Legends of the Gridiron

Jim Langhurst – 1937 Willard Graduate

  • Played Fullback for Willard
  • Led Willard to a 2nd place finish in the Little Big 5 in 1935 (9-1-1)
  • Led the State of Ohio in scoring in 1935 with 130 points
  • Went on to play football at The Ohio State University
  • Captain of the 1940 Ohio State Football Team (when only 1 player was elected captain)
  • MVP of the 1938 Ohio State Football Team
  • Led the Big Ten in scoring in 1938
  • Starting FB on the 1939 Big Ten Championship Team
  • 89th pick in the 1941 NFL Draft
  • Was Willard’s 1st Individual State Champ (220 yard hurdles)

 

Joe Whisler – 1942 Willard Graduate

  • Played Fullback for Willard
  • Led Willard to Little Big 4 Titles in 1940 and 1941
  • Went on to play football at The Ohio State University 
  • Served in Navy during WWII then returned to OSU from 1946-48
  • MVP of the 1948 Ohio State Team
  • Led the Big Ten in scoring in 1946
  • Led Ohio State in rushing in 1946 and 1948
  • Led Ohio State in scoring in 1946, 1947, and 1948
  • 70th pick in the 1946 NFL Draft

 

Robert Thornton – 1950 Willard Graduate

  • Played Fullback for Willard
  • Led Willard to a 2nd place NOL finish in 1949 (7-1-1)
  • Went on to play football at The Ohio State University
  • Started both ways on OSU’s 1954 National championship Team at Center and Linebacker
  • Played every down in the final 2 games during the 1954 NC campaign

 

Mark Miller – 1980 Willard Graduate

  • Played Fullback for Willard
  • Led Willard to a NOL Championship in 1979
  • Went on to play football at Ivy League member Cornell
  • Was 2nd on Cornell in TD’s in 1981 & 1982
  • In 1979 Willard scored 20 TD’s, Miller had 14 of those 20
  • In 1979 he scored all of Willard’s points in 4 of the 7 League games
  • In 1978 down 13-0 to Tiffin Columbian, Miller returned a kickoff 85 yards for a TD. He then ran for a TD, and near the end of the 4th quarter he returned a punt 64 yards for a TD to score all 20 pts (he was the kicker too) for Willard in a 20-16 come from behind win.
  • Was the first 1,000 yard back at Willard and still holds Willard’s career and single season rushing records

 

Charlie Frye – 2000 Willard Graduate

  • Played Quarterback for Willard
  • Led Willard to a NOL Championship in 1999
  • Went on to play football at The University of Akron
  • Senior Bowl MVP in 2005
  • Ranked 10th in D-1A History in Total Yards in a Career at the time he graduated
  • Set 54 records at Akron
  • 67th pick in the 2005 NFL Draft
  • His 64.1% completion % in 2006 still ranks #2 in Browns History behind Otto Graham’s 64.7% in 1953