41 Keith Byars

Keith Byars Ohio State
usa United States
Dayton, OH
High School
Past Teams
Ohio State
1984, 1985

Major: Social Work (1985)

Weight: 236 (1985), 233 (1984)

1984: Consensus All-American who finished second in the Heisman Voting (runner-up to Doug Flutie) … Big Ten Player of the Year … All-Big Ten in 1984 after leading the conference in rushing (1,764 yards), scoring (24 touchdowns) and all-purpose yards (2,441) … led OSU in pass receiving with 42 catches for 479 yards … Had his best performance in Ohio State’s thrilling come-from-behind victory against Illinois (overcoming a school-record 24-0 deficit), scoring five touchdowns and rushing for 274 yards on 39 carries … his fourth touchdown of the game was a spectacular 67-yard run in which he completely reversed his field and lost a shoe at the Illinois 35, but still outran the Illini secondary.

1984 Media Guide: Byars and Archie Griffin are the only two sophomores in Ohio State history to run for more than 1,000 yards … will be one of the top running backs in the nation this season.

1983: Byars moved back to tailback after playing fullback as a freshman … ran for 1,199 yards, caught 23 passes for 359 yards and scored 132 points … Had a dramatic 99-yard kickoff return against Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl to cap off an outstanding season.

1982: With two established tailbacks ahead of him, Tim Spencer and Jimmy Gayle, plus a veteran fullback, Vaughn Broadnax, Coach Bruce moved Keith to fullback, where he would get more playing time as a second stringer, rather than a third-team tailback … saw limited action in nine games … carried just six times for 24 yards and caught a 20-yard pass.

High School: Byars attended Roth High School in Dayton and immediately stamped himself as a gifted athlete … in football, he played tight end as a sophomore, but was moved to tailback his junior year to take advantage of his speed and power … averaged an incredible 11.5 yards per carry as a senior, running for 1,701 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns … was a starting forward on two straight state championship basketball teams … played centerfield and hit .520 as a junior and .480 his senior year playing baseball … sprinter on the track team who ran on a state championship 440-yard relay team.

Personal: Archie Griffin was a boyhood idol and he played a major role in Byars’ decision to attend Ohio State … has two brothers and two sisters … father is a reverend … enjoys gospel music … hobbies are bowling and watching movies.


SeasonTeamGGSCompPass AttPass YdsPass TDRush AttRush YdsRush AvgRush TDRecRec YdsRec AvgRec TDLngFumLostFR
1984Ohio State12111135133617645.3224247911.4267322
1985Ohio State430000552133.947446.3020000