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Troy Smith and Ted Ginn Jr.

Discussion in 'Buckeye Alumni' started by scooter1369, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Interesting article about another pair from Glenville.

    Supermen of the Gridiron

    Glenville High School has a knack for producing superheroes, past and present

    Sept. 16, 2006 By Tim Stried

    Whether you were among those who helped plan your last high school reunion or scoffed at the invitation when it arrived in the mail, no doubt you can name a noteworthy graduate or two of your prep alma mater. It could be a former minor-league baseball player, a quickly fired cast member of The Apprentice or a one-time winner on Jeopardy!. Go ahead. You can name at least one.

    Especially in Ohio, which, for example, has produced more U.S. presidents (eight) than any other state in the union. Political leaders aside, Bedford High School graduates, near Cleveland, can claim Halle Berry. Cincinnati's Western Hills? That would be Pete Rose. Drew Carey owns a diploma from Rhodes High School, also near Cleveland.

    What about Glenville High School? If you are among the 100,000-plus fans in Ohio Stadium today, that is probably an easy question. Quarterback Troy Smith? Check. Receiver and returner Ted Ginn Jr.? Of course. Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel.

    While their names might not be as well known to those who religiously follow Buckeye football, the entire world is familiar with their work. It was nearly 70 years ago those two Glenville High School graduates created the man who was faster than a speeding bullet, who could leap tall buildings in a single bound and who was more powerful than a locomotive.

    That is correct - Shuster and Siegel, in early 1938 to be exact, drew the cartoons and penned the first storylines of the fictional character that would become famous around the world and known as Superman.

    Had Smith and Ginn been toting the pigskin at Glenville during the same era like they do now for the Buckeyes, one might guess Shuster and Siegel would have had a mind to include a few sketches of their superhero on the gridiron.

    "That is just crazy to know the guys who invented Superman went to Glenville," Smith said. "People all over the world know who Superman is. Ohio State football is a big deal to a lot of people, but when you think about all the people who know Superman..."

    Smith's voice trailed off and he shook his head. Prior to being told Superman had his origins in Cleveland, Smith identified comedian and actor Steve Harvey as the most well-known Glenville graduate he could think of.
    Among the seven Glenville graduates on the 2006 Ohio State football roster, Smith and Ginn are the most well-known, considering the two are Heisman Trophy candidates. And, like Shuster and Siegel, they are in the unique position their success is truly a cooperative effort.

    Without each other, would either be a candidate for the highest individual college football honor in the land? More importantly, would the Buckeyes be among the preseason favorites to win the 2006 national championship?

    "Ted and I have bonded on the field," Smith said. "It's fun. He can look at me and I can look at him and we know we see the same thing. I know where he is going to be and I know where he wants the ball. It goes back to high school. There were countless days on the practice field, sometimes forced, when we would play seven-on-seven and things like that. It's paying off now."

    Although their days on the football field started in high school for the Tarblooders, Smith and Ginn first met and became friends when the two were in elementary school. On Sunday mornings at Morning Star Baptist Church on Shaker Boulevard in Cleveland, Smith would ask permission from his mother to leave the sanctuary to use the restroom, but was not fully truthful in his reason for being excused.

    "I would tell my mom I had to go to the bathroom and I'd be gone from the pew for 45 minutes," Smith said. "I'd go into the bathroom to hide and there was Ted doing the same thing. We kicked it off then. In fact, there was a basketball court in the basement and we would pretend that we had a basketball and were playing."

    From there, the two were together all the time, like Shuster and Siegel, who needed nearly 10 years of trial and error to formulate Superman's appearance, character and attributes. They first submitted Superman to a comic book publisher in 1933, but when their idea was rejected, Shuster was so upset he burned most of his illustrations and story lines.

    A year later, however, Siegel redeveloped Superman and, together with Shuster, the duo finalized his look that included the shy and introverted Clark Kent. It was not until 1938, though, when Shuster and Siegel got their break, and the rest, including major motion pictures, is history thanks to Shuster's creative artwork and Siegel's writing and ideas.

    At Ohio State, Smith and Ginn are not too different from their Glenville colleagues of nearly a century earlier.

    "I would be the writer," Smith said. "Ted would be the creative one. He's the creator, just like on the field. Just get him the ball and he'll create a masterpiece. Even when he is just in the situation, like when he's back there getting ready to catch a punt. Everyone in the stadium gets up on their feet."

    Having Smith write the script is just fine with Ginn.

    "Troy can always put something together on the run," Ginn said. "He can really flourish in the right situation."

    That situation presented itself at Glenville and the news was not good for Tarblooder opponents. With Smith and Ginn on the same page, as they are now, perhaps defenses thought the two owned a few superpowers of their own. That has carried over into practice when the OSU defense is going up against the offense, which many believe is one of the best in the country.
    "If you have to try to tackle Troy in the open field, you just better sit and break down and wait for help," James Laurinaitis, sophomore outside linebacker, said. "In the spring he came down the line running the option and when he got to me he faked a pitch and I almost fell over."

    One of the first times Laurinaitis saw Ginn on the field was on television when the Buckeyes were playing in East Lansing in 2004, Ginn's freshman season.

    "I saw the Michigan State game and I thought he was invincible," Laurinaitis said, speaking about Ginn's three-touchdown afternoon in Ohio State's 32-19 win. "It was like he couldn't do anything wrong. I was watching in awe. Now in practice, if I have to cover a wide receiver and it's Teddy, it's almost impossible. With him, you have to get a 10- or 15-yard head start."
    And even then, Smith often threads the needle with a strike to Ginn. Just like Shuster and Siegel needed teamwork to create Superman, Smith and Ginn know it is what makes the OSU offense successful.

    "Football is probably the most team-oriented sport," Smith said. "You can tell when a team is losing they're not all working together. When you work together, a group of guys can't be stopped. It's a beautiful thing to be going in a positive direction."

    The two definitely have the Buckeyes moving in a positive direction. Along the way, however, they have kept their hometown, good-guy personalities.
    "When I first arrived here, I was like a shy fan almost," Laurinaitis said. "At first you don't really know them and you can't really grasp that you're on the same team as them. But once you go through camp, they're just like everyone else. They just have unbelievable skill."

    Not only do they both have the skills to be Heisman candidates, they have leadership traits, on and off the field, that make them candidates to be Ohio State's most valuable player.

    "They are both leaders," Laurinaitis said. "Troy will let you know what he's thinking. He's outspoken. Teddy is quiet and you kind of wonder what he's thinking. They're both easy-going and good guys to have on the team."

    Sounds a lot like the dual personality of Shuster and Siegel's Clark Kent, who was quiet and shy until his quick change into the red and blue suit with a red cape to rescue those in distress. First in comic books, then in the movies, Superman's popularity soared. His creators, however, still endured setbacks and failures, only to continue coming back with new ideas and methods to get Superman into the mainstream.

    Even as children's superheroes have evolved over the years and the market has become flooded with options for toy stores and television channels, Glenville can take pride in setting the scene for what is perhaps the most well-known superhero of all time. Even Superman's enemies are legendary.

    "That's pretty cool because Superman was the best superhero ever," Smith said. "Lex Luther was pretty well connected, I mean he got kryptonite from another planet so that tells you something right there."

    Like Ohio's cities that have celebrated their native sons, such as presidents Rutherford B. Hayes in Delaware, William Howard Taft in Cincinnati and Warren G. Harding in Marion, honor comes from more than just naming the local high school after them. A legacy is built over time and though Shuster and Siegel died in the 1990s, they will be forever linked with Cleveland and Glenville High School.
    Just like Smith and Ginn - the latest Supermen to come from Glenville.
  2. OhioState49

    OhioState49 Junior

    Good article!
  3. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member


    Friendship Forged in Youth Fuels Touchdowns at Ohio State

    Published: September 23, 2006
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 22 ? They exchanged their first telepathic glances on a Sunday as restless little boys in a Cleveland church. Troy Smith threw it. Ted Ginn Jr. caught it. In moments, both had wriggled out of the pew and were off to a McDonald?s.
    Skip to next paragraph [​IMG] Terry Gilliam/Associated Press
    For receiver Ted Ginn Jr., top, and quarterback Troy Smith, big plays can sometimes come from just a knowing glance.

    Nearly 14 years later, Smith, the starting quarterback for Ohio State, and Ginn, his favorite receiver, have demonstrated that silence can still lead to mischief. Now, however, it is on autumn Saturday afternoons and often leads to the end zone.
    So far this season, Smith has thrown seven touchdown passes, and Ginn has caught five of them. They are the reason the Buckeyes are 3-0 and the nation?s top-ranked team heading into their Big Ten opener against No. 24 Penn State (2-1).
    ?You see in the looks they give that they know each other so well,? Ohio State center Doug Datish said. ?They don?t have to communicate with words.?
    One subject Smith and Ginn have agreed not to broach is their Heisman Trophy candidacies. Both have established themselves as strong contenders.
    By completing 69 percent of his passes and averaging 256 passing yards a game without throwing an interception, Smith is the nation?s third-most-efficient passer. By making acrobatic catches look routine this season, and by returning five punts and a kickoff for touchdowns in his first two seasons, Ginn has become one of the most electrifying players in college football.
    ?It?s been straight up about winning and losing as a team,? Ginn said. ?We?re just going out and playing the game for fun.?
    Both have endured stretches in which playing football has not been fun at all.
    Ranked among the nation?s top quarterback prospects coming out of high school, Smith was the last player the Buckeyes signed in the 2002 recruiting class and as a redshirt freshman was relegated to backup running back and return specialist. Midway through his sophomore season, Smith filled in for the injured Justin Zwick and led the Buckeyes to four victories in five games ? including a 37-21 defeat of archrival Michigan.
    It looked as if Smith had finally proved that he was the best Ohio State quarterback. In December, however, he was suspended for two games ?the 2004 Alamo Bowl and the 2005 season opener ? for accepting $500 from an Ohio State booster for a no-show job, a violation of N.C.A.A. rules.
    It was Ginn?s father, Ted Ginn Sr., who offered Smith a stern warning.
    The Ginns had practically raised Smith from the age of 7, and Ginn Sr. had coached both boys at Glenville High School in Cleveland. Early in Smith?s senior season, Ginn met with him privately. He told him that he had an attitude problem that needed to be corrected immediately.
    In the wake of his Ohio State suspension, Ginn urged Smith to be contrite and buckle down.
    ?He?s meant pretty much everything to me,? Smith said of the elder Ginn. ?He made decisions for me as a boy that have helped me make my own decisions as a man, and the man I may become.?
    After serving his suspension, Smith returned in the second game of the season, against Texas, the eventual national champion. He came off the bench in the first quarter with Ohio State behind by 10-0 and staked the Buckeyes to a 19-16 lead. But Zwick, who had started, returned after Texas took a 23-22 lead with less than three minutes remaining. Zwick fumbled on the first play, and Texas went on to win, 25-22. The next week Smith was once again the starting quarterback.
    He has made the most of the opportunity, leading Ohio State to a 13-1 record since. The loss was to Penn State, which held him to 139 passing yards and sacked him five times. Smith, who graduated in May with a degree in communications, said he was a better quarterback and a better person than he was last October against the Nittany Lions.
    ?I think people mature as they get older,? Smith said. ?I feel like I have matured into a better person because of the look on my teammates? faces. They see my face every day and when they see me up and still working, it translates to them.?
    Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel said Smith?s newfound maturity was evident in the way he had become a confident leader and a more patient quarterback. Last season, Smith was apt to run when he did not immediately find open receivers, gaining 611 yards on 136 rushing attempts.
    ?If our quarterback can make good decisions for the team, have no turnovers, and then make big plays, that?s what we need,? Tressel said. ?Now, there are 500 other little things we want him to do, but if he?ll do those three, and Troy Smith has demonstrated he can do those three things, now he has to continue to demonstrate it against a good defense like Penn State.?
    Ginn?s low points as a Buckeye have not been as pronounced as Smith?s, but he has had to fight through the frustrations of learning a new position ? he was recruited as a defensive back ? and the defenses that often double-team and always brutalize him.
    Last season, as Smith was finding his rhythm as a quarterback, Ginn was convinced that he might really be a defensive back at heart. He told Smith that he was not having fun and was considering asking Tressel to switch him to defense for this, his junior season.
    Smith preached patience. In Ohio State?s 34-20 victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, Ginn was rewarded. He rushed for one touchdown and caught a touchdown pass, finishing with 240 total yards.
    So far this season, Ginn has found joy in playing flanker. His five touchdown receptions are only one fewer than he had in his first two seasons combined, and he is averaging 18.1 yards a catch.
    ?You have to be patient,? Ginn said. ?I want to be the possession receiver, the go-to guy. When it?s time for a big play, they can come to me.?
    Smith and the Buckeyes have been finding Ginn a lot. Sometimes his boyhood friend calls a play for him in the huddle. Often, he does not. Smith knows he does not need to.
    ?There?s a lot of situations where he knows what he is seeing,? Smith said, ?and I?m seeing things the same way.?
  4. EyesofMarch

    EyesofMarch Newbie

    Both are legit Heisman contenders

    T. Smith will be in the top four in voting, and if T. Ginn can get enough touches (rushing, receiving, returning) then I'm confident he'll make enough big plays to garner some votes.

  5. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0

  6. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Onebuckfan likes this.

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