Troy Smith

American gridiron football player (born 1984)

American football player
Troy Smith
refer to caption
Smith at the Ravens 2009 training camp
No. 10, 1
Personal information
Born: (1984-07-20) July 20, 1984 (age 39)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:Glenville
(Cleveland, Ohio)
College:Ohio State (2002–2006)
NFL draft:2007 / Round: 5 / Pick: 174
Career history
  • Baltimore Ravens (2007–2009)
  • San Francisco 49ers (2010)
  • Omaha Nighthawks (2011)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2012)*
  • Montreal Alouettes (2013–2014)
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing attempts:234
Passing completions:121
Completion percentage:51.7%
Passing yards:1,734
Passer rating:78.5
Rushing yards:220
Rushing touchdowns:3
Career CFL statistics
Passing attempts:288
Passing completions:143
Completion percentage:49.7%
Passing yards:1,873
Player stats at · PFR · (archive)

Troy James Smith (born July 20, 1984) is an American former football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Ohio State Buckeyes, earning unanimous All-American honors and winning the Heisman Trophy in 2006. He was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, and also played for the San Francisco 49ers, the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League (UFL), and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Early years

Smith's mother raised him and two siblings in Columbus, Ohio, then moved to the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland. Smith first brought out an interest in playing football in Cleveland, where he played for the Glenville A's, initially as running back and tight end. Irvin White, his coach, moved Smith to quarterback after a few games and Smith stayed in the position.

In 1993, Smith was placed in foster care with Diane and Irvin White while his mother dealt with personal issues.[1]

High school career

Smith played his first two years at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, but was thrown off the team after elbowing an opponent in the head while playing in a varsity basketball game.[2] He transferred to Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio shortly thereafter.

Smith graduated from Glenville, where he was coached by Ted Ginn Sr., father of his teammate Ted Ginn Jr. Smith and Ginn went on to play together at Ohio State. After his junior football season in high school, Smith was invited to participate in the Elite 11 competition, featuring the eleven top ranked high school quarterback prospects in the United States. He earned good praise following his performance, and although it was relatively late in the recruiting process, Ohio State offered Smith a football scholarship. He verbally committed to the Buckeyes, signing his letter of intent on February 6, 2002, the last player for the upcoming season.

Smith threw for 969 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior year. He played alongside wide receiver, Ted Ginn Jr., while leading Glenville to the state playoffs.

Smith also played three years of basketball and ran track (high jump, long jump and 1,600-meter relay). West Virginia University and Ohio State recruited him. Smith accepted the last scholarship of Ohio State's 2002 football recruiting class.[3]

College career

Ohio State's Troy Smith hands off to Antonio Pittman vs the Texas Longhorns

Smith received an athletic scholarship to attend Ohio State University, where he played for coach Jim Tressel's Ohio State Buckeyes football team from 2003 to 2006. He redshirted in the 2002 season where the Buckeyes beat Miami in the National Championship. As a redshirted freshman for the Buckeyes, Smith played sparingly at running back and kick returner in 2003. Smith played the season opener against Washington as a scatback and returner, and he compiled fourteen yards rushing and 83 return yards. After the game, he came on the NFL scouting radar as an "athlete."

He entered his sophomore season as the backup quarterback to Justin Zwick, but took over as the starter when Zwick was injured halfway through the 2004 season against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Smith won four of the five games he started in 2004, including a victory over the archrival Michigan Wolverines. Smith was suspended for breaking an undisclosed team rule before the Alamo Bowl, with the NCAA extending the suspension to include the first game of the 2005 season after it was revealed that Smith had accepted $500 from a booster.[4][5]

With Smith at quarterback, Ohio State lost only two games in the 2005 regular season, and in only one of those was Smith the starter. The first was to the eventual BCS National Champion Texas Longhorns (which he did not start) and the other was to the Penn State Nittany Lions, co-Big Ten champions. Smith's 2005 stats included 2,282 passing yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. This led to a passer rating of 162.66, the fourth-highest of the season.[6] He rushed for 611 yards and 11 touchdowns on 136 carries. In January 2006, he was named the Offensive MVP of the Fiesta Bowl, after leading the Buckeyes to a 34–20 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

In the second week of the 2006 season, Smith and the Buckeyes took revenge for their 2005 loss to Texas. The top ranked Buckeyes won their rematch with the (again) second-ranked Longhorns, 24–7. Smith went 17 of 27 with 269 yards passing, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. For many fans and analysts, Smith's performance against the Longhorns gave credibility to the preseason Heisman Trophy hype he had received. His passing statistics improved during the 2006 season, completing 67% of his passes for 2,507 yards, with 30 touchdowns and five interceptions. This led to a quarterback rating of 167.87, again fourth in the country.[7]

Smith was one of five finalists for the 2006 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the top senior college quarterback.[8]

Teammates voted Smith the 2006 most valuable player.[9] On December 7, 2006, the Davey O'Brien Foundation awarded Smith the Davey O'Brien Award for best college quarterback.[10] He was also a first-team All-Big Ten selection, and was recognized as a unanimous All-American.

In three games against Michigan, Smith has a total of 1,151 yards of total offense, two rushing touchdowns, and seven passing touchdowns. The Buckeyes won all three games, making Smith the first Ohio State quarterback since Tippy Dye (1934–1936) to quarterback in three victories over Michigan, and the first to win three straight games against Michigan as a starter.[11]

Smith's college football career came to an end on January 8, 2007, when he and the Ohio State Buckeyes were beaten by the Florida Gators in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game, 41–14. Smith completed just four of 14 passes for 35 yards along with an interception, a fumble, and was sacked five times.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in communication.

In 2010, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN listed Smith as the "Big Ten player of the decade."[12]

Heisman Trophy

Smith won the 2006 Heisman Memorial Trophy on December 9, 2006.[13] He beat out sophomore RB Darren McFadden (2nd) from Arkansas and senior QB Brady Quinn (3rd), from Notre Dame.[14]

In winning the 2006 Heisman Trophy, Smith took 91.6% of the first place votes, a record that stood for 13 years. His tally of 2,540 votes was the third largest behind that of the then-2005 Heisman Trophy winner, Reggie Bush of the University of Southern California (2,541 votes) and 1968 Heisman winner O. J. Simpson who also played for USC (2,853 votes). His margin of victory (1,662 votes) was also the second largest in the history of the award, eclipsed only by O. J. Simpson who won by 1,750 votes.

Troy Smith joined Les Horvath (1944), Vic Janowicz (1950), Howard "Hopalong" Cassady (1955), Archie Griffin (1974 and 1975), and Eddie George (1995) as Ohio State Heisman winners.[15]

College statistics

Ohio State Buckeyes
Season Team GP Passing Rushing
Att Cmp Pct Yds TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2002 Ohio State 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0
2003 Ohio State 11 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 3 14 4.7 0
2004 Ohio State 8 122 68 55.7 896 8 3 134.2 82 339 4.1 2
2005 Ohio State 11 237 149 62.9 2,282 16 4 162.7 136 611 4.5 11
2006 Ohio State 13 311 203 65.3 2,542 30 6 161.9 62 228 3.8 1
Career 45 670 420 62.7 5,720 54 13 159.7 283 1,197 4.2 14

College awards

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
225 lb
(102 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
10+18 in
(0.26 m)
4.72 s 1.60 s 2.73 s 4.23 s 6.93 s 36.5 in
(0.93 m)
10 ft 2 in
(3.10 m)
All values from NFL Combine/Pro Day[18][19][20]

Baltimore Ravens

Smith during 2008 training camp

As a graduating senior, Smith entered professional football in the 2007 NFL Draft. Despite winning the Heisman Trophy, Smith saw his draft stock drop considerably after the 41–14 loss to Florida in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. At 6'0", his height (considered smaller than ideal) was cited as a liability.[21] Smith was quoted by the media urging his hometown team, the Cleveland Browns, to select him in the NFL Draft. Fans also set up a website urging the Browns to take Smith. However, the Browns drafted Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, a fellow Ohio native, 22nd overall in the 2007 NFL Draft, reducing the chances of Smith going to Cleveland.[22][23]

On Day 2, Smith was finally drafted at the end of the fifth round by the Baltimore Ravens.[24] He signed a three-year contract with the Ravens on July 24, 2007.[25] On August 27, 2007 Drew Olson was released by the Baltimore Ravens elevating Smith to the third-string quarterback position. Smith was named second-string quarterback for the Ravens on November 13, 2007, backing up new starter Kyle Boller after a shoulder injury to starter Steve McNair. Ravens head coach Brian Billick maintained that Smith could be used in the future. "That's going to be a fun challenge for Troy, because now he's been around enough", Billick said. "The focus and attention that he brings to [preparing] is heightened."[26]

Smith got his first regular season playing time in the fourth quarter of the home game against the Indianapolis Colts on December 9, 2007, completing three of five pass attempts and scrambling six yards for his first NFL touchdown in the 44–20 loss. After his relative success against the Colts, many Baltimore Ravens fans were calling for Smith to replace Kyle Boller as the Ravens' starting quarterback. On December 16, 2007, Smith came in for an injured Kyle Boller in the game against the Miami Dolphins. Smith led the Ravens down the field for a field goal that forced overtime. The Ravens lost 22–16 in overtime, after a missed 44-yard field goal. On December 20, 2007, Kyle Boller officially was considered the backup due to injury for the Week 16 game, giving Troy Smith his first professional start against the Seattle Seahawks. He completed fewer than 50% of his passes and fumbled twice in this game. The Ravens lost 27–6, scoring a touchdown with about four minutes to play and the game out of reach.[27] In Week 17, the Ravens beat the Steelers with Troy Smith starting again. He went 16-of-27 for 171 yards and one touchdown, with no interceptions and no fumbles lost. This was the Ravens first win since Week 6, ending a 9-game losing streak with a bye at Week 8.

Smith finished his rookie season by totaling 506 total yards and three touchdowns in four games. He had 452 yards and two touchdowns passing and rushed for 54 yards and one touchdown.[28]

Smith was scheduled to start in the third preseason game of the 2008 season, but became ill with a rare disease called Lemierre's syndrome.[29] Due to Smith's illness, rookie Joe Flacco was named to the Ravens' starting quarterback position. Early in the season Smith re-emerged in the offense as part of their two-quarterback offense, and was utilized for short-yardage runs. This offense featured Smith lining up at the wide receiver spot as well as under center. Smith appeared in only six of the Ravens' 19 games and had a total of 4 passing attempts for 82 yards in the 2008 season.[30]

For the 2009 season, Flacco was named the starting quarterback for the second consecutive year, while Smith was active for only four of sixteen games. Smith completed five of nine passes for 24 yards with one interception during the season. In addition, he also rushed eight times for thirty-one yards, including his career-long fifteen-yard touchdown run.[31]

Smith re-signed with the Ravens for one-year worth $1.101 million. Smith received the low 5th round tender as a restricted free agent. However, no team was willing to part ways with the pick so Smith was not signed. After signing Marc Bulger as the team's backup to Joe Flacco, the Ravens released Smith on September 4.[32]

San Francisco 49ers

Smith with the 49ers.

On September 6, 2010, Smith signed with the San Francisco 49ers, in a move that reunited him with former high school and college teammate, Ted Ginn Jr.[33]

On October 27, Smith was announced as the starter of the 49ers' game against the Denver Broncos. He became the first black quarterback to start for San Francisco.[34] During this game, Smith ran for one touchdown and threw another in a 24–16 49ers win. Smith struggled early on, passing for just 37 yards in the first half; however he excelled in the second half by going 8 for 10 for 159 yards, and leading the Niners to three fourth-quarter touchdown drives.[35] Smith was named the Sports Illustrated NFL Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.

Smith was again given the start for the 49ers' next game against the Rams. He led the 49ers to an overtime victory by out-dueling Rams rookie Sam Bradford in a matchup of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks. He threw for 356 yards, one touchdown and ran for 12 yards without being intercepted.[36]

Smith's two straight wins as a starter earned him the starting job for the next three weeks, before he was replaced by the previous starting quarterback Alex Smith.[37] During that time span, (Troy) Smith went 3–2 for a San Francisco 49ers team that finished the season 6–10 overall.[38]

Despite Smith's success as their starting quarterback, San Francisco chose not to re-sign Smith after he became a free agent. This was mostly because new head coach Jim Harbaugh was expected to seek different options (though he eventually did choose to go with Alex Smith).[39]

Omaha Nighthawks

Smith was signed by the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League on September 2, 2011.[40] An injury to fellow Heisman Trophy-winner Eric Crouch in the season opener opened the door for Smith to become the starter,[41] though the Nighthawks decided to go with Jeremiah Masoli who had been with the team longer.

Smith's first UFL start came in Omaha's final game of the season, a 25–19 loss to the Sacramento Mountain Lions in the consolation round of the postseason. In the game, Smith completed 17-of-33 passes for 191 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, including an 81-yard touchdown pass to Chad Lucas.[42]

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Smith on January 20, 2012.[43] He was released by the team on June 25, 2012.[44]

Montreal Alouettes

On August 14, 2013, Smith signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.[45] Smith recorded his first win with the Alouettes in his first start on October 20, 2013, against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats by a score of 36–5. Smith started the last three regular season games of the season, posting a 2–1 record, leading head coach Jim Popp to name him the starter for the playoffs. Smith finished his first year in the CFL with a completion percentage of 52.6%, 884 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions, in six games played. However, against the same Tiger-Cats in Guelph, Ontario, the Alouettes lost 19–16 in overtime. Following the 2013 CFL season, Smith was re-signed to a three-year contract, which keeps him with the Alouettes through the 2016 season.[46] Smith started the first six games of the 2014 season, winning only once. Due to his poor play and the team's underperformance, Smith was unconditionally released from his contract by the Alouettes on October 16, 2014[47]

Career statistics

Year Team Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Att Cmp Pct Yds TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum
2007 BAL 4 2 76 40 52.6 452 2 0 79.5 12 54 4.5 14 1 3
2008 BAL 6 0 4 3 75.0 82 1 0 156.2 9 24 2.7 8 0 0
2009 BAL 4 0 9 5 55.6 24 0 1 21.3 8 31 3.9 15 1 0
2010 SF 6 6 145 73 50.3 1,176 5 4 77.8 23 121 5.3 16 1 6
NFL Career 20 8 234 121 51.7 1,734 8 5 78.5 52 230 4.4 16 3 9
2013 MTL 12 3 114 60 52.6 884 9 5 86.3 16 40 2.5 9 2 3
2014 MTL 7 6 173 83 47.9 989 4 4 64 7 56 8.0 21 0 2
CFL Career 19 9 287 143 49.8 1,873 13 9 72.8 23 96 4.2 21 2 5

NFL awards

Personal life

Smith, a father of two children, has advocated for passage of the FIT Kids Act. The act would require school districts to report on students' physical activity and to give health and nutritional information to children.[48]

Smith was arrested on October 20, 2017, for driving while intoxicated in Ohio.[49]

See also


  1. ^ Forde, Pat (December 7, 2006). "Smith, mom to share heartwarming moment of triumph". Retrieved August 7, 2007.
  2. ^ Curtis, Bryan (August 20, 2006). "It's Pretty Good to Be Me". New York Times. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  3. ^ Ralph, Russo (December 10, 2006). "Heisman win is emotional for Troy Smith". Associated Press.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Miller, Rusty (December 6, 2006). "Smith Had Difficult Road to Ohio State". Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved August 7, 2007.
  5. ^ Markey, Matt (July 21, 2005). "OSU's Smith under investigation again". The Blade. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  6. ^ "2005 NCAA Division I-A Passing Leaders". ESPN. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  7. ^ "2006 NCAA Division I-A Passing Leaders". ESPN. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  8. ^ "Smith One of Five Finalist for 2006 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award" (Press release). Ohio State University Department of Athletics. November 2, 2006. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  9. ^ "Smith Named Buckeyes' Most Valuable Player" (Press release). Ohio State University Department of Athletics. November 3, 2006. Archived from the original on December 8, 2006. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  10. ^ "OHIO STATE'S TROY SMITH WINS 2006 DAVEY O'BRIEN NATIONAL QUARTERBACK AWARD" (Press release). Davey O’Brien Foundation. December 7, 2006. Archived from the original on February 17, 2007. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  11. ^ Gordon, Ken; May, Tim; Mitchell, Shawn (November 19, 2006). "Dye, 91, watches Smith equal his trifecta over UM". OSU Notebook. Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved November 19, 2006.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (January 19, 2010). "Big Ten players of the decade". ESPN. Retrieved January 20, 2010.
  13. ^ "Rise of Troy: Buckeyes QB wins Heisman Trophy". Associated Press. December 12, 2006. Retrieved August 7, 2007.
  14. ^ "2006 Heisman Trophy Voting". College Football at Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  15. ^ Rabinowitz, Bill (June 12, 2014). "Ohio State sports: Troy Smith heads 13-member hall class". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  16. ^ "Consensus All-America Teams (2000-2009)". College Football at Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  17. ^ "No. 10, Troy Smith to be honored in Ohio Stadium". November 22, 2014. Archived from the original on December 4, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  18. ^ "2007 Draft Scout Troy Smith, Ohio State NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  19. ^ "Troy Smith RAS". Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  20. ^ "Troy Smith 2007 NFL Draft Profile". Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  21. ^ "Smith will likely play waiting game".[permanent dead link]
  22. ^
  23. ^ Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith pushing Browns hard to draft him[dead link]
  24. ^ "2007 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  25. ^ "Ravens sign Troy Smith, two others". The Sports Network. July 24, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2007.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "Ravens switch quarterbacks". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  27. ^ "Baltimore Ravens vs. Seattle Seahawks". December 23, 2007. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  28. ^ "Troy Smith 2007 Game Log". Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  29. ^ "Smith's illness rare". RotoTimes. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
  30. ^ "Troy Smith 2008 Game Log". Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  31. ^ "Troy Smith 2009 Game Log". Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  32. ^ "Troy Smith among cuts as Ravens get down to 53". NBC Sports. September 4, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  33. ^ "49ers Sign QB Troy Smith". September 6, 2010. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  34. ^ Kukura, Joe (October 28, 2010). "Troy Smith: 49ers' First-Ever Black Starting QB". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  35. ^ "Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers - October 31st, 2010". Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  36. ^ "St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers - November 14th, 2010". Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  37. ^ "Troy Smith 2010 Game Log". Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  38. ^ "2010 San Francisco 49ers Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees, Injury Reports". Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  39. ^ Maiocco, Matt (February 8, 2011). "Harbaugh takes a close look at Alex Smith". CSN Bay Area. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  40. ^ Pivovar, Steven (September 2, 2011). "Former OSU star vows to work for Nighthawks QB job". Omaha World-Herald. Archived from the original on August 25, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  41. ^ "Nighthawks Nation". Archived from the original on December 30, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  42. ^ "Mountain Lions Finish Season with Win – OurSports Central – Independent and Minor League Sports News". OurSports Central. October 22, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  43. ^ "Steelers sign former Heisman winner QB Smith". Associated Press. January 20, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  44. ^ "Steelers Release Quarterback Troy Smith". June 25, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  45. ^ "Alouettes sign former Heisman winner Troy Smith". August 14, 2013. Archived from the original on October 1, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  47. ^ Troy Smith, The Canadian Press (October 16, 2014). "Alouettes release opening day starting QB Smith – Article – TSN". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  48. ^ NFL Players Promoted Increased Physical Education ESPN, March 19, 2009
  49. ^ Former Ohio State QB Troy Smith charged with driving while intoxicated The Columbus Dispatch, October 21, 2017

External links

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