College Football

Heisman Trophy history, every winner since 1935

Before the 2023 winner is crowned, here’s a look back at the Heisman Trophy’s history, along with every winner

File photo: Caleb Williams poses with the Heisman Trophy after winning the trophy at the New York Marriott Marquis Astor Ballroom on Dec. 10, 2022, in New York, New York.

It’s the signature honor – and pose – in college football.

Every year, the Heisman Trophy immortalizes someone into history. The top player in the country gets to lift the award in front of past winners, joining a fraternity of college football royalty.

Here’s a look back at the Heisman Trophy’s history, along with every winner of the last 88 years.

When was the Heisman Trophy first awarded?

Before it was called the Heisman Trophy, the top individual honor in college football was called the DAC Trophy. It was awarded by New York City’s Downtown Athletic Club beginning in 1935 to honor the top college football player east of the Mississippi River. The University of Chicago’s Jay Berwanger won the inaugural award.

Who is the Heisman Trophy named after?

Downtown Athletic Club director John Heisman died the following year, and the trophy was renamed in his honor. Larry Kelley of Yale became the first player to win the Heisman Trophy under the new name.

Which player has won the most Heisman Trophies?

Archie Griffin made Heisman history in 1975.

The Ohio State running back was coming off a Heisman-winning season in 1974 and went on to earn the honor once again in his senior campaign. He became the first player to win two Heismans and remains the only player to pull off the feat.

Which school has the most Heisman Trophy winners?

Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC are tied as the schools with the most Heisman Trophies, taking home seven apiece. USC would be all alone in first place if not for the NCAA rescinding Reggie Bush’s 2005 win due to violations.

Alabama has made a strong charge up the list in recent years. No player from the school had taken home the award until 2009, and it has since accumulated four. The Heisman Trophy has went to Tuscaloosa in consecutive years with Devonta Smith winning in 2020 and Bryce Young winning in 2021.

Further down the list, Army, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Michigan and Nebraska have each won the Heisman Trophy three times.

Heisman Trophy winners by year

1935: Jay Berwanger, Chicago, HB

1936: Larry Kelley, Yale, End

1937: Clint Frank, Yale, HB

1938: Davey O’Brien, TCU, QB

1939: Nile Kinnick, Iowa, HB/QB

1940: Tom Harmon, Michigan, HB

1941: Bruce Smith, Minnesota, HB

1942: Frank Sinkwich, Georgia, HB

1943: Angelo Bertelli, Notre Dame, QB

1944: Les Horvath, Ohio State, HB/QB

1945: Doc Blanchard, Army, FB

1946: Glenn Davis, Army, HB

1947: Johnny Lujack, Notre Dame, QB

1948: Doak Walker, SMU, HB

1949: Leon Hart, Notre Dame, End

1950: Vic Janowicz, Ohio State, HB/P

1951: Dick Kazmaier, Princeton, HB

1952: Billy Vessels, Oklahoma, HB

1953: Johnny Lattner, Notre Dame, HB

1954: Alan Ameche, Wisconsin, FB

1955: Howard Cassady, Ohio State, HB

1956: Paul Hornung, Notre Dame, QB

1957: John David Crow, Texas A&M, HB

1958: Pete Dawkins, Army, HB

1959: Billy Cannon, LSU, HB

1960: Joe Bellino, Navy, HB

1961: Ernie Davis, Syracuse, HB/LB/FB

1962: Terry Baker, Oregon State, QB

1963: Roger Staubach, Navy, QB

1964: John Huarte, Notre Dame, QB

1965: Mike Garrett, USC, HB

1966: Steve Spurrier, Florida, QB

1967: Gary Beban, UCLA, QB

1968: O.J. Simpson, USC, HB

1969: Steve Owens, Oklahoma, FB

1970: Jim Plunkett, Stanford, QB

1971: Pat Sullivan, Auburn, QB

1972: Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska, WR/RB

1973: John Cappelletti, Penn State, RB

1974: Archie Griffin, Ohio State, RB

1975: Archie Griffin, Ohio State, RB

1976: Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh, RB

1977: Earl Campbell, Texas, RB

1978: Billy Sims, Oklahoma, RB

1979: Charles White, USC, RB

1980: George Rogers, South Carolina, RB

1981: Marcus Allen, USC, RB

1982: Herschel Walker, Georgia, RB

1983: Mike Rozier, Nebraska, RB

1984: Doug Flutie, Boston College, QB

1985: Bo Jackson, Auburn, RB

1986: Vinny Testaverde, Miami (Fla.), QB

1987: Tim Brown, Notre Dame, WR

1988: Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, RB

1989: Andre Ware, Houston, QB

1990: Ty Detmer, BYU, QB

1991: Desmond Howard, Michigan, WR/PR

1992: Gino Torretta, Miami (Fla.), QB

1993: Charlie Ward, Florida State, QB

1994: Rashaan Salaam, Colorado, RB

1995: Eddie George, Ohio State, RB

1996: Danny Wuerffel, Florida, QB

1997: Charles Woodson, Michigan, CB/PR

1998: Ricky Williams, Texas, RB

1999: Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, RB

2000: Chris Weinke, Florida State, QB

2001: Eric Crouch, Nebraska, QB/WR

2002: Carson Palmer, USC, QB

2003: Jason White, Oklahoma, QB

2004: Matt Leinart, USC, QB

2005: Reggie Bush, USC, RB (Vacated due to NCAA violations)

2006: Troy Smith, Ohio State, QB

2007: Tim Tebow, Florida, QB

2008: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB

2009: Mark Ingram Jr., Alabama, RB

2010: Cam Newton, Auburn, QB

2011: Robert Griffin III, Baylor, QB

2012: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, QB

2013: Jameis Winston, Florida State, QB

2014: Marcus Mariota, Oregon, QB

2015: Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama

2016: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

2017: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

2018: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

2019: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

2020: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

2021: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

2022: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Contact Us