Smith avoids damaging trophy, ships it

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Troy Smith's Heisman Trophy was shipped home Tuesday to keep it safe and avoid the type of mishap that happened the last time an Ohio State player won the award.

Smith wore a black leather jacket with the Heisman insignia on back when he arrived at the airport from New York, where he was presented college football's most coveted trophy.

Eddie George, the last Buckeye to win the Heisman in 1995, had his trophy get stuck in an airport X-ray machine, losing the tip of its right index finger and bending the middle finger.

"We decided to have it shipped. That's much easier. How times have changed. Eddie carried it on the plane and put it in the seat next to him," sports information director Steve Snapp said.

Smith didn't mind.

"No, because Eddie's finger got bent," he said. "I don't want that to happen to mine."

The top-ranked Buckeyes (12-0) meet No. 2 Florida (12-1) in the Tostitos BCS Championship Gme on Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz. Ohio State had workouts last week while Smith was on the awards circuit.

"I feel bad I haven't been there with my teammates," he said. "They've been battling through some practices."

The past week has been a whirlwind for Smith. He flew out on Wednesday to Orlando for an awards ceremony and then made his first trip to New York on Friday.

"I've heard a million clicks of a camera, seen so many flashes of light I'm immune to it all," Smith said of the media attention.

In a week of firsts for the fifth-year senior from Cleveland, Smith wore a tuxedo for the first time at Monday night's dinner.

"It was a beautiful weekend," he said.

Smith said he looked forward to getting to his apartment and getting some rest. He was worn down by all the questions and attention.

"It's enough about me," he said. "The last couple of days has not been too much for me to handle but enough for me to handle, and now it's about time to get back to the people who helped me get where I am."