Former Raider Tatum dies

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:26 PM ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Hard-hitting linebacker/safety Jack Tatum has passed away at the age of 61 after suffering a heart attack on Tuesday.

Nicknamed "The Assassin," Tatum played for Ohio State from 1968-70 and for the Oakland Raiders from 1971-79 before finishing his professional career with the Houston Oilers in 1980.

"We have lost one of our greatest Buckeyes," said current OSU head coach Jim Tressel. "When you think of Ohio State defence, the first name that comes to mind is Jack Tatum. His loss touches every era of Ohio State players and fans."

Originally slated to be a running back for the Buckeyes, Tatum was moved to the defence and helped Ohio State go 27-2 with a national championship and two conference titles in his tenure at the school. He was a two-time All-American and the national defensive player of the year as a senior.

Tatum was a first-round pick by Oakland in the 1971 NFL Draft and was a three- time Pro Bowl free safety and a Super Bowl champion in 1976. In 10 seasons, he recorded 37 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries.

He was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.


Photos