Earlier this offseason, college football teams around the country were finally given permission to hand out jerseys with the No. 0.
Programs around the country have given the number special meaning now that it’s being allowed. Penn State, for instance, will give the number to a special teams player.
Just a few days later, another Big Ten program made its decision on the jersey number. Senior defensive lineman and team captain Jonathon Cooper was honored with the jersey.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) October 10, 2020
“In honor of Bill Willis. Toughness. Accountability. Fight. These are all the traits Bill Willis exemplified throughout his life,” the team said. “The number ‘0’ is a badge of honor. It represents fight – the backbone of our culture. Jonathon Cooper shares these traits and has been presented the opportunity to wear the block 0 jersey this season.”
Cooper is the first in what will likely be a long line of Buckeyes to be honored with the number 0.
Bill Willis played his collegiate football for the Buckeyes in the 1940’s. After a stellar collegiate career, he became a force in the NFL as well. He was inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.