The Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff continues with 84 days remaining until the start of the 2023 season, meaning that today we will focus on the life and career of the best player to suit up with the number 84 in franchise history, wide receiver Brian Baschnagel.
Brian Baschnagel's path to the Chicago Bears
Although born in Kingston, New York, Baschnagel spent his teen years in the greater Pittsburgh area, where he attended North Allegheny High School. There, Baschnagel joined the school's football team, where he played running back. An explosive runner, Baschnagel recorded over 400 yards on the ground twice while at North Allegheny, and would follow up his high school career by signing with the University of Ohio State.
As a Buckeye, Baschnagel was a four-year starter but would have to transition from running back to wide receiver after his freshman season. This move worked out well for both Baschnagel and the Ohio State offense in general as the unit enjoyed great success during his time in college. In his four seasons as a starter, Baschnagel recorded 1,446 total scrimmage yards and 10 offensive touchdowns on 142 touches, leading the team in receiving yards during his junior and senior seasons.
Ohio State enjoyed great success with Baschnagel on the roster, totaling a record of 40-5-1 during that span while winning the Big 10 each of those seasons. During Baschnagel's sophomore season, which was also the first year he played receiver, Ohio State posted an undefeated record and would go on to beat USC in the ensuing Rose Bowl.