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Jack Tatum


John David Tatum

Inducted 2004

Date of Birth



Cherryville, NC


Ohio State University (1968-1970)


Jack Tatum was one of the hardest-hitting and most devastating tacklers in college football history. He came to Ohio State as a running back, but was shifted to defense before his first varsity season. Officially, Tatum was a safety who played as a rover. He was most often found on the wide side of the field. His very presence forced offenses to run into the short side of the field. Tatum could also be found as a coverage corner or as a run-supporting linebacker. In 1968, he was part of a group of Buckeyes known as the “Super-Sophs, ” one of 11 sophomores who become starters. That year OSU went undefeated, winning the Rose Bowl and earning the national championship. The following year OSU won a Big Ten co-championship as the Buckeye win streak reached 22 games. Tatum placed ninth in the Heisman voting and was a consensus All-America. In his senior year, Tatum was part of a third Big Ten title team that went through the regular season undefeated earning another Rose Bowl trip. In 1970, he was a unanimous All-America pick and placed seventh in the Heisman vote. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders, where he played for nine seasons. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and was a member of the 1976 World Champions.


Height 5'10

Weight 200

Career Highlights

  • 1970 All-Conference
  • 1970 Heisman - Seventh
  • 1970 Unanimous All-America
  • 1969 All-Conference
  • 1969 Consensus All-America
  • 1969 Heisman - Tenth
  • 1968 All-Conference
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