The college football season is finally here and if you're a fan like me, you start doing things like wearing socks with the logo of your favorite team. However, I'm also doing something else.  I've traveled to Titusville to pay tribute to a man who did so much for college football.  His name...John Heisman.

Every diehard football fan knows Heisman as the man for which the Heisman Trophy is named.  It's presented every year to the best player in college football.  But, every diehard football fan may not know that Heisman grew up in Titusville.  He moved here from Cleveland in 1874 at age 5 with his mother Sarah and father Michael.

"Michael is a cooper.  He's a barrel maker. So he is able to take part in a growing industry of oil around Titusville. There's a huge need for barrels,” says Kelly Anderson Gregg.

Kelly is the executive director of the Titusville Historical Society.  It's one of many organizations in the city that's proud to educate people about John Heisman's connection to Titusville.

The Drake Well and Museum has an exhibit depicting the elder Heisman's cooperage company. The exhibit has a picture of young John Heisman working at his dad's factory.

At Titusville High School, there's an office of the Titusville Alumni Association. Every day, when Executive Director Tambra Sabatini enters the office, the first thing she sees is a replica of the Heisman Trophy.  It's a tribute to John Heisman, one of the school's most famous graduates.

"The deeper you dig, the more you realize how integrated he actually was to the whole oil industry through his father,” says Tambra.  “And then you realize all he created and how he advanced the game and how he tweaked the game.  It's pretty fascinating."

After he left Titusville, Heisman became a respected coach at many prestigious colleges.  He pushed to change the rules of football.  He was the driving force to adopt the forward pass.  All of his accomplishments are on a state historical marker in the city.

"He had a vision of the game for what it could be if they could make it more of a chess game rather than just brute force,” says Kelly.

Heisman played football for Titusville High School.  A plaque inside the high school football stadium reveals that Heisman played on the same field where the current Titusville Rockets play today. 

There's another plaque honoring John Heisman.  It's on a field of grass where he learned football as a little boy. And inside a nightclub called Titusville Iron Works, there's another replica of the Heisman Trophy! 

This city loves football and John Heisman.