Smith Ready For Pryor To Be Top QB

Former Ohio State quarterback and 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith spoke about current OSU signal caller Terrelle Pryor Tuesday morning before the annual Morning Sports Report event in downtown Columbus. Read on to find out more about what Smith thinks of the Buckeyes' top offensive player.

Troy Smith is arguably the greatest living quarterback in Ohio State history.

He does not want that to remain the case, however.

The 2006 Heisman Trophy winner was back in Columbus Tuesday as part of the Morning Sports Report event at the Columbus Convention Center. He, along with fellow Ohio State Heisman winners Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, Archie Griffin and Eddie George, spoke to the media prior to the festivities, and the topic of current Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor got Smith talking about their places in the history of Buckeye quarterbacks.

"The torch has to be passed somewhere along the line," Smith said. "I don't want it for the rest of time. Records are made to be broken, and the sky is the limit for him."

Smith has no doubt Pryor can ascend to the top of the list when it comes to Ohio State signal callers. Smith himself wasn't too shabby, either. The only Big Ten Heisman winner of the past decade, the Cleveland native threw for a school-record 30 touchdowns in 2006, earned unanimous All-America honors, took home the Walter Camp award for the being the nation's top quarterback and became Ohio State's seventh Heisman winner. Ohio State fans will also not forget that Smith beat Michigan in each of the three games he started.

Now Smith is trying to help Pryor become the eighth Heisman winner, or at least the next Buckeye quarterback to win a national championship. Smith said he is close to Pryor and tries to speak to the junior every couple of weeks.

"I've talked about it time and time again: He has a chance to be the greatest quarterback to ever come through here," Smith said. "He has to accept it. He has to want it. He has to go get it."

And Smith knows the perfect person to get Pryor to want it and achieve greatness, someone who helped the Cleveland Glenville product go from the last member of his recruiting class to the best college football player in the nation.

"There's a 5-6, middle-aged guy in there by the name of Jim Tressel that can help him if he really wants to become (great)," Smith said. "If he wants to become the quarterback he wants to become he'll let Tressel help him."

Smith may keep in contact with Pryor but he does not try to coach him from afar. Smith watches his former team as a fan, not a critic.

"I've told him, ‘You don't have to worry about high levels of pessimism or whatever from me. You just worry about taking care of your job,' " Smith said. "‘You've got a friend and a buddy in me, so don't worry about it.' "

As for Smith, he is still waiting for his big break in the NFL. Smith is still a backup quarterback behind Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco and is battling newcomer John Beck for the right to be the first off the bench behind Flacco. Smith appeared in four games and attempted only nine passes in 2009, but said he is learning a lot from Baltimore's new quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn.

As for his future, Smith said he has simple goals while he waits for his opportunity in Baltimore or elsewhere.

"Just become a better man and better quarterback," Smith said when asked what's next for him.

Part of that is being there for his 2-year-old daughter, TaNyia, who Smith said treats him more like a jungle gym than a former Heisman winner..

"My daughter is the best thing in the world," Smith said. "Patience is the key. You think decision-making on the field is something? When you're with your kids, she runs me ragged.

"But it's a beautiful thing."


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