The List: Ranking famous alumni of Bishop Sycamore

Commentators talking about the 2021 team’s dearth of D1 prospects are ignoring its football-rich history

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
On Sunday, Bishop Sycamore lost to the second-ranked team in the country, IMG Academy of Florida, 58-0.

The still-unfolding saga around Bishop Sycamore is already the wildest sports story of 2021, and each new detail that surfaces just sends it further into the stratosphere. 

Here’s a quick recap for those new to the story: On Sunday, Ohio’s Bishop Sycamore played a game against high school powerhouse IMG Academy out of Florida that was televised by ESPN. During the telecast, ESPN announcers started to question the veracity of some of the claims made by Bishop Sycamore, including the statement that the team fields multiple division one prospects. (It appears to field none.) In the aftermath, it was revealed that the team also played in another game on Friday, meaning the players logged two games in three days, and, oh, by the way, the whole “program” might actually be a sham.

Expect a steady stream of articles over the next few weeks and months documenting the myriad broken systems that enabled an allegedly fake high school to appear in a nationally televised game. Before that essential reading hits, though, we thought we’d take a quick moment to rank our favorite players to ever suit up for Bishop Sycamore.

8. Johnny Utah

Prior to his Rose Bowl-winning college run, this future FBI agent lined up behind the center as QB for Bishop Sycamore.

7. Bobby Boucher Jr.

He never saw the field, serving only as a waterboy and spot special teamer. It wasn’t until college in Louisiana that Boucher learned to channel his anger into bone-crushing hits.

6. Rashid “Hot Hands” Hanon

Though he never reached the heights he did previously as a Little Giant, this speedy if unsteady receiver developed a knack for the big catch.

5. Air Bud

Also dubbed the Golden Receiver, this canine still holds the team record for average yards after the catch and most fan chants of "Who's a/Good boy!"

4. Luther “Shark” Lavay

The hard-hitting defender excelled on any given Friday, as well.

3. Rod Tidwell

Before Jerry Maguire showed him the money, Tidwell was a sure-handed, record-setting high school receiver for Bishop Sycamore (which also showed him the money, despite laws in place that barred the team from doing so).

2. Jamal Jackson

There was no replacement for this mammoth offensive lineman, who starred at left guard during his four high school years in Ohio.

1. Shane Falco

The crafty lefty QB might have choked in the Sugar Bowl while at Ohio State, but he had zero issues in leading Bishop Sycamore as a four-year starter, setting school records for passing yardage and total touchdowns that still stand today. (As does Falco’s uncanny likeness to his predecessor, Johnny Utah.)