Howard Hopalong Cassady, the 1955 Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State and running back for the Detroit Lions, died Friday. He was 85.

He died in Tampa, Florida, his longtime home, the university said.

Weve lost not only a legendary Buckeye, but also a wonderful person in Hop Cassady, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. He was an all-time great Buckeye in every way.

Cassady also played baseball at Ohio State and was a longtime coach in the New York Yankees organization. It was the late owner and friend George Steinbrenner who was the first to tell Cassady he had won the Heisman.

I had gotten word from my friends and told him not to get too big of a head but youre gonna win the Heisman, Steinbrenner was quoted as saying.

Cassady was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979. When he left Ohio State he held school records for career rushing yards, all-purpose yards and scoring.
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In those days if I had 100 yards in the first half I wouldnt play in the second half, Cassady said during a 2001 interview with The Associated Press. It wasnt until after Woody started to dominate that he tried to get his players recognition.

Cassady, whose No. 40 jersey number was retired by Ohio State in 2001, didnt need help getting recognized. He was nicknamed Hopalong by local sports writers in his first game when he scored three touchdowns in a 33-13 win over Indiana and hopped all over the field like the performing cowboy. It was an ode to the movie actor Hopalong Cassidy, the cowboy star of the 1950s who would pose with the football star for a memorable photo at the 1955 Rose Bowl.