Michael Doss, a crucial player on Ohio State's 2002 national championship team, has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
"It's truly a blessing and an honor," Doss told The Dispatch on Monday. "It's a surreal moment. I can't believe it's been 20 years since I played college football. To finally have the opportunity to hear my name announced for this honor, I'm truly blessed and floored."
"I wouldn't be who iI was on the field without great teammates and coaches who would allow me to utilize my God-given talents to play the game of football that I've loved since I was 8 years old."
Doss, 40, was a three-time first-team All-American for the Buckeyes. After his junior season, the Canton native announced that he would return for his final year in hopes of leading Ohio State to its first national title since 1968.
"I wanted to leave," Doss said. "I did not want to come back to Ohio State. I wanted to take that next step to the next level and be a professional."
But his mother, Diane Dixon, told Doss she wanted him to return to Ohio State so he could become the first person on her side of the family to get a college degree. He bowed to her wishes.
It proved to be a fateful decision. Doss was a unanimous All-American and the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. In the title game victory over Miami, Doss was the Defensive MVP. He had an interception that set up Ohio State's first touchdown in that upset victory.
After playing in the NFL for six years, mostly with the Indianapolis Colts, Doss entered the business world, first in medical sales and now in commercial real estate for the Robert Weiler Company in Columbus.
Doss becomes the 27th Buckeye player inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Linebacker James Laurinaitis was the only other Buckeye on the ballot.
Running back Keith Byars was the last Buckeye player inducted into the Hall of Fame. He was elected in 2020.
Last year, former OSU assistant coach Rudy Hubbard, who later won a Division I-AA national championship as head coach at Florida A&M, was inducted.
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Michael Doss, Ohio State star, elected to College Hall of Fame