Troy Smith Joins Buckeye Legends With Heisman

Troy Smith joins an elite group of former Buckeyes by winning the Heisman Trophy in New York City on Saturday night.

Saturday night Ohio State senior quarterback Troy Smith walked away with The Heisman Memorial Trophy and into Ohio State lore by joining a select group of former Buckeyes considered to be some of the all-time greats to ever wear the Scarlet & Gray. 


Considered the most prestigious award in college football, the Heisman has a long history with The Ohio State University.  Named after John W. Heisman, the award is given each season to the player considered the best in all of college football.  While it's been several years for a Buckeye to take home the award, the ties between the two are well documented.


First awarded in 1935 (Jay Berwanger - Chicago), the trophy was first called the DAC Trophy.  Following the death of John W. Heisman the Downtown Athletic Club renamed the trophy as a tribute to a man they felt was one of Americas most distinguished athletes and football genius. 


The list of winners is one of a "Who's – Who's" in college football history and many of the previous winners have enjoyed great success on and off the field during their lives.  Troy Smith now enters this select group and has become a Buckeye Legend in the process.


The tie between the trophy and Ohio State didn't take long to form.  In its tenth year the trophy went to Buckeye Legend Les Horvath (1944 – 10th Award) with 412 points, the lowest total since the first two trophy's had been awarded.  Horvath saved his best for his senior season as he gained 924 yards on 163 carries with 12 touchdowns while also completing 14 of 32 passes for 344 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Horvath was a do-it-all player as he kicked, passed, blocked and tackled Ohio State to a perfect record.  The Buckeye quarterback beat out Glenn Davis (Army) and Felix "Doc" Blanchard (Army) for the award.


It didn't take as long for the Buckeyes to see their second Heisman winner as junior Vic Janowicz (1950 – 16th Award) became the second Buckeye to be honored as the best player in the country.  The triple-threat Janowicz was only the third junior to win the award at the time and defeated Kyle Rote (Southern Methodist) and Red Bagnell (Pennsylvania) by amassing 633 points.  Janowicz like Horvath was a do-it-all player for the Buckeyes as he also place kicked, punted and played safety on defense.


Five years later another Buckeye Legend would see his name called when Howard "Hop along" Cassady (1955 – 21st Award) took home the award with the highest point total (2,219) to date.  The senior joined his fellow Buckeyes Horvath and Janowic doing it on both sides of the field and defeated Jim Swink (Texas Christian) and George Welsh (Navy) for the award.


The Buckeyes would see a drought of winning the award come to an end in 1974 when junior running back Archie Griffin (1974-75 – 40th & 41st Awards) would take home "Back-to-Back" honors while defeating Anthony Davis (USC) and Joe Washington (Oklahoma) for the first trophy.  The second time around Griffin would defeat Chuck Muncie (California) and Ricky Bell (USC) to win the award and become the only two-time winner of the award in its long history.


Twenty years after Griffin won his second Heisman, another Buckeye would take his place in the OSU history books as Eddie George (1995 – 61st Award) would win the Heisman by out pacing Tommie Frazier (Nebraska) and Danny Wuerffel (Florida) for the honor.  George would use a great work ethic to make his mark as a Buckeye while averaging 152 yards per game and scoring 23 touchdowns during his Heisman campaign.


Since George won the award in 1995 three Buckeyes have seen their name in the running for the Heisman only to come up short. The nearest a Buckeye has come to winning the award was in 1996 when Orlando pace finished 4th behind Danny Wuerffel.



Other Buckeyes Who Chased the Heisman


Gene Fekete – 8th Place 1942

Warren Amling – 7th Place 1945

Jim Parker – 8th Place 1956

Bob White 4th Place 1958

Tom Matte – 7th Place 1960

Bob Ferguson – 2nd Place 1961

Rex Kern – 3rd Place 1969

Jim Otis – 7th Place 1969

Jack Tatum - 10th Place 1969

Rex Kern – 5th Place 1970

Jack Tatum – 7th Place 1970

John Hicks – 2nd Place 1973

Archie Griffin – 5th Place 1973

Randy Gradishar – 6th Place 1973

Art Schlichter – 4th Place 1979

Art Schlichter – 6th Place 1980

Art Schlichter – 5th Place 1981

Keith Byars – 2nd Place 1984

Chris Spielman – 10th Place 1986

Chris Spielman – 6th Place 1987

Bobby Hoying – 10th Place 1995

Orlando Pace – 4th Place 1996

Joe Germaine – 9th Place 1998

A.J. Hawk – 6th Place 2005

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