Buckeyes Big Daddy
Dan Wilkinson only suited up for Ohio State for two seasons, but in a short time he became the Buckeye’s Big Daddy. After earning All Big Ten Honors in both seasons as a Buckeye, the Dayton Dunbar High School product was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the first pick in the 1994 NFL Draft.
With dominating size, strength and speed opposing offensive lines were forced to double team Wilkinson. He took the Big Ten by storm after redshirting as a true freshman in 1991. The 6-5, 300 pound defender recorded back-to-back first-team Big Ten honors as well as a consensus first-team All-America selection in 1993.
Wilkinson actually came to Columbus as an offensive tackle. While a member of the scout team, Wilkinson dropped 48 pounds to switch to the defensive side of the ball.
He responded by recording 46 tackles, 10.5 for loss, and 6.5 sacks during his first season on the defensive line. The next season he notched 44 tackles, 13 for a loss, and two sacks during the 1993 season.
After being tapped by the Bengals to anchor the defensive line, Wilkinson spent four disappointing season in stripes.
He was traded to the Washington Redskins following the 1997 season. He spent five seasons in the nation’s capital before joining the Detroit Lions for three seasons. He ended his 13 year NFL career with one season with the Miami Dolphins.
Wilkinson ended his long professional career with 182 career starts, 388 tackles and 54.5 sacks.
Since leaving the gridiron, Big Daddy has started to tackle the small business world. Wilkinson pursued his passion for fixing up automobiles by opening several AAMCO Service Centers in Southern Ohio, according to 2008 Columbus Dispatch profile. Big Daddy, who restored a 1970 Cadillac as a teenager in Dayton, planned to open as many as seven AAMCO garages starting with a location in Chillicothe.