Remembering Andre Ware & Charlie Ward And So Should Troy Smith

Updated: December 10, 2006



By the time

most of you read this Box

Troy Smith will have won

the 2006 Heisman Trophy

in maybe the most one sided vote ever

the third African American Quarterback

to win the coveted Heisman Trophy

and the first in 13 long years

We should all, most of all Troy Smith should pause to remember the two other Black Quarterbacks from an earlier ‘era’ who preceded him as Heisman winners. Andre Ware in 1989 and Charlie Ward in 1993.

This is how Andre Ware was described

upon being named to the College Football

Hall of Fame in 2004

” The year 1989 saw one of the greatest seasons in NCAA history by a quarterback. Houston’s Andre Ware compiled unprecedented numbers while setting 26 NCAA and 15 Southwest Conference records. His performance did not go unnoticed and Ware became one of the most decorated players ever.”

“In addition to his consensus First Team All-America selection in 1989, Ware became the 54th recipient of the Heisman Trophy. Winner of the Davey O’Brien Award, he was Named UPI National Player of the Year, Chevrolet Offensive Player of the Year and Southwest Conference Player of the Year.”

” Despite playing in only slightly more than the first half of most games because of the Cougar’s high scores and team dominance, Ware set NCAA records with 4,661 passing yards and 46 touchdowns in 1989. Averaging 427 passing yards per game, he guided Houston to a 9-2 record and a #14 national ranking. In three years, Ware threw for 8,202 yards and 75 touchdowns. ”

Andre Ware one of the great records

in college football Quarterback annals

And then there was Charlie Ward

Here is how Sports Illustrated described

Ward’s 1993 Championship season

Quarterbacking for Florida State ….

” Florida State tweaked its pro-style offense around its leader’s hardcourt-tested mobility. The “Fast Break,” as it was known, employed a no-huddle shotgun that let Ward either use his receivers or streak from the pocket if he saw a hole. “There’s nothing more frustrating for a defense than covering everything perfectly,” Bowden said, “except Charlie sidesteps a tackler and runs 30 yards.”

” Though the Seminoles’ schedule included seven eventual bowl teams, they won their first five games by an average score of 46-3. Those routs were mere warmups for an Oct. 9 showdown with No. 3 Miami. The Hurricanes had won seven of the teams’ previous eight contests, including the past two on missed ‘Nole field goals-the infamous Wide Right I and II games. Both losses had derailed FSU national title hopes.”

” The rivalry’s ferocity never seemed to touch Ward. In the first half, he lofted a 72-yard TD pass and rushed for a two-yard score as FSU built a 21-7 lead en route to a 28-10 win. “He’s everything they said he is,” Miami coach Dennis Erickson said afterward. “He made the plays, and he’s the difference in the football game.”

“Even when the Seminoles hit the season’s only rut, a 31-24 loss at Notre Dame, Ward’s steady hand nearly brought them back from a two-touchdown deficit. He drove the team 45 yards in 99 seconds for a late score, then reached the Irish 14 with three seconds left, before his final pass was batted away in the end zone.”

” Ward shrugged off what he considered a minor setback and two weeks later commandeered a 33-21 victory at Florida to close the regular season. “It’s just a matter of refocusing for the next challenge,” the imperturbable Ward says.”

” His four TD passes against the Gators ended their 23-game home winning streak, leaving No. 2 Florida State 11-1 with an Orange Bowl date against No. 1 Nebraska. Ward had set school records with 27 touchdown passes and 3,371 yards of total offense, and he averaged 5.2 yards per carry.”

” Those numbers precluded any Heisman voting drama. Ward beat Tennessee’s Heath Shuler by 1,622 points, the second-biggest margin ever, and brought the trophy home to Thomasville’s public library, where it still rests. With the Seminoles’ Orange Bowl win, Ward became the first Heisman and national championship winner since Tony Dorsett in 1976. ”

Both Ware and Ward had amazing years as Starting Quarterbacks for their respective teams. And both won the Heisman Trophy in a romp. Much as Troy Smith did on Saturday December 9, 2006. Smith’s championship year equal too if not superior to Ware’s and Wards’. Ware went on to a brief lackluster NFL career and Charlie Ward chose the NBA over the NFL as he said he would if he was not drafted by an NFL team in the First Round and he wasn’t.

Keep in mind Charlie Ward neither played basketball or baseball in college but he was drafted by both an NBA team the NY Knicks and MLB team the Milwaukee Brewers. Yet as a great Quarterback who won both the Heisman Trophy and the National Championship for FSU and described by many as “the most decorated player in the history of college football” Charlie Ward was undrafted by the NFL. By any team. Make what you will of that.

Now it’s Troy Smith’s turn

to repeat Charlie Ward’s Feat

winning the Heisman and

National Championship

as a Black Quarterback

then becoming the first

Black Heisman Quarterback

to go on and become an NFL Star

and never forgetting fellow Heismans

Andre Ware & Charlie Ward

who came before him.

Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box …….