Saturday, December 09, 2006

No Surprise: Troy Smith wins Heisman [J. Mark English]

Troy Smith just picked up a Heisman Trophy on his way to taking on Florida for the National Championship.

He recieved 801 first place votes, and had a grand total of 1,662 points which makes it the second highest amount of votes...second only to O.J. Simpson.

Ralph D. Russo of the Washington Post has more:

It's been quite a journey.

Smith came to Ohio State as part of a heralded recruiting class in 2002, but his signing was little more than a footnote. His claim to fame was being Ted Ginn Jr.'s quarterback at Glenville High School.

Smith was labeled an "athlete" coming out of high school, the type of player who might ultimately find a home at wide receiver or defensive back.

Even Tressel wasn't sure he'd play quarterback, but he saw potential.

But Smith, a foster child as a teen with a quick temper, also had a penchant for finding trouble. After getting kicked off the basketball team at a private high school for elbowing an opponent, he transferred out of the suburbs of Cleveland to inner-city Glenville High. Smith, who is black, said the white opposing player used a racial slur against him...

....On the field, Smith couldn't beat out Justin Zwick, the highly touted blue-chipper from the '02 class, at the start of the 2004 season. But when the Buckeyes lost three straight and Zwick got hurt, Smith got his chance and righted the Buckeyes with his running and passing.

Then he tripped himself up again.

An NCAA investigation determined he took $500 from an Ohio State booster in the spring of 2004. He could have been gone from the Buckeyes for good. Ultimately, he had to repay the money and sit out a bowl game and the first game of 2005.

Back from suspension, he finally became a star.

Smith finished the '05 season with consecutive 300-yard passing games in victories over Michigan and Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, essentially kicking off his '06 Heisman campaign.

Once known more his speed and elusiveness, Smith's become the consummate pocket-passer. Accurate and unflappable, he's fourth in the nation in passer rating (167.9) with 2,507 yards passing and 30 TD passes.

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