Best Ohio State football players this century 26. Nick Mangold – Center 2003-05
It’s hard to compare some of the offensive linemen on this list to players like wide receivers, quarterbacks, or even defensive stars. There aren’t really stats to compare the offensive linemen on this list. However, no one can deny how good Nick Mangold was when he was at Ohio State.
Centers usually don’t get a ton of credit. For offensive linemen who already aren’t given the credit they deserve, centers get the least amount of credit on the field. They plan an integral role in making the offense go. Mangold was the Buckeyes’ starting center for the last three years on campus, and he was incredibly durable. Pretty much every snap to Justin Zwick and Troy Smith came from the hands of Nick Mangold.
Mangold was an All-American in 2005. He was named team captain for his senior season, leading Ohio State to a Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame. You couldn’t get this guy off the field, and Ohio State wanted to build around that. Grit and toughness were a major part of the Jim Tressel way. Nick Mangold might have had a personality off the field, but on the field, he was all business.
He went on to have a great career as a center with the New York Jets. He was a fan favorite after the Jets took him in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Mangold will always hold a special place in Columbus, where he moved to center to fill a need for the Buckeyes and never let the position go.