Our condolences to the Cassady family.
According to Ohio State, Cassady died early Friday morning in Tampa, Florida.
I didn't grow up around Ohio State football, or even in the state. He is also enshrined in the Ohio State Athletics and Columbus (Ohio) Baseball halls of fame.
He earned his nickname "Hopalong" from Columbus sportswriters after scoring three touchdowns in a win over in where he "hopped all over the field like the performing cowboy". "He was an all-time great Buckeye in every way". Cassady rushed for 958 yards and 15 touchdowns in 1955 and was also the Associated Press Athlete of the Year and an All-American.
Ohio State retired Cassady's No. 40 jersey in 2000, displaying it at Ohio Stadium alongside fellow Heisman winners Vic Janowicz and Archie Griffin. I knew he was one of the program's seven Heisman Trophy winners, and I have thought that in some photos he bears a striking resemblance to former Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash. In four seasons he ran for 2,466 rushing yards - 19th in school history - and compiled 4,403 all-purpose yards and 37 touchdowns. Howard Cassady was third in the Heisman voting in 1954 before winning the award in 1955.
A Columbus native, Cassady prepped at the now closed Central High School.
After his National Football League career, Cassady worked for George Steinbrenner and the Yankees for over 40 years, mostly with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.
Funeral arrangements are pending.