The Chronicle’s View: Alex Smith is our man!

As if packed stadiums, national recognition, a shot at a BCS bowl game and an undefeated record weren’t enough, Alex Smith has been nominated for the Heisman Trophy.

What a great year to be at the U!

The purpose of football programs is to give their school notoriety and to unite the community behind the school. The U couldn’t have asked for more from this year’s program.

While Urban Meyer deserves the credit for this year’s incredible record, it’s not Urban out there on the field throwing the ball. It’s Alex.

Last year, when Brett Elliott broke his wrist in the tragic but respectable loss to Texas A&M, Smith stepped forward and pulled this team over the highest of mountains until he had reached the summit.

His numbers are so incredible that he’s likely to be invited to New York City to be among the top five candidates for the most prized trophy in college football. Smith is first in nearly every category.

Not only is this person the U’s first Heisman candidate, but also Smith has a legitimate chance at taking home the little bronze man.

He’s been on every major sports radio program, reminding people we should be No.1 in those bogus biased polls.

Although the fame and reputation Smith has brought the U has been great, we should take this opportunity for even more and run with it.

The University of Oregon set the standard for taking advantage of a Heisman candidate as Joey Harrington was festooned in 2001 on a $500,000 billboard in New York City’s Times Square.

Another reason Smith is such a great Ute is he’s here to attend classes-not just win games.

In his first year of graduate school, this quarterback from San Diego impresses teachers in the classroom as well as fans in the stadium.

One might go so far as saying he is the perfect embodiment of the student athlete. Ergo, Doogie Howser, meet Hugh Jackman.

While many expect Smith to consider professional offers next year, here at the U we’d just like to remind him of the importance of finishing a degree so there’s something to fall back on.

Alex, you can always play NFL football later. We’d love to have you around-not just to see more of you in Rice-Eccles Stadium, but to catch a glimpse of that trophy you should get for Christmas.