1950, Janowicz scored 16 TD’s and 875 yards of offense. Those are respectable numbers, but what really set Janowicz apart and showed his value to that team was his performance in the 1950 Ohio State vs. Iowa game. Janowicz rushed for two touchdowns, completed 5 of 6 passes for four touchdowns, and kicked a record 10 extra points.
Janowicz’s most amazing moment in scarlet in grey may have occurred in what is possibly Ohio State’s most famous football game, the famed “Snow Bowl of 1950.” Although the end of this game saw the Buckeyes wind up with the short end of the stick, Vanowicz kicked one of the most remarkable field goals in football history. Conditions on the field were so bad that the Ohio State vs. Michigan game was nearly cancelled. The temperature was a numbing 10 degrees complicated further by gale force winds consistently blowing at 30 mph.
Conditions were so bad that teams were forced into an NCAA record 45 punts and often did so on first down in an attempt to gain an advantage in field position, kind of an extreme version of the now famous “Tressel Ball.” Janowicz, lined up and kicked what would have been a decisive 27 yard field goal into the wind and through the five inches of snow sitting on the field to give the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead. This lead was later erased on a blocked punt recovered in the endzone, but that does not detract from Janowicz’s amazing feat. Another interesting aside, during that game, Janowicz (also the Buckeyes punter), set the current NCAA records for punt attempts (21) and yards (685).
Following his career in scarlet and grey, Janowicz went on to an unsuccessful baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In two years as a back up, he hit just .214 and decided to go back to the gridiron. Shortly after signing a contract with the Washington Redskins, Janowicz was severely injured in a car accident, leaving him partially paralyzed and cutting short his NFL career.
Today Janowicz’s legacy in the scarlet and grey is assured. He stands among the first of an elite order of Buckeye Heisman trophy recipients and a man who’s career will forever be tied to that tough, gritty performance in 1950, on a day when sled dogs would have preferred to stay in the igloo.