Chuck Csuri, a former All-American tackle at Ohio State who was named team MVP as the Buckeyes won their first national championship in 1942, died on Sunday in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. He was 99.
The university announced his death on Thursday.
Csuri blocked a punt that set up Ohio State’s first touchdown in a 21-7 win over Michigan in the second-to-last game of the 1942 season, a triumph that clinched the Big Ten crown for the Buckeyes and positioned them to win the national title.
Finishing 9-1 overall, the Buckeyes were voted atop the Associated Press poll.
The backdrop of World War II, though, left a subdued celebration around Columbus, as Csuri recalled in an interview with The Dispatch in 2017. He and other teammates would also enlist.
“Most of us had to go into military service,” he said. “Of course, we were very proud of what had happened, but no big deal was made of it. It was more of a routine thing. We had none of that exhilaration, and I regret that. And the kind of stories on individual players that you read today would have been unheard of then.”