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Heisman Trophy winners: From 1935-2023, the history of the Heisman

The list of Heisman Trophy winners features some of the most recognizable names in the history of football. It’s one of the most recognized awards in sports and fans are always excited to see who will win the Heisman Trophy next.

Since the first Heisman Trophy was awarded in 1935, we’ve seen some of the all-time greats become a part of football immortality. From Barry Sanders and Paul Hornung to Charles Woodson and Tim Brown, many legends of the gridiron hold the iconic trophy.

In more recent times, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow are the two latest examples of Heisman winners who went on to become NFL stars. Before long, Caleb Williams could join them.

Related: Heisman Watch 2023

Let’s dive into the history of Heisman winners.

Heisman winners by year

Here’s a rundown of the list of Heisman Trophy winners by year from 2023-1935.

Related: Most Heisman Trophy winners by school


  • 2023: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU Tigers
  • 2022: Caleb Williams, QB, USC Trojans
  • 2021: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama Crimson Tide
  • 2020: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide

Related: College Football rankings


  • 2019: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU Tigers
  • 2018: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma Sooners
  • 2017: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma Sooners
  • 2016: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville Cardinals
  • 2015: Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide
  • 2014: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon Ducks
  • 2013: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State Seminoles
  • 2012: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M Aggies
  • 2011: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor Bears
  • 2010: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn Tigers

Related: NFL defense rankings


  • 2009: Mark Ingram II, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide
  • 2008: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma Sooners
  • 2007: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida Gators
  • 2006: Troy Smith, QB, Ohio State Buckeyes
  • 2005: Reggie Bush, RB, USC Trojans*
  • 2004: Matt Leinart, QB, USC Trojans
  • 2003: Jason White, QB, Oklahoma Sooners
  • 2002: Carson Palmer, QB, USC Trojans
  • 2001: Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska Cornhuskers
  • 2000: Chris Weinke, QB, Florida State Seminoles

Related: College Football QB rankings


  • 1999: Ron Dayne, RB, Wisconsin Badgers
  • 1998: Ricky Williams, RB, Texas Longhorns
  • 1997: Charles Woodson, CB, Michigan Wolverines
  • 1996: Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida Gators
  • 1995: Eddie George, RB, Ohio State Buckeyes
  • 1994: Rashaan Salaam, RB, Colorado Buffaloes
  • 1993: Charlie Ward, QB, Florida State Seminoles
  • 1992: Gino Torretta, QB, Miami Hurricanes
  • 1991: Desmond Howard, WR, Michigan Wolverines
  • 1990: Ty Detmer, QB, BYU Cougars


  • 1989: Andre Ware, QB, Houston Cougars
  • 1988: Barry Sanders, RB, Oklahoma State Cowboys
  • 1987: Tim Brown, WR, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 1986: Vinny Testaverde, QB, Miami Hurricanes
  • 1985: Bo Jackson, RB, Auburn Tigers
  • 1984: Doug Flutie, QB, Boston College Eagles
  • 1983: Mike Rozier, QB, Nebraska Cornhuskers
  • 1982: Herschel Walker, RB, Georgia Bulldogs
  • 1981: Marcus Allen, RB, USC Trojans
  • 1980: George Rogers, RB, South Carolina Gamecocks


  • 1979: Charles White, RB, USC Trojans
  • 1978: Billy Sims, RB, Oklahoma Sooners
  • 1977: Earl Campbell, RB, Texas Longhorns
  • 1976: Tony Dorsett, RB, Pittsburgh Panthers
  • 1975: Archie Griffin, RB, Ohio State Buckeyes
  • 1974: Archie Griffin, RB, Ohio State Buckeyes
  • 1973: John Cappelletti, RB, Penn State Nittany Lions
  • 1972: Johnny Rodgers, WR, Nebraska Cornhuskers
  • 1971: Pat Sullivan, QB, Auburn Tigers
  • 1970: Jim Plunkett, QB, Stanford Cardinal


  • 1969: Steve Owens, FB, Oklahoma Sooners
  • 1968: O.J. Simpson, RB, USC Trojans
  • 1967: Gary Beban, QB, UCLA Bruins
  • 1966: Steve Spurrier, QB, Florida Gators
  • 1965: Mike Garrett, RB, USC Trojans
  • 1964: John Huarte, QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 1963: Roger Staubach, QB, Navy Midshipmen
  • 1962: Terry Baker, QB, Oregon State Beavers
  • 1961: Ernie Davis, RB, Syracuse Orange
  • 1960: Joe Bellino, RB, Navy Midshipmen

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft


  • 1959: Billy Cannon, RB, LSU Tigers
  • 1958: Pete Dawkins, RB, Army Black Knights
  • 1957: John David Crow, RB, Texas A&M Aggies
  • 1956: Paul Hornung, RB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 1955: Howard Cassady, RB, Ohio State Buckeyes
  • 1954: Alan Ameche, FB, Wisconsin Badgers
  • 1953: Johnny Lattner, RB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 1952: Billy Vessels, RB, Oklahoma Sooners
  • 1951: Dick Kazmaier, RB, Princeton Tigers
  • 1950: Vic Janowicz, HB, Ohio State Buckeyes


  • 1949: Leon Hart, End, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 1948: Doak Walker, RB, SMU Mustangs
  • 1947: Johnny Lujack, QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 1946: Glenn Davis, QB, Army Black Knights
  • 1945: Doc Blanchard, FB, Army Black Knights
  • 1944: Les Horvath, QB/HB, Ohio State Buckeyes
  • 1943: Angelo Bertelli, QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 1942: Frank Sinkwich, RB, Georgia Bulldogs
  • 1941: Bruce Smith, RB, Minnesota Golden Gophers
  • 1940: Tom Harmon, RB, Michigan Wolverines


  • 1939: Nile Kinnick, QB/HB, Iowa Hawkeyes
  • 1938: Davey O’Brien, QB, TCU Horned Frogs
  • 1937: Clint Frank, RB, Yale Bulldogs
  • 1936: Larry Kelley, End, Yale Bulldogs
  • 1935: Jay Berwanger, RB, Chicago Maroons

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Heisman Trophy winners by school

USC Heisman winners 8*

  • Caleb Williams, QB (2022)
  • Reggie Bush, RB (2005)*
  • Matt Leinart, QB (2004)
  • Carson Palmer, QB (2002)
  • Marcus Allen, RB (1981)
  • Charles White, RB (1979)
  • O.J. Simpson, RB (1968)
  • Mike Garrett, RB (1965)

Notre Dame Heisman winners7

  • Tim Brown, WR (1987)
  • John Huarte, QB (1964)
  • Paul Hornung, QB (1956)
  • John Lattner, RB (1953)
  • Angelo Bertelli, QB (1943)
  • Leon Hart, End (1949)
  • John Lujack, QB (1947)

Related: 2023 college football schedule

Oklahoma Heisman winners7

  • Kyler Murray, QB (2018)
  • Baker Mayfield, QB (2017)
  • Sam Bradford, QB (2008)
  • Jason White, QB (2003)
  • Billy Simms, RB (1978)
  • Steve Owens, RB (1969)
  • Billy Vessels, RB (1952)

Ohio State Heisman winners7

  • Troy Smith, QB (2006)
  • Eddie George, RB (1995)
  • Archie Griffin, RB (1975)
  • Archie Griffin, RB (1974)
  • Howard Cassady, RB (1955)
  • Vic Janowicz, RB (1950)
  • Les Horvath, QB (1944)

Related: Highest-paid college football coaches

Alabama Heisman winners – 4

  • Bryce Young, QB (2021)
  • DeVonta Smith, WR (2020)
  • Derrick Henry, RB (2015)
  • Mark Ingram, RB (2009)

Michigan Heisman winners3

  • Charles Woodson, CB (1997)
  • Desmond Howard, WR (1991)
  • Tom Harmon, RB (1940)

Auburn Heisman winners3

  • Cam Newton, QB (2010)
  • Bo Jackson, RB (1985)
  • Pat Sullivan, QB (1971)

LSU Tigers – 3

  • Billy Cannon, RB (1959)
  • Joe Burrow, QB (2019)
  • Jayden Daniels, QB (2023)

Heisman Trophy runner ups

Here are the Heisman Trophy runner ups in recent years.

  • 2023: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon and Michael Penix, QB, Washington
  • 2022: Max Duggan, QB, TCU (2nd) and CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State (3rd)
  • 2021: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan (2nd) and Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (3rd)
  • 2020: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (2nd) and Mac Jones, QB, Alabama (3rd)
  • 2019: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma (2nd) and Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (3rd)
  • 2018: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (2nd) and Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State (3rd)
  • 2017: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford (2nd) and Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (3rd)
  • 2016: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (2nd) and Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (3rd)
  • 2015: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (2nd) and Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (3rd)
  • 2014: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin (2nd) and Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama (3rd)
  • 2013: AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama (2nd) and Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois (3rd)

Who won the Heisman the last 5 years?

NCAA Football: 2022 Heisman Trophy
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (2022)), Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (2021), Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (2020), LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (2019) and Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray (2018) are the Heisman Trophy winners over the last five years.

How many non-quarterbacks have won the Heisman?

Among the 88 Heisman Trophy winners, 38 were quarterbacks. This means that non-quarterbacks make up for 50 of the Heisman winners throughout its history.

Has a school ever won 3 Heismans in a row?

No school has ever won the Heisman Trophy in three consecutive years. However, Alabama (Bryce Young and DeVonta Smith, 2020-’21), Oklahoma (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, 2017-’18), USC (Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, 2004-’05), Ohio State (Archie Griffin, 194-’75) and Yale (Larry Kelley and Clint Frank, 1936-’37) had Heisman winners in consecutive years.

Who is the oldest Heisman winner?

Chris Weinke is the oldest college player to win the Heisman Trophy. Weinke won the Heisman at 28 years and 131 days old, easily making him the oldest player to ever win the Heisman.

Heisman winners by position

  • Running Back – 39
  • Quarterback – 39
  • Wide Receiver – 4
  • Tight End – 2
  • Fullback – 2
  • Cornerback – 1

Related: College Football standings

Has a Heisman winner won a Super Bowl?

Ten players have won both the Heisman Trophy and a Super Bowl. Reggie Bush, Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, George Rogers, Marcus Allen, Tony Dorsett, Jim Plunkett, Mike Garrett, Roger Staubach and Paul Hornung are the only Heisman winners who won a Super Bowl.

Related: College Football Playoff 2024

Has anyone won 2 Heismans?

Archie Griffin is the only player in NCAA history with two Heisman Trophy awards. Griffin is also the only player to win the Heisman in consecutive years, accomplishing the feat with the Ohio State Buckeyes from 1974-’75.

  • Archie Griffin stats (1974-’75): 3,392 scrimmage yards, 16 touchdowns, 6.07 yards per carry in 24 games

How many Heisman winners are in the Hall of Fame?

There are 10 Heisman Winners in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. O.J. Simpson, Roger Staubach, Doak Walker, Paul Hornung, Earl Campbell, Tony Dorsett, Marcus Allen, Barry Sanders, Tim Brown and Charles Woodson are the only 10 Hall of Famers to win the Heisman Trophy.

Who is the most successful Heisman winner in the NFL?

Barry Sanders and Roger Staubach are the most successful Heisman winners in the NFL, both finishing as two of the greatest football players at their position. Among the other Hall of Famers with the Heisman Trophy are Tim Brown, Marcus Allen, Charles Woodson and Paul Hornung.

Has a true freshman ever won the Heisman?

A true freshman has never won the Heisman Trophy in the history of college football. However, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston are the only two freshman Heisman winners. Both quarterbacks won the Heisman Trophy in their redshirt freshman seasons.

Which college has the most Heisman Trophy winners?

NCAA Football: Fresno State at Southern California
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans hold the record for the most Heisman Trophy winners by any college football program. Eight USC players have won the Heisman, however, running back Reggie Bush was stripped of his award for NCAA violations stemming from allegations he received gifts from an agent while he played at USC.

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