36 Chris Spielman

Chris Spielman Ohio State
usa United States
Massillon, OH
High School
Past Teams
Ohio State
1984, 1985, 1986, 1987

Post-OSU Update: Chris Spielman was selected in the second round (29th overall pick) of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Spielman played ten years in the NFL, making four Pro Bowls and four All-Pro selections (all with the Lions). He led the NFL in tackles in 1994 with 195 stops. After football, Spielman spent close to twenty years as a color commentator on college football and NFL games for both Fox and ESPN. In 2020, he was hired as a special assistant to the Detroit Lions CEO. (updated: Apr. 2023)

Major: Physical Education (1986-87)

Weight: 236 (1987), 227 (1986), 224 (1985), 223 (1984)

1987 Media Guide: A consensus first team All-America selection in 1986 … named to this honor by Associated Press, Kodak (coaches), Football Writers Association, Sporting News and by Football News … called “the most intense player I have ever seen,” by Ohio State Coach Earle Bruce … has a rare quality of being able to make a great play in a critical situation … had six pass interceptions last year, an unusually high total for an inside linebacker … made 205 tackles in 1986, including 105 solo stops … had nine tackles for a loss in each of the past two seasons … his three-year total of 390 tackles is third on Ohio State’s all-time list behind Marcus Marek with 572 and Tom Cousineau with 569 … Chris is quick, strong, totally dedicated and superbly conditioned … during the off-season, Chris works out on the weights four days a week – on Mondays and Thursdays his workouts are to strengthen his chest, back, triceps and neck, while on Tuesdays and Fridays he concentrates on the legs, shoulders and biceps … on the other three days he runs, rides and exercise bike and does special agility drills … Chris pestered his father about letting him begin formal weight training workouts when he was in elementary school but his father, a former coach and now a school administrator, refused on the grounds he was too young … Chris did begin modest workouts in the eighth grade …

1986: His 29 tackles against Michigan tied a school record set by Tom Cousineau … Spielman’s key pass interception and nifty 24-yard touchdown return broke open the 1987 Cotton Bowl Game and gave the Buckeyes a needed boost … a second Spielman interception in the Cotton Bowl spelled defeat for Texas A&M … named Top Defensive Player in the Cotton Bowl; Most Valuable Player in the Kickoff Classic and finalist for the Lombardi and Butkus awards.

1985: A regular in 1985 and first-team all-Big Ten selection who was also an honorable mention All-American selection … made 140 tackles in 1985, including nine stops for a loss … intercepted three passes, batted down three, caused two fumbles and recovered one fumble.

1985 Media Guide: Another in a line of great Ohio State linebackers … a big play athlete who sparks the defense … bench presses 360 pounds and lifts 575 … extremely active.

1984: Two sprained ankles restricted his playing time as a freshman, but in the seven games he did play, it was apparent he was something special … Spielman made his collegiate debut in the second half of the 1984 opener with Oregon State … the Buckeyes trailed 14-3 and badly needed a spark – Spielman was exactly what was needed, making ten tackles, including several key stops in critical situations and caused a fumble with a solid hit … Spielman was named “Defensive Player of the Game” against Oregon State even though he played only 9.5 minutes.

High School: Parade called him “The Top High School Linebacker in the Nation” and Armour-Dial named him “Male High School Athlete of the Year” … Street and Smith chose him one of the “Top 15 High School Players in the Nation” … an honor student throughout high school, he had a 3.8 average.

Personal: A physical education major, he wants to coach after graduation … father is an assistant principal.


SeasonTeamGGSTklSoloAsstTFLTFL YdsSacksSack YdsFFFRIntInt YdsPBUBlkDef TD
1984Ohio State73452421210171100200
1985Ohio State111014076649311132038300
1986Ohio State1313205105100926213106118201
1987Ohio State1111156787810454313024200