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December 9, 2006There was little suspense in New York tonight when Troy Smith heard his name called as the newest member of the Heisman Trophy fraternity, but that doesn't make the honor any less special to the Ohio State quarterback.
Smith joins the likes of Les Horvath, Vic Janowicz, Hop Cassady, Archie Griffin and Eddie George for bringing college football's top individual award home to Columbus but what makes Smith's honor so special is the margin that he won it by. Smith received 87-percent of the first place votes to win by the largest margin in Heisman history.
The usually poised Smith showed obvious emotion when he went up to make his acceptance speech in front of the Nokia theatre and the college football world.
"Normally I am pretty cool in pressure situations but my heart is pounding so fast right now," Smith said. "First off I want everybody who is able to be with us today to understand how much I am thankful and I have to thank God first because without him none of this is possible.
"Two my head coach Jim Tressel, he put the ball in my hand and let me know that he had trust in me to be his quarterback to lead The Ohio State University," Smith said. "Ted Ginn Sr., my father, my dad, shaped me into the man I am today. My mother and sister, without you two beautiful women in my life none of this is possible literally. Everybody back home, The Ohio State university, all of my teammates Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez, Kirk Barton, Doug Datish, Steve Rehring, T.J. Downing, Alex Boone my guys up front, those are the guys who made all of this possible today."
Other quarterbacks put up more passing yards than Smith but no player in college football was at the center of more big plays than Troy was. Smith generally found himself on the bench by the fourth quarter of most games with the outcome secured by that point but it still didn't slow him down from passing for 30 touchdowns against five interceptions on the season.
Smith made sure to single out the other finalists that joined him in New York City and thank them for helping push him this season.
"I would like to thank Brady Quinn and Darren McFadden because without these guys, the push for every collegiate athlete is incredible. I sit back and watch these guys on Saturdays and I am in awe all of the time."
Smith has come along way from being the last member of the Ohio State recruiting class to the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, but Smith did recall a memory from his visit to Ohio State and made light of it while thanking all of the important people of his life.
"I still remember sitting in the recruiting office one day and this little short guy named Joe Daniels told me I could be the quarterback for this university, I want to thank you and the Daniels family."
Joe Daniels is the passing game coordinator at Ohio State and is up for the Frank Broyles Award for the nation's top assistant coach.
When Smith was asked what adding his Heisman to the collection at Ohio State means to him he paused for a moment and took a final chance to thank his teammates and supporters.
"It means everything, just being in the situation to be here and be prayerful and thankful and blessed to be in this situation means everything and I love everybody back home in Columbus and my whole team, I wouldn't be in this situation without these guys, so thank you."
Troy Smith (OSU) 801 1st place votes 2,540 points
Darren McFadden (Ark.) 45 1st place votes 878 points
Brady Quinn (ND) 13 1st place votes 782 points
Steve Slaton (WVU) 6 1st place votes 214 points
Mike Hart (MICH) 5 1st place votes 210 points
Colt Brennan (HAWAII) 6 1st place votes 202 points