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Howard "Hopalong" Cassady played for four seasons at Ohio State and won the 1955 Heisman Trophy.

By Jenna West
September 20, 2019

Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, the 1955 Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State, died early on Friday morning at the age of 85.

According to Ohio State, Cassady died in Tampa, where he lived with his wife Barb since 1974.

Cassady played for the Buckeyes from 1952-1955 as a halfback under legendary coach Woody Hayes and won the Heisman Trophy during his senior season. He became the third of the Buckeyes' seven Heisman winners and helped lead the team to a national championship in 1954 and Big Ten championships in 1954 and 1955.

"He was a Heisman Trophy dad as well," his son, Craig Cassady, told Ohio State.

As a freshman, Cassady earned the nickname "Hopalong" after coming off the bench to score three touchdowns in a 33–13 win against Indiana. Sportswriters in Columbus gave him the moniker in reference to the fictional cowboy Hopalong Cassidy.

He finished his career at Ohio State with 2,466 rushing yards, which was a school record at the time, and 37 touchdowns. Cassady also played shortstop for Ohio State's baseball team for three years. He was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and the Buckeyes retired his No. 40 jersey in 2000.

Cassady went on to play in the NFL for eight seasons after the Lions selected him the first round of the 1956 NFL draft. He won an NFL championship with Detroit in 1957.

After his NFL career, Cassady worked for George Steinbrenner and the Yankees for over 40 years, mostly with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.

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