Heisman Trophy
Awarded forThe outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.
Presented byDowntown Athletic Club (1937–2001)
Yale Club (2002–2003)
The Heisman Trust (2004–present)
First award1935 to Jay Berwanger
Most recentCaleb Williams

The Heisman Trophy, one of the highest individual awards in American college football, has been awarded 86 times since its creation in 1935, including 85 unique winners and one two-time winner. The trophy is given annually to the most outstanding college football player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and is awarded by the Heisman Trust, successors of the awards from the Downtown Athletic Club at an annual ceremony.

In 1935, the award, then known as the DAC Trophy, was created by New York City's Downtown Athletic Club to recognize the best college football player "east of the Mississippi River".[1] In that inaugural year, the award went to Jay Berwanger from the University of Chicago. Berwanger was later drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League but declined to sign for them. He never played professional football for any team, instead choosing to pursue a career in business.[2] In 1936, the club's athletic director, football pioneer John Heisman, died and the trophy was renamed in his honor. Larry Kelley, the second winner of the award, was the first to win it as the "Heisman Trophy".[3] In addition to the name change, the award also became a nationwide achievement. With the new name, players west of the Mississippi became eligible; the first player from the western United States was selected in 1938, TCU quarterback Davey O'Brien.[1]

On June 10, 2010, following several years of investigation, the NCAA announced that USC running back Reggie Bush, the 2005 Heisman trophy winner, received gifts from agents while still in college. The university received major sanctions,[4][5] and there were reports that the Heisman Trophy Trust would strip his award.[6] In September of that year, Bush voluntarily forfeited his title as the 2005 winner. The Heisman Trust decided to leave the award vacated with no new winner to be announced for the season.[7]

A school has had a Heisman winner in back-to-back years six times, though one of those awards is Bush's forfeited trophy (Yale 1936–37, Army 1945–46, Ohio State 1974–75, USC 2004–05, Oklahoma 2017–18 and Alabama 2020–21). Only one player, Ohio State's Archie Griffin, has won the award twice.[8] Oklahoma is the only school to have two players win the award in back-to-back years playing the same position (quarterbacks Baker Mayfield followed by Kyler Murray).

Between 1936 and 2001, the award was given at an annual gala ceremony at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City. The Downtown Athletic Club's facilities were damaged during the September 11, 2001 attacks. Due to financial difficulties stemming from the damage, the DAC declared bankruptcy in 2002, turning over its building to creditors. Following the club's bankruptcy and the loss of the original Downtown Athletic Club building,[9] the Yale Club of New York City assumed presenting honors in 2002 and 2003.[10][11] The ceremony was moved to the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square for the 2002, 2003, and 2004 presentations. Between 2005 and 2019, the event was held at PlayStation Theater in Times Square.[12] The move to the PlayStation Theater allowed the Downtown Athletic Club (and ultimately, the award's successor, The Heisman Trust) to resume full control of the event (the most prominent example of which was the return of the official portraits of past winners), despite the loss of the original presentation hall.[13] Shortly after the 2019 ceremony was held, the PlayStation Theater was permanently closed; as a result, the Heisman Trust began searching for a new location to conduct the trophy presentation. The 2020 ceremony would ultimately be held at the studios of ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the ceremony being held on January 5, 2021.[14]

In terms of balloting, the fifty states of the U.S. are split into six regions (Far West, Mid Atlantic, Mid West, North East, South, South West), and six regional representatives are selected to appoint voters in their states.[15] Each region has 145 media votes, for a total of 870 votes. In addition, all previous Heisman winners may vote, and one final vote is counted through public balloting. The Heisman ballots contain a 3-2-1 point system, in which each ballot ranks the voter's top three players and awards them three points for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote, and one point for a third-place vote. The points are tabulated, and the player with the highest total of points across all ballots wins the Heisman Trophy.[16]


* First overall draft pick in the NFL Draft
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
First overall draft pick and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

List of Heisman Trophy winners

Heisman Winners
Year Image Name School Position Points % of points possible[17] Class Draft position[18][note 1]
1935 Jay Berwanger* Chicago HB 84 43.08% Senior 1st
Larry Kelley, 1936 Heisman Trophy Winner.png
Larry Kelley Yale End 219 36.41% Senior 87th
1937 Clint Frank Yale (2) HB 524 32.89% Senior 106th
Davey O
Davey O'Brien TCU QB 519 29.62% Senior 4th
A picture of Nile Kinnick posing.
Nile Kinnick Iowa HB/QB 651 31.00% Senior 14th
Tom Harmon
Tom Harmon* Michigan HB 1,303 54.29% Senior 1st
1941 Bruce Smith Minnesota HB 554 49.99% Senior 119th
Frank Sinkwich
Frank Sinkwich* Georgia HB 1,059 56.15% Senior 1st
1943 Angelo Bertelli* Notre Dame QB 648 64.80% Senior 1st
1944 Les Horvath Ohio State HB/QB 412 18.31% Senior 45th (1943)
Doc Blanchard
Doc Blanchard Army FB 860 33.81% Junior 3rd
A picture of Glenn Davis posing.
Glenn Davis Army (2) HB 792 79.20% Senior 2nd
A picture of John Lujack
Johnny Lujack Notre Dame (2) QB 742 74.20% Senior 4th (1946)
A picture of Doak Walker.
Doak Walker SMU HB 778 28.56% Junior 3rd
1949 Leon Hart* Notre Dame (3) End 995 36.53% Senior 1st
1950 Vic Janowicz Ohio State (2) HB/P 633 22.03% Junior 79th
Dick Kazmaier Princeton HB 1,777 60.01% Senior 176th
1952 Billy Vessels Oklahoma HB 525 14.32% Senior 2nd
A picture of Johnny Lattner posing.
Johnny Lattner Notre Dame (4) HB 1,850 49.14% Senior 7th
Alan Ameche
Alan Ameche Wisconsin FB 1,068 27.01% Senior 3rd
A picture of Howard Cassady posing.
Howard Cassady Ohio State (3) HB 2,219 55.87% Senior 3rd
Top 1961 playing card of Paul Hornugn.
Paul Hornung Notre Dame (5) QB 1,066 26.96% Senior 1st
A picture of John David Crow posing.
John David Crow Texas A&M HB 1,183 31.12% Senior 2nd
A picture of Pete Dawkins posing.
Pete Dawkins Army (3) HB 1,394 39.01% Senior Undrafted[note 2]
Billy Cannon at LSU.jpg
Billy Cannon* LSU HB 1,929 53.72% Senior 1st
Joe Bellino
Joe Bellino Navy HB 1,793 52.89% Senior 146th (AFL)
1961 Ernie Davis* Syracuse HB/LB/FB 824 25.18% Senior 1st
1963 NCAA Basketball Championship program - Terry Baker (cropped).jpg
Terry Baker* Oregon State QB 707 21.25% Senior 1st
Staubach cowboys qb.jpg
Roger Staubach Navy (2) QB 1,860 55.21% Junior 129th
John Huarte Notre Dame (6) QB 1,026 30.98% Senior 12th (AFL)
A picture of Mike Garrett speaking.
Mike Garrett USC HB 926 26.61% Senior 18th
Steve Spurrier
Steve Spurrier Florida QB 1,679 48.25% Senior 3rd
Gary Beban UCLA QB 1,968 63.50% Senior 30th
A picture of O.J. Simpson posing.
O. J. Simpson USC (2) HB 2,853 80.64% Senior 1st
Steve Owens Oklahoma (2) FB 1,488 40.92% Senior 19th
A picture of Jim Plunkett on a phone.
Jim Plunkett* Stanford QB 2,229 58.78% Senior 1st
Pat Sullivan Auburn QB 1,597 42.25% Senior 40th
Johnny Rodgers Nebraska WR/RB 1,310 38.75% Senior 25th
John Cappelletti as a Los Angeles Ram
John Cappelletti Penn State RB 1,057 32.78% Senior 11th
A picture of Archie Griffin on a phone.
Archie Griffin Ohio State
(4, 5)
RB 1,920 59.53% Junior 24th
1975 1,800 57.64% Senior
A picture of Tony Dorsett on a phone.
Tony Dorsett Pittsburgh RB 2,357 74.97% Senior 2nd
A picture of Earl Campbell rushing the ball.
Earl Campbell Texas RB 1,547 49.11% Senior 1st
BillySimsWithFan (cropped).JPG
Billy Sims* Oklahoma (3) RB 827 26.25% Junior 1st (1980)
Charles White USC (3) RB 1,695 53.81% Senior 27th
A picture of the George Rogers statue in Columbia, SC
George Rogers* South Carolina RB 1,128 35.81% Senior 1st
A picture of Marcus Allen golfing.
Marcus Allen USC (4) RB 1,797 57.05% Senior 10th
A picture of Herschel Walker posing.
Herschel Walker Georgia (2) RB 1,926 61.14% Junior 114th (1985)
A picture of Mike Rozier in 1987.
Mike Rozier Nebraska (2) RB 1,801 57.17% Senior 2nd (USFL)
A picture of Doug Flutie posing.
Doug Flutie Boston College QB 2,240 71.11% Senior 286th
Bo Jackson
Bo Jackson* Auburn (2) RB 1,509 47.90% Senior 1st
Vinny Testaverde
Vinny Testaverde* Miami (FL) QB 2,213 70.25% Senior 1st
A picture of Tim Brown wearing a jersey.
Tim Brown Notre Dame (7) WR 1,442 45.78% Senior 6th
A picture of Barry Sanders posing.
Barry Sanders Oklahoma State RB 1,878 68.27% Junior 3rd
A picture of Andre Ware wearing pads.
Andre Ware Houston QB 1,073 38.96% Junior 7th
A picture of Ty Detmer wearing a button down.
Ty Detmer BYU QB 1,482 53.87% Junior 230th (1992)
A picture of Desmond Howard wearing a suit.
Desmond Howard Michigan (2) WR/PR 2,077 75.50% Junior 4th
A picture of Gino Torreta posing.
Gino Torretta Miami (FL) (2) QB 1,400 50.84% Senior 192nd
A picture of Charlie Ward wearing a football uniform.
Charlie Ward Florida State QB 2,310 83.79% Senior Undrafted[note 3]
1994 Rashaan Salaam Colorado RB 1,743 63.15% Junior 21st
A picture of Eddie George wearing sunglasses.
Eddie George Ohio State (6) RB 1,460 52.84% Senior 14th
Danny Wuerffel
Danny Wuerffel Florida (2) QB 1,363 49.38% Senior 136th
Charles Woodson
Charles Woodson Michigan (3) CB 1,815 65.69% Junior 4th
A picture of Ricky Williams while playing for the Dolphins.
Ricky Williams Texas (2) RB 2,355 85.23% Senior 5th
Ron Dayne in 2010.
Ron Dayne Wisconsin (2) RB 2,042 73.83% Senior 11th
A picture of Chris Weinke at a podium.
Chris Weinke Florida State (2) QB 1,628 58.86% Senior 106th
Eric Crouch Nebraska (3) QB / WR 770 27.75% Senior 95th
A picture of Carson Palmer playing for the Raiders.
Carson Palmer* USC (5) QB 1,328 48.01% Senior 1st
A picture of Jason White while with the Sooners.
Jason White Oklahoma (4) QB 1,481 53.54% Senior Undrafted (2005)
A picture of Matt Leinart holding his Heisman trophy.
Matt Leinart USC (6) QB 1,325 47.85% Junior 10th (2006)
Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush USC (7) RB 2,541 91.77% Junior 2nd
Troy Smith
Troy Smith Ohio State (7) QB 2,540 91.63% Senior 174th
A picture of Tim Tebow throwing a pass.
Tim Tebow Florida (3) QB 1,957 70.52% Sophomore 25th (2010)
Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford* Oklahoma (5) QB 1,726 62.13% Sophomore 1st (2010)
A picture of Mark Ingram at the White House.
Mark Ingram II Alabama RB 1,304 46.99% Sophomore 28th (2011)
Cam Newton
Cam Newton* Auburn (3) QB 2,263 81.55% Junior 1st
A picture of Robert Griffin posing.
Robert Griffin III Baylor QB 1,687 60.66% Junior 2nd
A picture of Johnny Manziel in 2015.
Johnny Manziel Texas A&M (2) QB 2,029 72.88% Freshman 22nd (2014)
A picture of Jameis Winston while shaking someone
Jameis Winston* Florida State (3) QB 2,205 79.12% Freshman 1st (2015)
Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota Oregon QB 2,534 90.92% Junior 2nd
Henry in the NFL.
Derrick Henry Alabama (2) RB 1,832 65.73% Junior 45th
Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson Louisville QB 2,144 79.50% Sophomore 32nd (2018)
Mayfield at 2017 Big 12 Media Days
Baker Mayfield* Oklahoma (6) QB 2,398 86.00% Senior 1st
Murray with Texas Tech
Kyler Murray* Oklahoma (7) QB 2,167 77.75% Junior 1st
Joe Burrow (SELU vs LSU, September 8, 2018).jpg
Joe Burrow* LSU (2) QB 2,608 93.80% Senior 1st
DeVonta Smith
DeVonta Smith Alabama (3) WR 1,856 66.81% Senior 10th
Bryce Young 2021 (cropped).jpg
Bryce Young Alabama (4) QB 2,311 83.00% Sophomore
Caleb Williams USC (8) QB 2,031 72.87% Sophomore
  1. ^ Unless otherwise noted, these positions are for the NFL Draft following their Heisman victory.
  2. ^ Dawkins instead opted for a military career.
  3. ^ Ward instead opted for a basketball career, and was drafted 26th in the 1994 NBA Draft.

Trophies won by school

This is a list of the colleges and universities who have had a player win a Heisman trophy. USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame are tied for the most trophies at 7 each. USC also previously had 7 winners but the 2005 award was vacated, although their official total is again 7 with the 2022 award to Trojan quarterback Caleb Williams. Ohio State has the distinction of the only two-time winner, Archie Griffin. In total, players from 40 schools have won a Heisman Trophy, while 19 schools have more than one trophy.

School Trophies
Notre Dame 7
Ohio State
Alabama 4
Army 3
Florida State
Georgia 2
Miami (FL)
Texas A&M
Baylor 1
Boston College
Oklahoma State
Oregon State
Penn State
South Carolina

Trophies won by position

This is a list of the positions of players who have won a Heisman Trophy. When players perform at multiple positions in a single season, each position is counted as a separate entity. For example, Desmond Howard of Michigan played both wide receiver and return specialist in 1991. On this list, Howard is counted twice for that year, once for each position he played.

Position Award Count
CB 1
End 2
FB 4
HB 21
LB 1
P 1
PR 1
QB 39
RB 21*
WR 5

* = includes the vacated 2005 award.


  1. ^ a b Lighten up. (Heisman Trophy) Mark Purdy, The Sporting News, encyclopedia.com. December 5, 1994. Accessed March 8, 2008. (Site defunct prior to 9/10) Archived February 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Jay Berwanger, first winner of the Heisman Trophy, 1914–2002 Julia Morse, University of Chicago News Office. Chicago, Illinois. June 27, 2002. Accessed March 7, 2008.
  3. ^ "The Heisman Trophy". heisman.com. Archived from the original on January 3, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  4. ^ USC punished with two-year football posteason ban. ESPN, June 11, 2010.
  5. ^ "NCAA infraction report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 5, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
  6. ^ "news: Heisman Trust leader denies decision to revoke Bush's trophy". NFL. September 7, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
  7. ^ "Reggie Bush's Heisman to stay vacated". ESPN. September 16, 2010. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016.
  8. ^ Archie Griffin Archived January 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Heisman.com. Accessed December 23, 2012.
  9. ^ New York landmark's closing leaves Heisman homeless Wayne Drehs, ESPN.com. July 22, 2004. Accessed March 8, 2008.
  10. ^ 9-11 Forces Heisman to Move to Yale Club Christopher Hunt, New York Daily News. June 26, 2002. Accessed December 14, 2018.
  11. ^ Heisman Trophy Dinner Becomes Feast for the Public The Washington Post. November 7, 2003. Accessed December 14, 2018.
  12. ^ "Downtown Athletic Club". nyc-architecture.com. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
  13. ^ Bush runs away with Heisman Trophy Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com. December 10, 2005. Accessed March 8, 2008.
  14. ^ "Heisman Trophy to be awarded virtually Jan. 5". ESPN.com. November 14, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  15. ^ Expanded Heisman Trophy Voting Results Archived February 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine MSNBC.com. Accessed March 8, 2008.
  16. ^ "Heisman Trophy Balloting". heisman.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  17. ^ Chisholm, Kari. "A plea to sportswriters for statistical accuracy". Stiff Arm Trophy. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  18. ^ Huston, Chris (May 22, 2019). "Heisman winners in the NFL draft (Updated)". Heisman. Retrieved May 1, 2021.