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Robert Smith Claims He Was The First Ohio State NFL Player To Say "The"

Two analysts talk on one of the Big Ten network's shows.


You've heard it a lot over the years.

A former Ohio State football player introduces himself during an NFL broadcast and concludes his introduction with an emphatic, "The Ohio State University."

Who started that tradition?

Apparently, it was former Buckeye running back Robert Smith.

"It is true," Smith said on the Big Ten Network earlier this week. "It was the official name of the university and they made a point in around 1994 to emphasize it."

Smith played at Ohio State in the early 1990s before going on to star in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings. He played in the NFL from 1993-2000.

So, when you hear that first "The Ohio State University" this fall, you'll know who started it.