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Former Ohio State RB and Heisman winner Howard Cassady dies

Howard Cassady was third in the Heisman voting in 1954 before winning the award in 1955. (AP)

Former Heisman Trophy winner Howard “Hopalong” Cassady died Friday morning according to multiple reports. He was 85.

Cassady was a running back at Ohio State from 1952-55. He won the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 1955 as the Buckeyes went 7-2 under Woody Hayes and 6-0 in the Big Ten.

Cassady ran for 958 yards and 14 touchdowns in that Heisman-winning season. He got his nickname from local sportswriters as a freshman in homage to the Hopalong Cassidy cowboy character created by Clarence Mulford.

The season before Cassady won the Heisman he finished third in the voting to Wisconsin’s Alan Ameche and Oklahoma’s Kurt Burris as a junior.

Cassady was Ohio State’s third Heisman Trophy winner. He was preceded by Les Horvath in 1944 and Vic Janowicz in 1950.

Drafted by the Detroit Lions

Cassady was taken with the No. 3 pick in the 1956 NFL draft by the Lions behind Gary Glick and Earl Morrall.

Cassady played eight seasons in the NFL; seven of them were with the Lions. His best season came as a rookie when he carried the ball 97 times for 413 yards. He scored six touchdowns in his career including three in his second season in the league.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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