Dec. 9, 2006
By Adam Caparell
Adam is CSTV.com's football editor and national football writer.
It wasn't that the Ohio State quarterback had no idea he was going to be named the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner. Heading into the ceremony it was all but assured that Smith was going home with the most prestigious award in college football. His heart was pounding because he was worried about his speech and how tough it was going to be not forgetting all the people he wanted to thank.
"A lot of thoughts and a lot of feelings were rushing through my head as well as my heart," Smith said, "being in the situation to be able to thank everybody that was integral to me being here and being a part of
That was the only reason Smith had to sweat. He was the runaway winner over
Smith won by 1,662 points, the second highest margin of victory in Heisman history. He garnered 801 first place votes out of a possible 924, receiving the highest percentage of first place votes in history and the second most first place votes ever. Only O.J. Simpson received more first place votes in 1968 and only Reggie Bush, last year's winner, received more possible percentage points than Smith.
McFadden and Quinn were prohibitive underdogs in the race and both said if they had a vote it would have gone to Smith.
"I'm still in awe over this situation right now," Smith said.
From the "mean streets of
"So many people have helped mold me into the man that I am today," Smith said. "I didn't get a chance to thank all of them and that hurts me. I don't believe in writing speeches. I think anytime you get the chance to speak, speak from the heart. Let everybody know how you feel that way. Besides, you can mess up something you write, anyway."
But there was very little he messed up during the season. Smith threw for 2,507 yards and an
And for as big a team guy as there is in college football, you couldn't blame Smith for basking in his own glory for a few minutes. In fact, he seemed to revel in it. For a guy who prides himself on not looking back, the Heisman ranked as the crowing achievements of his athletic life.
"This is definitely up at the top right now," Smith said. "I don't live in the past. I live in the present. It's not something that I'll harp on day after day. But this is something I'm very, very blessed to be a part of."
Smith joined one of the most exclusive fraternities in sports and became the first Buckeye to win the award since Eddie George in 1995.
"Now I'm part of that elite group," Smith said.
The one thing Smith made sure of Saturday was to wear a tie with the
"I needed everybody in the nation to understand and know that I represent these colors," Smith said. "I represent this university, I represent
Not only did he dedicate the Heisman to his family, his teammates, his coaches and his school, he dedicated his win to an entire state.
"This is a win for everybody, everybody in the state of
But as quickly as the attention was on Smith, it was shifted back to his team. The BCS Championship Game against
"Finally, now that's out of the way," Smith said. "Now let's move on to preparation for the
Chances are his heart will be pounding when he takes the field in