The safety is generally the last line of defense on the football field. He has to be able to read, react and put a lid on deep plays.

As you would imagine at a place like Ohio State, there have been many imposing figures that roamed the field and often made big plays that have shaped games and seasons throughout the history of the program. In fact, ESPN recently named Ohio State DBU.

But who are the best four to suit up on the Banks of the Olentangy? Here are our four that we’d pick as the Greatest of All-Time in program history (G.O.A.T.). Feel free to jump in on the conversation if you agree, or disagree. After all, we’re all friends with Scarlet and Gray ringtones here. It’s the continuation of our G.O.A.T series of Ohio State football.

Ohio State football named DBU by ESPN article https://t.co/C4zDbNTAnY

— BuckeyesWire (@BuckeyesWire) July 24, 2019

Next … A bit underrated

Tim Fox (1972-1975)

Ohio State won a Big Ten title all three years Fox started for them. His teams also never lost to Michigan — though that seems to be commonplace these days.

He was a captain, and named All Big-Ten and first team All-American in 1975 — totaling 44 tackles and an interception return for a TD.

Fox also was the leading punt returner in 1975 with 12 punt returns for 182 yards and one touchdown. He is the uncle of another former Ohio State safety, Dustin Fox.

Next … Laying the wood

Jack Tatum (1968-1970)

When the all time Ohio State football team was chosen, Jack Tatum was picked as the defense captain. High praise for a great player #jacktatumdocumentary #OhioStatefootball #buckeyenation #Columbus #ohio #OhioState #raiders #Oakland #buckeyes #ohiostatealumni #theshoe #johnhicks pic.twitter.com/MwWJ2m45wh

— jacktatumdocumentary (@jacktatumdocum1) April 1, 2019

Tatum was as imposing and intimidating as anyone that played the game. He was fearless and known for his punishing hits.

Truth be known, he played a lot at cornerback and linebacker as well, but we’re recognizing him as a safety because of his style of play and role on the team.

To say that Tatum was a decorated player is an understatement. He was recognized as a unanimous first team All-American in 1969 and 1970, and a first-team All-Big Ten performer from 1968-1970. He was also selected as the National Defensive Player of the Year in 1970.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, and had a long and distinguished career in the NFL.

Next … The book-end to Tatum

Mike Sensibaugh (1968-1970)

Good Buckeye Morning OSU Fans, especially to Mike Sensibaugh, only 244 Days till That Team Up North! #GoBucks #TheGame pic.twitter.com/TrO4v6iiMi

— Tom Adelsberg (@TAdelsberg) March 26, 2017

On the same teams as Tatum was another hard-hitting safety, Mike Sensibaugh. He born in Cincinnati and still owns both the OSU single-season interception mark (9), and the OSU career INT record (22).

Always in the right place at the right time, Sensibaugh was adept at reading opposing offenses, often bating the quarterback into mistakes. His momentum changing interceptions often gave OSU a short field to play with on offense.

He was a first team All-American along with Tatum in 1970, and appeared on Ohio State’s All Century Team.

Next … Inspiring a national title

Mike Doss (1999-2002)

Doss is one of just seven Buckeyes to be named as a three-time first-team All-American — completing the feat from 2000-2002.

He was a member and captain of the 2002 national championship team, and named the Fiesta Bowl MVP for his efforts in the classic 31-24 win over Miami.

For his career, the Canton native had a whopping 331 tackles from the safety spot, which still ranks him in the top ten all-time at Ohio State. He earned All-Big Ten all three years he started in Columbus, and was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2002.

He most famously came back for his senior season for a chance to win the national title. That dream became a reality on January 3, 2003. It would be Ohio State’s first national title since 1968. 1 2 3 4 5