From Ohio History Central
As of this writing, TroySmith is the starting quarterback for The Ohio State University football team. Hewas the Heisman Trophy winner for 2006.
Smith was born on July 20,1984, in Columbus, Ohio. As a toddler, Smith and his family relocated toCleveland, Ohio, where Smith developed a love of sports. He also experienced adifficult childhood. Due to his mother's addiction to and arrest for drugabuse, Smith spent four years of his youth in Ohio's foster care system. Atfourteen years of age, he returned to his mother's custody, and the familyeventually moved to Glenville, Ohio, near Cleveland. Smith played severalsports at St. Edward High School, in Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Duringhis sophomore season, Smith elbowed an opposing player in the face during aschool basketball game. Smith claimed that the opposing player had used racialslurs, a claim the opposing player denied. Smith then transferred to and playedfootball for Glenville High School. The school's coach, Ted Ginn, Sr., served afatherly role in Smith's life, as Smith's actual father played no major role inthe young man's life. Ginn's son, Ted Ginn, Jr., is a teammate of Smith's atOhio State and one of the quarterback's favorite receivers.
Smith dreamt of playing footballat Ohio State. Buckeye Coach Jim Tressel offered Smith a scholarship, which theplayer gladly accepted. Interestingly, Tressel was uncertain of what positionSmith would play on the team. He believed that Smith could excel as aquarterback, a cornerback, or as a running back. Despite the uncertainty ofwhich position that he would play, Smith entered Ohio State certain that hewould become the team's starting quarterback.
Due to the Buckeyes having anumber of veteran quarterbacks, Smith redshirted during the 2002 season, hisfreshman year. In 2003, Smith played sparingly as a running back and as a puntand kick returner. While his coaches encouraged the young player to watch filmand to become more familiar with college football, Smith, himself, admits thathe ignored the coaches' advice, preferring to party. On November 11, 2003,Smith was involved in a fight outside of one of Ohio State's dormitories. Hepleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge, but Ohio State officialsclaimed that Smith tried to break up the altercation.
Smith emerged as Ohio State'sstarting quarterback during the 2004 season. The Buckeyes starting quarterback,Justin Zwick, was injured mid-season, and Smith emerged as the starter. He ledthe team to four victories out of the five games in which he played, includinga victory over the Buckeyes' archrival the University of Michigan. In his threeyears (2004-2006) as a starter, Smith never lost to the Michigan Wolverines. Duringthe 2004 season, Buckeye Coach Jim Tressel suspended Smith for the team's bowlgame, the Alamo Bowl, and for the starting game of the 2005 season. Ohio Stateeventually revealed that Smith had taken five hundred dollars from a booster,thus the reason for the suspension.
In 2005, Smith lost only onegame, the game against Penn State University, as a starter, although the teamalso lost to the University of Texas, the eventual national champion. Smithfinished the season as the nation's fourth highest-ranked quarterback, and healso led the Buckeyes to a resounding victory over Notre Dame in the FiestaBowl.
The 2006 season was clearlySmith's best. The Buckeyes finished the regular season undefeated. Smithgarnered several awards for his performance, including the Heisman Trophy andthe Davey O'Brien Award, among others.
Smith matured as a playerover his years at Ohio State. With only one game left to play in his collegecareer, Smith has amassed 5,685 career passing yards, completing 416 of 656attempted passes, with only twelve interceptions. He also has scored fifty-fourpassing touchdowns. His longest completion was an eighty-five yard pass in2005. Known for his scrambling ability, Smith has averaged just over one sackper game during his career. During his career, Smith also has amassed 1,197rushing yards on 283 carries. He also has scored fourteen rushing touchdowns.
As of this writing, Smith andThe Ohio State Buckeyes are preparing for the National Championship Game, whichwill take place on January 8, 2007, in Glendale, Arizona. The Buckeyes'opponent will be the University of Florida Gators.