Former Ohio State quarterback and 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith was arrested on Friday in Cleveland. According to Fox 8 in Cleveland, he was pulled over for a routine traffic violation. It was then found that he had an outstanding warrant for driving on a suspended license.
Smith spent three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, one with the San Francisco 49ers and is currently employed by the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL.
While this is far from a serious arrest, the bottom line is that he was arrested, roughly five years after winning the Heisman Trophy. That's a huge drop-off.
While Smith's NFL career was far from brilliant, he did have moments in both Baltimore and San Francisco where his athletic ability stood out. And that's in the NFL. Raw athletic ability is something that can't be taught.
Now, Smith is certainly not going to be serving any hard time for what he was arrested for. But if you stop and break this down, this is a huge fall.
It's a huge fall from 2006, when he won the Heisman Trophy. It's even a huge fall from last year, when he was starting games for the 49ers as they tried to fight their way to the playoffs. To go from being a starting quarterback in the NFL to arrested in less than a year is a big drop-off.
At the very worst, Smith is now going to have to fight an unfair perception if he has any thoughts of getting back to the NFL. If Smith performs well in the UFL, he's logically a nice thought to get an NFL opportunity. It would probably be just in a backup role, but that's an opportunity. Now, he's got to fight the fact that the last memory NFL teams will have of him is being arrested.
They're not serious charges, but that's an uphill battle for someone not even in the league at the moment. That's an uphill climb.