Smith's Honors Gratifying For Teammates

Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith has maintained that all of his postseason awards are team honors. It seems as if team members have taken his words to heart. In fact in some cases, it seems as if some of his teammates are just as proud as Smith is himself of his hardware.

"We take a huge amount of pride in the fact that we had some hand in him (Smith) winning the Heisman," senior center Doug Datish said. "To just be able to block, and be on the same field with the Heisman Trophy winner is a huge honor for me."

Time after time Datish's sentiments were echoed by teammates. Some even said that Smith's parade of postseason awards validated what they did during the season.

"I take a lot of pride in it," fifth-year senior guard T.J. Downing said while speaking to the media at University of Phoenix Stadium. "Our offensive line is the out there keeping him pretty. When he starts getting banged up we feel like we're not doing our jobs. For him to get the Heisman Trophy is a direct reflection of how good our offensive line has done this year. We're very happy about that."

And it's not just the offensive players who feel like they were a part of helping Smith claim the program's seventh Heisman Trophy. Defensive tackle David Patterson explained that all of the defensive players had some role in Smith's success.

"We feel a lot of pride in his awards," Patterson stated. "We take pride that we helped him at practice get ready for the games by giving him the best look we could. We take pride that the guy is on our team and he's gone through everything we've gone through in terms of practice and all of the hard workouts. To see him emerge from where he's come from is just great."

Smith is confident all of his teammates are happy to see him collect each of his individual awards.

"I think they have just as much pride as I do," Smith said while being swarmed by the media on Friday. "I think we're doing something right if we have someone representing the whole university in those kinds of situations. In the years to come I hope we do the same exact thing because we have that type of staff and we recruit those kind of players. I'm sure we're going to have some more."

Smith said despite all of the attention he has received since claiming the Heisman Trophy, Davey O'Brien Award and other honors, he has not felt pressure to do anything extra to prepare for the national championship game. Smith said if he changed his routine prior to the title tilt he would be falling into the Heisman Trophy trap.

Dave Rice will be covering the Ohio State Buckeyes for as a fully credentialed reporter throughout National Championship Week.

Rice has been working in the local and national media field for more than a decade. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Northern Arizona University and has been serving as a writer, editor and producer of sports and international news for a national wire service for nearly ten years.

Originally from the Cincinnati area, Dave is a lifelong Cincinnati Reds and Ohio State University fan. He enjoys spending time with his wife, young daughter and by watching high school and college sports.

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