Monday, August 17, 2020

Former Colts and Ohio State WR Anthony Gonzalez Is Finding Success Back in the Buckeye State


on August 16, 2020

Anthony Gonzalez was a stellar wide receiver at Ohio State and ultimately led the Buckeyes to a lot of success. He then entered the NFL and caught passes from the great Peyton Manning on the Indianapolis Colts. Gonzalez's NFL career, however, was ultimately short-lived, but he is now having a ton of success in a job that is very, very different than his previous one on the football field. It happens to be back in the Buckeye state too.

Anthony Gonzalez was a star for the Ohio State Buckeyes

Before entering the NFL, Gonzalez played under Jim Tressel on the Ohio State Buckeyes. After going 8-4 and winning the Alamo Bowl in 2004, the Buckeyes became an excellent team, and Gonzalez became an excellent receiver, in the next two seasons.

In 2005, Gonzalez caught 28 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns. As a team, the Buckeyes — led by a defense that featured A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, and Malcolm Jenkins — went 10-2 and won the Fiesta Bowl over Notre Dame.

The 2006 season was then an incredible one for the Buckeyes and Gonzalez. He caught 51 passes that season for 734 yards and eight touchdowns, and Ohio State was dominant on offense and defense. 

Along with Gonzalez, the Buckeyes had Troy Smith at quarterback, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy that season, and Ted Ginn Jr., who is still catching passes in the NFL. They also had Antonio Pittman at running back, who ran for 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns that year. On defense, the Buckeyes had Jenkins, James Laurinaitis, and future sixth overall pick Vernon Gholston.

That stacked Buckeyes roster got off to a 12-0 start and went to the BCS National Championship Game before losing to the Florida Gators.

He played for the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL

Anthony Gonzalez of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball against the Houston Texans on Nov. 1, 2010. | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Gonzalez’s play at Ohio State led to the Indianapolis Colts selecting him in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft. The Colts had just come off a Super Bowl win in 2006 and then also had some excellent teams in the years that Gonzalez played for them.

In his first season, Gonzalez had a nice year as he caught 37 passes for 576 yards and three touchdowns. The Colts ultimately went 13-3, but lost in the Divisional Round to the San Diego Chargers. 

Gonzalez was then even better in his second season, catching 57 passes for 664 yards and four touchdowns. The Colts went 12-4 that season too but lost to the Chargers in the playoffs again.

That was unfortunately the end of Gonzalez’s success in the NFL, though. He only played in 11 games combined over the next three seasons, and only caught five more passes for 67 yards. According to Bleacher Report, Gonzalez ultimately dealt with multiple knee injuries, which limited him to only 40 career games in the NFL. He signed with the New England Patriots before the 2012 season but did not play in one game with them.

Anthony Gonzalez has become a politician in the Buckeye state

After his NFL career, Gonzalez went to Stanford Business School and then had a career in the technology industry, according to his website. However, he later returned to Ohio, where he had also lived prior to playing at Ohio State.

Gonzalez then ultimately launched a career in politics. In 2018, he ran for a House of Representatives seat in Ohio. After winning the Republican primary, Gonzalez faced Democrat Susan Moran Palmer for the House seat that represents Ohio’s 16th Congressional District.

In November 2018, Gonzalez defeated Palmer with 56.7% of the vote, according to The Washington Post. During his campaign, Gonzalez received donations from Peyton Manning, former Colts receiver Austin Collie, and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, reported.

Since being elected, Gonzalez has been working toward introducing a bill regarding the use of college athletes’ name, image, and likeness, according to USA Today. President Donald Trump also chose him to serve on the Opening Up America Again Congressional Group. Gonzalez has additionally supported the college football season being played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I learned more in that college football environment than I did in any classroom or in any other environment that I’ve ever been in,” Gonzalez said, per USA Today, “and I know that I’m not alone in that. So, to take that opportunity away from these kids, many of whom come from some of the most difficult backgrounds that this country has to offer, I think is catastrophic for them.”

After an excellent college career at Ohio State, Anthony Gonzalez is still having success in the Buckeye state. It will be interesting to see how his political career pans out.

Stats courtesy of Sports Reference and Pro Football Reference

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