Winners of the Heisman and What It Represents

Most Outstanding College Football Players Since 1935

American football player throwing the ball during a match
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The Heisman Trophy, one of the most recognizable awards in all American sports, has been given each year since 1935 to the “most outstanding college football player” in the country. 

The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance and hard work, according to the Heisman Trophy Trust, the organization that awards the trophy each year. Winners are chosen by a panel including 870 media voters, all former living Heisman winners and, beginning in 1999, the public, whose collective choice is given one vote.


Heisman Winners

1935Jay BerwangerRBChicago
1936Larry KelleyEndYale
1937Clint FrankQBYale
1938Davey O'BrienQBTCU
1939Nile KinnickRBIowa
1940Tom HarmonRBMichigan
1941Bruce SmithRBMinnesota
1942Frank SinkwichRBGeorgia
1943Angelo BertelliQBNotre Dame
1944Les HorvathQBOhio State
1945Doc BlanchardFBArmy
1946Glenn DavisRBArmy
1947John LujackQBNotre Dame
1948Doak WalkerRBSouthern Methodist
1949Leon HartEndNotre Dame
1950Vic JanowiczRBOhio State
1951Dick KazmaierRBPrinceton
1952Billy VesselsRBOklahoma
1953John LattnerRBNotre Dame
1954Alan AmecheFBWisconsin
1955Howard CassadyRBOhio State
1956Paul HornungQBNotre Dame
1957John David CrowRBTexas A&M
1958Pete DawkinsRBArmy
1959Billy CannonRBLouisiana State
1960Joe BellinoRBNavy
1961Ernie DavisRBSyracuse
1962Terry BakerQBOregon State
1963Roger StaubachQBNavy
1964John HuarteQBNotre Dame
1965Mike GarrettRBUSC
1966Steve SpurrierQBFlorida
1967Gary BebanQBUCLA
1968O.J. SimpsonRBUSC
1969Steve OwensFBOklahoma
1970Jim PlunkettQB Stanford
1971Pat SullivanQBAuburn
1972Johnny RodgersRBNebraska
1973John CappellettiRBPenn State
1974Archie GriffinRBOhio State
1975Archie GriffinRB Ohio State
1976Tony DorsettRBPittsburgh
1977Earl CampbellRBTexas
1978Billy SimsRBOklahoma
1979Charles WhiteRBUSC
1980George RogersRBSouth Carolina
1981Marcus AllenRBUSC
1982Herschel WalkerRBGeorgia
1983Mike RozierRBNebraska
1984Doug FlutieQBBoston College
1985Bo JacksonRBAuburn
1986Vinny TestaverdeQBMiami (Fla.)
1987Tim BrownWRNotre Dame
1988Barry SandersRBOklahoma State
1989Andre WareQBHouston
1990Ty DetmerQBBrigham Young
1991Desmond HowardWRMichigan
1992Gino TorrettaQBMiami (Fla.)
1993Charlie WardQBFlorida State
1994Rashaan SalaamRBColorado
1995Eddie GeorgeRBOhio State
1996Danny WuerffelQBFlorida
1997Charles WoodsonCBMichigan
1998Ricky WilliamsRBTexas
1999Ron Dayne RBWisconsin
2000Chris WeinkeQBFlorida State
2001Eric CrouchQBNebraska
2002Carson PalmerQBUSC
2003Jason WhiteQBOklahoma
2004Matt LeinartQBUSC
2005Reggie BushRBUSC
2006Troy SmithQBOhio State
2007Tim TebowQBFlorida
2008Sam BradfordQBOklahoma
2009Mark IngramTBAlabama
2010Cameron NewtonQBAuburn
2011Robert GriffinQBBaylor
2012Johnny ManzielQBTexas A&M
2013Jameis WinstonQBFlorida State
2014Marcus MariotaQBOregon
2015Derrick HenryRBAlabama
2016Lamar JacksonQBLouisville

Heisman History

The trophy was created by the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City. The private, social athletic club became famous for its annual awarding of the Heisman Trophy in its building in downtown Manhattan. The trophy is named after John Heisman, the club's first athletic director.

Since 2005, the award has been presented at the PlayStation Theater (formerly known as the Best Buy Theater and Nokia Theatre Times Square), a large, indoor live events venue, at the center of the Broadway Theater district in Times Square.

 ESPN has provided television coverage of the Heisman Trophy presentation from 1995 to the present.

The Heisman Trophy Trust

The Heisman Trophy Trust has as its charitable mission, "​To support amateur athletics and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country." Beyond the expense of maintaining the annual presentation of the Heisman Memorial Trophy, all assets are reserved for charity. The trustees all serve pro bono.