Ohio State football: 5 great players who didn’t live up to the NFL hype

Ohio State football, Terrelle Pryor (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Ohio State football, Terrelle Pryor (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Ohio State overrated players, NFL busts
Ohio State football (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images) /

Troy Smith won the Heisman but didn’t see that translate to the NFL.

Despite what he would go on to accomplish for Ohio State football at quarterback, Troy Smith didn’t begin his Buckeyes career at the position. He was used as a running back and kick returner in his redshirt freshman season and then began the 2004 campaign as the backup for the team. However, once he got his shot to step into the starting role as a redshirt sophomore, Smith and the Buckeyes didn’t look back.

Smith won four of his five initial starts for Ohio State, including beating Michigan, before getting suspended for the Alamo Bowl and the first game of the following season. As a redshirt junior, Smith only had one loss as the starter for the Buckeyes, falling to Penn State. Even still, he was a breakout star with 27 total touchdowns and over 2,800 yards of total offense. Moreover, he led his team to a Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame.

Of course, Smith’s redshirt senior season was where he became a legendary figure in program history. Leading the Buckeyes to a perfect regular season as he posted a career-high 2,542 passing yards with 30 passing touchdowns and only six interceptions to go with 204 rushing yards and a touchdown, Smith captured the 2006 Heisman Trophy. He also led OSU to the BCS National Championship Game, though they lost to Florida.

Due to his diminutive stature and poor performance in the title game, though, Smith wasn’t selected until the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft when the Baltimore Ravens nabbed him. Smith was buried on the depth chart for most of his career, playing in only 20 games and starting just eight. Though he was 4-4 as a starter, he completed only 51.7 percent of his career attempts for only eight touchdowns. He never made an NFL roster after the 2010 season.

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