Activities Sports & Athletics Winners of the Heisman and What It Represents Most Outstanding College Football Players Since 1935 Share PINTEREST Email Print Westend61 / Getty Images Sports & Athletics Football College Football Basics Playing & Coaching Best of Football Plays & Formations Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More by Tim Hyland Updated November 04, 2019 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 Year Winner Position University 1935 Jay Berwanger RB Chicago 1936 Larry Kelley End Yale 1937 Clint Frank QB Yale 1938 Davey O'Brien QB TCU 1939 Nile Kinnick RB Iowa 1940 Tom Harmon RB Michigan 1941 Bruce Smith RB Minnesota 1942 Frank Sinkwich RB Georgia 1943 Angelo Bertelli QB Notre Dame 1944 Les Horvath QB Ohio State 1945 Doc Blanchard FB Army 1946 Glenn Davis RB Army 1947 John Lujack QB Notre Dame 1948 Doak Walker RB Southern Methodist 1949 Leon Hart End Notre Dame 1950 Vic Janowicz RB Ohio State 1951 Dick Kazmaier RB Princeton 1952 Billy Vessels RB Oklahoma 1953 John Lattner RB Notre Dame 1954 Alan Ameche FB Wisconsin 1955 Howard Cassady RB Ohio State 1956 Paul Hornung QB Notre Dame 1957 John David Crow RB Texas A&M 1958 Pete Dawkins RB Army 1959 Billy Cannon RB Louisiana State 1960 Joe Bellino RB Navy 1961 Ernie Davis RB Syracuse 1962 Terry Baker QB Oregon State 1963 Roger Staubach QB Navy 1964 John Huarte QB Notre Dame 1965 Mike Garrett RB USC 1966 Steve Spurrier QB Florida 1967 Gary Beban QB UCLA 1968 O.J. Simpson RB USC 1969 Steve Owens FB Oklahoma 1970 Jim Plunkett QB Stanford 1971 Pat Sullivan QB Auburn 1972 Johnny Rodgers RB Nebraska 1973 John Cappelletti RB Penn State 1974 Archie Griffin RB Ohio State 1975 Archie Griffin RB Ohio State 1976 Tony Dorsett RB Pittsburgh 1977 Earl Campbell RB Texas 1978 Billy Sims RB Oklahoma 1979 Charles White RB USC 1980 George Rogers RB South Carolina 1981 Marcus Allen RB USC 1982 Herschel Walker RB Georgia 1983 Mike Rozier RB Nebraska 1984 Doug Flutie QB Boston College 1985 Bo Jackson RB Auburn 1986 Vinny Testaverde QB Miami (Fla.) 1987 Tim Brown WR Notre Dame 1988 Barry Sanders RB Oklahoma State 1989 Andre Ware QB Houston 1990 Ty Detmer QB Brigham Young 1991 Desmond Howard WR Michigan 1992 Gino Torretta QB Miami (Fla.) 1993 Charlie Ward QB Florida State 1994 Rashaan Salaam RB Colorado 1995 Eddie George RB Ohio State 1996 Danny Wuerffel QB Florida 1997 Charles Woodson CB Michigan 1998 Ricky Williams RB Texas 1999 Ron Dayne RB Wisconsin 2000 Chris Weinke QB Florida State 2001 Eric Crouch QB Nebraska 2002 Carson Palmer QB USC 2003 Jason White QB Oklahoma 2004 Matt Leinart QB USC 2005 Reggie Bush RB USC 2006 Troy Smith QB Ohio State 2007 Tim Tebow QB Florida 2008 Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma 2009 Mark Ingram TB Alabama 2010 Cameron Newton QB Auburn 2011 Robert Griffin QB Baylor 2012 Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M 2013 Jameis Winston QB Florida State 2014 Marcus Mariota QB Oregon 2015 Derrick Henry RB Alabama 2016 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville 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. 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