- Position: Quarterback
- School: Ohio State
- High School: Lancaster, OH (Lancaster HS)
- Years: 1968-1970
- Inducted: 2007
- Place of Birth: Lancaster, OH
- Date of Birth: May 28, 1949
- Jersey Number: 10
- Height: 6-0
- Weight: 186
Member BiographyQuarterback Rex Kern was a leader and a winner. A Lancaster, OH native he came from the same town that produced William Tecumseh Sherman. And as Sherman effectively led the Union Army through Georgia on his March to the Sea, Kern led the Ohio State Buckeye offense though opposing defenses with equal effect.
Kern ran the Buckeye offense with such precision that he often times waved back incoming substitutes with plays sent in by Coach Woody Hayes, as he felt they stifled the momentum he and the offense were developing.
On joining the varsity in 1968, Kern and 11 other sophomore starters (freshman were not eligible) came out of nowhere to capture the Big Ten crown and the National Championship by defeating Southern California the number two-ranked, defending National Champion in the Rose Bowl. Kern was the game MVP throwing two fourth quarter touchdown passes
The Buckeye win streak reached 22 games by the end of the following season as experts were comparing Ohio State to some of the greatest teams in history. Only a season ending loss to Michigan denied the Bucks another national title. That year he placed third in the Heisman voting. With a number of great signal callers playing that year, All-America selectors were determined to get Kern on the first team, so he was named as a running back, a position he did not play.
In his senior year, the Bucks avenged the Michigan defeat to win their third straight Big Ten crown, have a second undefeated regular season, and earn another Rose Bowl bid. While Rex was brilliant in gaining 129 yards, OSU was denied yet another national title in an upset loss to Stanford.
In his three years, Ohio State placed third in the nation in rushing three consecutive seasons and in 1969 were second in scoring offense. He closed the 1970 season with a fifth place finish in the Heisman voting while gaining NFF Scholar-Athlete and NCAA post graduate scholar-athlete status.