Howard Cassady Wins Heisman Trophy
"Hop along" was one of Ohio State's best ever, scoring 37 touchdowns in 36 games for 222 points.
He gained 2,466 yards rushing for an average of 5.6 per try. A player's player, his 964 yards with a total of 15 TDs was his greatest ever. Overlooked were his sparkling defensive plays; he never had a pass completed over him in four years of Big Ten competition. He held the Buckeyes' yardage-gained record for many years. He was voted All-American during the '54 and '55 seasons. Cassady also played baseball for Ohio State for four years. In 1955, the Associated Press also named Cassady “Athlete of the Year”. He played 8 years with the Detroit Lions, one year with the Philadelphia Eagles, and one year with the Cleveland Browns, and then formed his own company, which manufactured concrete pipe. That company was sold in 1968 when he moved into selling steel with Hop along Cassady Associates. Howard later worked for American Shipbuilding in Tampa and is currently a scout and coach for the New York Yankees. He and his wife Barbara reside in Tampa, FL. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Howard was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1979.
Howard "Hopalong" Cassady was the first Heisman winner to exceed 2,000 total points and his 1,477-point edge over Jim Swink of TCU was the biggest victory margin to that time. Swink won the Southwest but Cassady won all the other regions, compiling a 594-128 edge in first place votes in voting by 1,324 members of the media.
Howard Albert "Hopalong" Cassady (born March 2, 1934 in Columbus, Ohio) is a former college and professional American football running back. He was the Heisman Trophy winner of 1955 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
Cassady played for the Ohio State Buckeyes from 1952-55. During his college career, he scored 37 touchdowns in 36 games. He also played defensive back; a pass was never completed on him in his four years at the university. He was twice selected as a consensus All-American, in 1954 and 1955. In 1954 the Buckeyes finished the season 10-0 and won a consensus national championship. That year Cassady finished third in the vote for the Heisman Trophy behind Alan Ameche of Wisconsin (despite Ohio State defeating Wisconsin and limiting Ameche to 42 yards, and Cassady scoring on an 88-yard interception). In 1955, Cassady won the Heisman Trophy (by the largest margin at the time), the Maxwell Award, and was named the Associated Press Athlete of the Year.
Cassady earned the nickname "Hopalong" during his first game as a freshman for Ohio State. Columbus sportswriters who saw him play said he "hopped all over the field like the performing cowboy," a reference to the fictional character Hopalong Cassidy. In that game Cassady came off the bench to score three touchdowns in a win over Indiana University.
During an Ohio State practice in 1953 Cassady was having some issues executing an off tackle run. At this point Coach Hayes told Cassady to take a seat and brought in the back up running back Robert Croce. Robert Croce executed the play flawlessly and carried the ball for 20+ yards. Coach Hayes then said to Cassady, "Cassady, did you see that Croce was just slow enough to hit the hole. You're hitting the line too fast!"
Cassady held many Ohio State career records for decades. He held the career rushing record (2,466 yards) until he was surpassed by Jim Otis in 1969, the career all-purpose yards record (4,403 yards) until he was surpassed by Archie Griffin in 1974, and the scoring record (222 points) until he was surpassed by Pete Johnson in 1975.
Cassady also played baseball for Ohio State. He led the team in home runs in 1955 and in stolen bases in 1956. While at Ohio State, he also became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Cassady is a member of The Pigskin Club Of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll.
Howard Cassady was an outstanding athlete at The Ohio State University in the early 1950's.
Cassady was born on March 2, 1934, in Columbus, Ohio. As a young boy, he became fascinated with football at The Ohio State University.
In March 1952, Cassady enrolled at Ohio State. He tried out successfully for the football team. Cassady played both as a running back and as a cornerback. In his first game, Cassady scored three touchdowns against the Indiana Hoosiers. Soon after this game, a sportswriter nicknamed Cassady "Hopalong" because of his tendency to dash all over the field on both offensive and defensive plays. The nickname also was a reference to Hopalong Cassidy, a popular character in cowboy movies and television programs at that time.
During his four seasons as a Buckeye, Cassady scored thirty-seven touchdowns and rushed for 2,466 yards. He also never had a pass completed against him while he played on defense in a Big Ten game. Cassady was an All-American in both 1954 and 1955. He won both the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award in 1955 at the end of his senior season. The Associated Press named him the "Male Athlete of the Year" in 1955. In 1979, Cassady won election to the College Football Hall of Fame. Cassady also played as shortstop for three seasons on Ohio State's baseball team.
Once Cassady completed his senior season, the Detroit Lions selected him in the National Football League's draft. Cassady spent six years with the Lions and also played a season each with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns. He returned to the Lions for his eighth and final season in the National Football League. Cassady primarily played on defense but still scored twenty-seven touchdowns in his professional career. After retiring from football, Cassady started businesses that manufactured concrete pipe, steel and ships. Cassady also served as a scout for the New York Yankees and as a coach for the Columbus Clippers baseball teams.