Ohio State figures in the nominations of all three finalists for the Rose Bowl Game All-Century Class of the 1970s were named in an emailed press release on Sunday, Nov. 3. They are Archie Griffin (Ohio State), Jim Plunkett (Stanford) and Charles White (USC). The remaining nominees, chosen by the Football Writers Association of America for the 100th playing of the Granddaddy of Them All, will be announced each week by decade; the details of the selection and schedule have been posted in this column.
Archie Griffin of Ohio State is the only player to win the Heisman Trophy twice and one of only two athletes to start in four consecutive Rose Bowl Games. During his Rose Bowl Game career, the three-time All American gained a total of 412 yards on 79 carries, with 149 of those yards coming in his 1974 appearance. Griffin holds the record as the Buckeye’s leading rusher over his college career, with 5,589 yards. He gained 100 yards or more in 31 consecutive regular-season games. He currently serves as CEO and president of the Ohio State Alumni Association. He was elected into the OSU Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and was a 1990 inductee into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
Quarterback Jim Plunkett led Stanford to an early 10-1 lead in the 1971 Rose Bowl Game against Ohio State, and overcame Ohio’s third-quarter rally to win the game 27-17. A third-quarter field goal and two fourth-quarter touchdowns brought the trophy home for Stanford. Plunkett complete 20 of 30 passes for 265 yards, made one touchdown and gained 49 yards on the ground. The 1970 Heisman Trophy winner was the number one overall pick in the 1971 NFL draft and spent 15 years in the league, winning two Super Bowls. He was the first player to be named Rose Bowl Player of the Game and Super Bowl MVP. Stanford retired Plunkett’s old number 16 in 1991. He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1989.
One of only four players to receive two Rose Bowl Game Player of the Game honors (1979, 1980), running back Charles White led USC to three Rose Bowl Game victories. The Trojan set or equaled 22 NCAA, Pac-10, USC and Rose Bowl Game records, including career records for most rushes (103) and most yards gained (460) in The Granddaddy of Them All during his senior season. White won the 1979 Heisman Trophy, capping the season with 247 yards rushing and the winning touchdown in the 1980 Rose Bowl Game against Ohio State. He played professionally for nine years, retuning to USC as an assistant coach from 1993 to 1997. He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1990.
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