Oliver Monroe "Ollie" Cline (December 31, 1925 – May 12, 2001) was a college and professional American football fullback who played for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions in the 1940s and 1950s. A standout high school athlete in his hometown of Fredericktown, Ohio, Cline attended Ohio State University starting in 1944. He became the football team's primary fullback that year as the school went unbeaten and was ranked second in the nation in the AP Poll. The following year, Cline was named the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference, rushing for 936 yards as Ohio State built up a 7–2 record and was ranked 12th in the AP Poll. Following a brief stint in the U.S. Army at the end of World War II, Cline returned to Ohio State for a final season in 1947.
Cline began his professional career by signing with the Browns, a team in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) coached by former Ohio State head coach Paul Brown. Cleveland won all of its games and the AAFC championship in 1948 while Cline served as a backup to fullback Marion Motley. Cleveland traded Cline to the Buffalo Bills, where he spent the 1949 season, and joined the Lions in 1950 when the AAFC folded. The Lions won the NFL Championship Game in 1952 and 1953, beating the Browns both times. Cline then retired from football and earned a master's degree in education. He later worked at a variety of school systems in Ohio and Arizona. Cline was inducted into the Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame and was named to the Ohio State Football All-Century Team in 2000. He died in 2001.
By Dean Hanley
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