the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ohio Kicking Multitasker

"Born Charles William Harley in 1894, he was considered one of the two greatest college halfbacks of the first half of the twentieth century. Harley could do everything exceedingly well: run, pass, punt, kick extra points and field goals, tackle, block, and play safety. He was born in Chicago, the sixth child of Charles and Mattie Harley.... As a high school quarterback, he lit up Ohio gridirons by scoring three or four touchdowns and kicking as many as eight extra points per game on a regular basis. As Ohio State halfback he did the same propelling the small school into national prominence almost single-handedly." - Todd Wessel
Harley's football career was relatively brief, but prolific:

  • In his career at East High School, Harley's team lost only one game, his last. So many people wanted to see Harley play that many times football games at East High's now-named "Harley Field" outdrew Ohio State football games.
  • Harley began his career with the Ohio State Buckeyes in 1916. He led the team to a 7–0 record and their first Big Ten Conference championship. The team scored 258 points in seven games and giving up only 29.
  • The Buckeyes repeated as conference champion in 1917 with an 8–0–1 record, and Harley repeated as a consensus first-team All American.
  • In 1918 Harley left school to be a pilot in the United States Army Air Service during World War I, but he returned the following year.
  • In 1919 the Buckeyes finished 6–1. Harley's only career loss was a heartbreaker; the team lost the game and the conference title to the University of Illinois on the last play of the last game of the season. That season, however, is remembered at Ohio State for the Buckeyes' first victory over the University of Michigan. Following that senior season, Harley was again a consensus first-team All-America selection.
  • Throughout his Ohio State career, Harley played right halfback on offense and safety on defense, and was also the team's punter and place kicker. He scored 201 points in a 23-game career [23 TDs, 39 PATs, 8 FGs].
From the Columbus Dispatch's Chic Harley time line:
1916: Ohio State beat Illinois, 7-6, after Harley managed to make a touchdown on a soggy, muddy field with two minutes remaining in the game. After his touchdown, Harley requested a new shoe, as the one he was wearing was caked in mud. He slowly replaced the shoe and laced it as fans waited breathlessly, then walked over and calmly kicked the needed goal. This win against the Big Ten powerhouse brought the OSU team, and Harley in particular, more national recognition.
In 2004, Ohio State retired Harley's jersey number (47).
“One of the big things for me is to go over to the Buckeye Hall of Fame Café and see he was a four-sport letterman in basketball, track, baseball and football. That’s unbelievable to me. For one man to have the ability to do that, that is amazing. It’s unfortunate we don’t have film of that. We have no idea how good he really was. He must have been amazing. All we have are the newspaper clippings. That was a time when the newspaper writers were like poets. Those were the leather helmet days, I guess.” - Rob Harley

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