Source: www.buckeyeplanet.com (Tatum) and blog.allcanes.com (Canes)
Who would you rather have as your starting safety on your college football team: Jack Tatum (Ohio State) or Ed Reed (Miami)?
John David "Jack" Tatum was born on November 18, 1948 in Cherryville, North Carolina, and grew up in Passaic, New Jersey. He passed away on July 27, 2010. Tatum did not begin playing football until he entered his sophomore year at Passaic High School. There he played as a running back, fullback and defensive back. He was selected first-team All-State as well as being named All-American when he was a senior.
He was recruited by Woody Hayes and played for the Buckeyes from 1968 to 1970. (Freshmen did not play back then.) Initially he was recruited to play running back, but Lou Holtz convinced Woody Hayes to switch him to defensive back and as they say... the rest is history. He would always cover the opposing team’s best wide receiver. Occasionally a play would be drawn up to take advantage of his speed, strength, and hitting ability as a linebacker.
He was a member of Ohio State’s national championship team: the Super Sophomores. Overall his teams at Ohio State went 27 and 2 .Two national championship appearances. Two Big Ten titles. One national championship win in 1968. And they went 2 -1 against Michigan. Tatum was a first-team All-Big Ten in 1968, 1969 and 1970. In his final two seasons he was a unanimous All-American. In 1970 he was selected as the National Defensive Player of the Year and was among the top vote getters for the Heisman Trophy.
The Jack Tatum trophy, named after him, is presented annually to the nation's most outstanding defensive back as determined by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. Tatum was inducted into the Ohio State Varsity Hall of Fame in 1981 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. Some consider him the hardest hitting football player ever. Most certainly, he was the hardest hitting safety that has ever played the game earning him his nickname The Assassin.
Ed Reed was born in Jefferson, Louisiana on September 11, 1978. He attended the Destrehan High School in Destrehan, Louisiana. He was an all-state selection at defensive back and as a kick returner.
Ed was recruited by coach Butch Davis and the Miami Hurricanes. He played for both Butch Davis and Larry Cooker from 1997 to 2001. Ed started all four years.
In his senior year, he led the nation with nine interceptions for 209 yards (a school record) and three touchdowns. Reed was honored as the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2001 as well as being named National Defensive Player of the Year by Football News. He was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and a semifinalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
So there you have it. Two legendary safeties. Which one do you choose to be your star safety for your college team, based on their college career, not their pro career afterwards? Please comment via the button below. However, before you do that watch the videos of the two players: :
Jack Tatum video ---> follow this link to video
Ed Reed video ---> follow this link to video
Note: admittedly, this whole article is biased toward Tatum. We didn’t start out with that intention.