Buckeye legend ‘hops along’

He was a legend… it was in his name.

Ohio State 1955 Heisman Trophy winner Howard ‘Hopalong’ Cassady died at his Tampa, Florida home on Friday morning at the age of 85.

Cassady – one of seven Heisman winners for the Buckeyes – earned the nickname Hopalong, when sportswriters mused over a big hop in his step during his first game at running back. He scored three touchdowns and forever intertwined himself with the fictional Radio/TV character Hopalong Cassidy.

Howard ‘Hopalong’ Cassady of Ohio State poses with fictional Radio/TV figure Hopalong Cassidy, for whom sportswriters gave him his nickname.

Cassady would go on to become an All-American in 1954 and 1955. As was common at the time, he played both offense and defense (defensive back). He finished with 2,374 yards rushing with 34 touchdowns – including a national championship with OSU in 1954.

Professionally Cassady played eight seasons for the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles after being selected third overall in the 1956 NFL Draft by Detroit. That included the Lions 1957 NFL Championship team.