Monday, November 14, 2022

Tom Arth is John Carroll’s all-time greatest football player


All-America QB headlines list of Blue Streaks’ 25 best

All-time great John Carroll football players Tom Arth (3), Carl Taseff (11), London Fletcher (3) and Scott O'Donnell (91), Don Shula (16), Willie Beers (27) and Dave Rastoka (53). (John Carroll Sports Information, Illustration by Howard Primer)

By Mark Podolski | | The News-Herald


PUBLISHED: November 10, 2022 at 11:40 a.m. | UPDATED: November 10, 2022 at 12:25 p.m.

John Carroll completes its 100th season of football Nov. 12 at Don Shula Stadium against Otterbein.

Thousands have played football for the Blue Steaks — more than a hundred are in JCU’s sports hall of fame.

Noah Tylutki of the JCU sports information department, JCU football historian Bryan Fritz and yours truly compiled the 25 all-time best football players in Blue Streaks history, with 25 more honorable mention selections.

Tylutki also recently completed “100 Seasons of John Carroll Football” — a record and fact book that’s available to pre-order.

Here’s the list from 1 to 25 with honorable mention picks:

1. Tom Arth, quarterback (1999-2002) — Arth’s impact on JCU football was immense, first as a player then head coach. The four-year starter threw for 10,345 yards and 89 touchdowns and led the program to its first NCAA Division II final four appearance in 2002. He was named third-team QB on’s all-decade team of the 2000s. He was named JCU head coach in 2013 and led the program to a 40-8 mark in four seasons, including the Blue Streaks’ second trip to the final four in 2016.

2. Carl Taseff, halfback (1947-50) — First JCU player to have his jersey number (11) retired. Taseff started four seasons, and rushed for 3,829 yards and 52 touchdowns. His 361 career points is No. 1 all-time at JCU, almost 100 points better than the No. 2 player. As a senior in 1950, he rushed for 1,164 yards, 20 TDs and was AP Little All-America. Averaged 5.9 yards per attempt. Drafted by Browns in 1951 in Round 22 and made the team. Spent 24 seasons as a Miami Dolphins assistant for Don Shula.

3. London Fletcher, linebacker (1995-97) — Fletcher, a VASJ grad, transferred from St. Francis to JCU in 1995 hoping to play basketball for former coach Mike Moran but football was his true calling. Arguably the greatest defensive player in Blue Streaks history. Compiled 341 tackles his final two seasons (386 overall) with 31 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles. Was a two-time All-America pick and named the nation’s top linebacker in D-III in 1997. Played 16 seasons in the NFL and in 256 games, the most ever by a linebacker.

4. Tim Barrett, running back (1971-74) — Became the first and only player in JCU history rushed for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. A 14th round pick by the Browns in 1975, he started as a safety at JCU before moving to running back in 1972. In three seasons toting the ball, rushed for 3,625 yards and 34 TDs. Led the nation in rushing yards per game as a senior (156.6).

5. Willie Beers, running back (1989-92) — The Lake Catholic grad’s No. 27 is retired by JCU and for good reason. He’s the school’s career rushing yards leader with 4,377 yards and scored 41 TDs. When he graduated, he was the Ohio Athletic Conference’s all-time leader rusher. The three-time first-team All-OAC selection once ran 53 times in a 1991 game vs. Capital.

6. Dave Rastoka, linebacker (1986-89) — Another Lake Catholic grad, Rastoka was a three-time All-America selection, and is JCU’s all-time leader in tackles with 536. He’s also the only three-time captain in program history. He was the conference defensive player of the year in 1988 and 1989. His final season (1989), the Blue Streaks made the NCAA playoffs for the first time with Rastoka’s 167 tackles leading the way on defense.

7. Scott O’Donnell, defensive end (1993-96) — Yet another Lake grad by way of Eastlake, no one in JCU history got to the QB better than O’Donnell, the former Cougars’ football coach who currently leads the Brookside football program in Lorain County. In 1996, was named Football Gazette D-III defensive lineman of the year after he posted 102 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and 19 sacks. His career numbers of 75.5 TFL and 48.5 sacks are JCU records.

8. Mark Myers, quarterback (2012-14) — A transfer from the University of Pittsburgh, Myers had a big arm and was accurate and the results showed — 9,598 passing yards (second to Arth) and 94 TD passes (No. 1 at JCU). His 2014 season played like a video game with 3,428 yards, 41 TD passes and just four interceptions.

9. Larry Wanke, quarterback (1989-90) — Like Myers, Wanke was a Pitt transfer and only played two seasons for the Blue Steaks but his impact was huge. At the time, Wanke — a Benedictine grad — set 16 JCU passing marks and was 17-4 as a starter. In 1989, he became JCU’s first QB to throw for more than 2,000 yards in leading the program to its first playoff appearance in its first year in the OAC. Wanke is the last JCU player picked in the NFL Draft as the final pick (or “Mr. Irrelevant”) by the Giants in 1991.

10. Don Shula, halfback (1948-50) — Shula’s impact goes way beyond his play on the field as a backfield teammate with Taseff. Eventually became a longtime NFL coach for the Colts and Dolphins and is the all-time leader in NFL coaching wins with 347. Before that, the Harvey graduate played three seasons with the Blue Streaks and had 1,785 yards and 27 TDs. His best game was more than 100 yards in a 21-16 upset of Syracuse in 1950 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Shula and Taseff were drafted by the Browns in 1951, and were the only two rookies to make the team.

11. Chris Anderson, linebacker (1993-96) — University School product by way of Lyndhurst was two-time All-American and is tied with Rastoka with 536 career tackles.

12. Ed Sandrick, defensive back (1966-69) — Only four-time all-conference pick in JCU history, Sandrick is the program’s all-time leader in career interceptions (21) and INTs in a season (10).

13. Nick Caserio, quarterback (1995-98) — Four-year starter at QB and two-time captain, Caserio — a University grad — threw for 8,434 yards and 78 TDs. He is currently the general manager of the Houston Texans.

14. Mason McKenrick, linebacker (2014-17) — Mentor graduate was the 2016 national defensive player of the year after making 96 stops. Made 236 career tackles.

15. David Ziegler, kick returner (1996-99) — He was a three-time All-America pick as a return specialist. Ziegler led the nation in kick return average (35.7) in 1999, and became the fourth player in D-III history to amass 1,000 career kick and punt return yards. Hired in early 2022 as GM of the Las Vegas Raiders.

16. Jerry Schweickert, all-purpose (1957-59) — One of the most versatile players in school history. Played QB, halfback, safety and returned kicks. Led JCU to conference championship in 1959 and was named All-America. Later served as football head from 1965 to 1976. Founded JCU’s baseball program in 1973.

17. Eddie Arsenault, halfback (1937-39) — One of JCU’s great all-around athletes in the pre-World War II era. Key contributor to the program’s 7-1 season of 1939, when he was honorable mention Little All-America pick.

18. Sig Holowenko, offensive tackle (1947-50) — Opened holes for Shula and Taseff. Drafted by the Packers in 1951 during the sixth round, the highest a JCU player has ever been selected.

19. Rick Kuczmarski, defensive tackle (1979-81) — Was JCU’s second-ever All-America pick in 1981, when he made 108 tackles.

20. Michael Canganelli, running back (2017-2019) — Played two seasons as the starter — Mayfield grad had to retire before his final season because of a back injury — and ran for 2,286 yards and scored 30 TDs. His 270 yards against Baldwin Wallace in 2018 is No. 2 all-time for a single game.

21. Gene Stringer, fullback, end (1921-24) — Stringer did it all — his 11 TDs in 1922 was most all-time until Taseff broke it — and he even wrote JCU’s alma mater song. Stringer was the first from JCU to play professional football when he signed with the NFL’s Cleveland Bulldogs.

22. Nick D’Angelo, linebacker (1980-83) — Eastlake native and Lake Catholic grad was All-America pick in 1983 after making 128 tackles. That same season, D’Angelo was an NCAA national champion in wrestling at 190 pounds.

23. Marshall Howell, wide receiver (2013-16) — Benedictine grad is JCU all-time leader in receptions (209), receiving yards (2,969) and receiving TDs (36).

24. Dick Bright, kicker, all-purpose (1923-24) — Bright passed, kicked, punted and played halfback on defense. His six field goals made in 1924 stood for nearly 60 years.

25. John Kovach, fullback, defensive end (1961-63) — A three-year, two-way starter at fullback and defensive end, Kovach was a defensive star who led JCU to undefeated seasons in 1962 and 1963 and set numerous defensive records.

Honorable mention

Conner Bogard, DL, Butch Carney, OL, Chris Cubero, LB, Jovon Dawson, DB, Carl Estenik, HB, Brennan Fugh, WR, Ro Golphin, RB, Aramis Greenwood, WR, Ryan Haley, P, Blake Herideen, OL, Joe Indriolo, DE, P.J. Insana, QB, Anthony Latina, OL, Jerome Layton, OL, Jeff Lerner, WR, Tommy Michals, RB, Gus McPhie, QB, Carlo Melaragno, DB, Jim Mitchell, DB, Anthony Moeglin, QB, Fred Rancourt, OL, Tom Rini, S, Burrell Shields, HB, Ron Timpanaro, OL, Dave Vitatoe, K

For information on “100 Seasons of John Carroll Football,” go to:

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