Ohio State sports: Troy Smith heads 13-member hall class
If all goes well for Troy Smith, he won't be able to attend his induction into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in September.
The quarterback's NFL career didn't go according to plan after he won the 2006 Heisman Trophy while leading the Buckeyes to the BCS national title game. But after thinking his playing career was over, Smith got another chance when he signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League last year. Montreal's season starts on Saturday. On Sept. 26, the date of the OSU Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the Alouettes are scheduled to play at Ottawa.
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Perhaps Smith can make it to Ohio Stadium the next day when he and the other 12 new inductees will be introduced at halftime of the Buckeyes' game against Cincinnati.
Smith was the seventh Buckeyes player to win the Heisman. An overlooked recruit when he entered the program, Smith became a starter midway through his sophomore season. He marked his arrival with a dazzling three-touchdown, 386 total-yard performance against Michigan.
In 2005, he led Ohio State to a 10-2 record. As a senior, he threw for 30 touchdowns and was a runaway winner for the Heisman, though the 41-14 defeat to Urban Meyer's Florida Gators in the national title game left a bitter aftertaste.
Antoine Winfield, who retired from the NFL in 2013 after a 15-year career, joins Smith among the former football players who will be inducted. In 1998, Winfield became the first Ohio State player to win the Thorpe Award, given to the country's top defensive back. He was the first non-linebacker in school history to record 200 career solo tackles.
Bob Vogel and Ralph Wolf are the other football inductees. Vogel was an offensive lineman from 1959-62 who played 10 years in the NFL for the Baltimore Colts, protecting the blind side of quarterback Johnny Unitas. Wolf was a two-way lineman from 1935-37.
Two coaches - Russ Hellickson in wrestling and Nancy Darsch in women's basketball - also will be inducted. Hellickson coached from 1986-2006 and was a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year and had 41 All-Americans. Darsch, who coached the Buckeyes from 1986-97, led Ohio State to the program's only Final Four appearance in 1993. The Buckeyes lost in the championship game.
Women's track and field will be represented by a pair of jumpers - Rosalind Goodwin and Tami Smith, both of whom were two-time All-Americans last decade.
The other inductees are women's hockey player Tessa Bonhomme, fencer Boaz Ellis, golfer Ralph Guarasci, synchronized swimmer Becky Kim and tennis player Jeremy Wurtzman.
Bonhomme, who plays for Toronto in the Canadian Women's Hockey League, holds the school record for career points by a defenseman with 128.
Ellis was a three-time NCAA champion in foil (2004-06. Guarasci was a two-time team captain for a Buckeyes team that won four consecutive Big Ten titles from 1975-78.
Kim won six U.S. Collegiate championships and competed in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Wurtzman was a 2004 All-American and three-time all-Big Ten selection. He was the first Ohio State player to win an ITA national championship, taking the singles titles in 2003 and 2004.
The Hall of Fame dinner will be held at the Archie M. Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union. Individual tickets are $75. Tables for eight are available for $600. Tickets go on sale July 1.
2014 Hall of Fame inductees
Russ Hellickson: wrestling
Nancy Darsch: women's basketball
Football: Troy Smith, Antoine Winfield, Bob Vogel, Ralph Wolf
Track and field: Rosalind Goodwin, Tami Smith
Women's hockey: Tessa Bonhomme
Fencing: Boaz Ellis
Golf: Ralph Guarasci
Synchronized swimming: Becky Kim
Tennis: Jeremy Wurtzman