Do you know who the all-time leading tackler in Ohio State history is? If you claim to bleed scarlet and gray you better… In four years Marcus Marek tallied 572 tackles - more than any other player in the history of Ohio State Football (click here for a list of OSU football records). He was an All-American and four-year starter (79′-82′) at linebacker under Earle Bruce. Marek was also the first Buckeye in program history to lead the team in tackles three consecutive years (garnering All-Big Ten honors in each season), a feat that’s been duplicated only once. But, his statistics and accolades are only part of the story. What makes Marcus Marek truly the greatest Buckeye linebacker of all time is that he was at his best against those no-good Wolverines. Chris Spielman once said of Marek:
“…there was no linebacker who played as well as Marcus Marek did in the Michigan games. To me, that was Marcus’ signature. Not that he wasn’t good in the other games, but he was exceptional in the Michigan games.”
Mr. Spielman was preaching the truth. In Marek’s four years as a Buckeye Ohio State bested the Wolverines on three occasions. On senior-day in his final game against Michigan Marek proved he’d saved his best for last, leading the Buckeyes to a 24-14 win with 21 tackles and a crucial interception that led to the game-icing score.
After his illustrious career as a Buckeye, Marek went on to be drafted by the Boston Breakers of the USFL, one of the only legitimate leagues to challenge the NFL. The USFL headlined other football greats such as Herschel Walker, Jim Kelly and Steve Young. During his rookie season, Marek made the All-League Team with four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and one score. He continued to have professional success until the league went under in 85′.
Today Marek lives in New England with his family. He comes back every year for at least 2-3 Buckeye home games and still bleeds scarlet and gray. He’ll be the guy with the grizzly beard and way more man-points than you, so if you’re lucky enough to run into him at a Buckeye tailgate be sure to shake his hand and thank him because he’s one of the all-time Buckeye greats.
Tags: Ohio State