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Heisman Trophy Winners: 5 Remarkable College Footballers Who Received Honors

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The Heisman Trophy is the most coveted accolade in college football. The Heisman trophy winners are highly skilled and work hard at their craft. The award is named after a former American football player, John William Heisman. It was first given in 1935 by the New York Touchdown Club, where Heisman worked as president. 

The trophy was named after him in 1936 after his death and has been awarded since. As of 2023, It’s been issued 86 times, and only one player, Archie Griffin, won it twice. Which other players have won the award?

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Archie Griffin

spotcovery-Archie Griffin - Heisman trophy winners 2023 National High School Football Hall of Fame Inductee-
Archie Griffin – 2023 National High School Football Hall of Fame Inductee. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

Archie Griffin is the only college football player to win the Heisman Trophy twice. He joined an illustrious group of players for the first time in 1974 and 1975. The running back played for Ohio State University and registered 1,695 rushing yards to win the award. 

In his senior year, he had 1. 450 rushes, enough to win a second. Griffin believes that someone else will also win the award twice. Although it’s an individual award, Griffin says he views it as a team trophy because his teammates played a crucial role in his victory. 

In 1976, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Griffin as a first-round 24th pick and played for the team for six years. He then joined the Jacksonville Bulls for a season in 1985. 

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DeVonta Smith

spotcovery-Heisman trophy winners-Philadelphia Eagles player Devonta Smith in a past match
Philadelphia Eagles player Devonta Smith in a past match. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

DeVonta Smith adds to our list of Heisman Trophy winners. He was the first wide receiver to lift the award for the first time since Desmond Howard won it in 1991. He got 1,856 points ahead of his nearest rivals Trevor Lawrence (1,187) and Mac Jones (1,130). 

Smith represented the University of Alabama between 2017 and 2022. In 2021, the wide receiver entered the National Football League (NFL) draft and was a first-round, number 10 pick for the Philadelphia Eagles.   

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Ernie Davis

A review of Ernie Davis. Video Credit: Hollywood Stars Biography

Ernie Davis is one of the most significant Heisman Trophy winners. In 1961, he was the first black man to win the award. Davis played for Syracuse University between 1959 and 1961. At the time, there was a lot of racial segregation, so his presence was crucial in fighting racism. 

Nonetheless, he helped his team win the championships, and after his impeccable performance, he won the trophy. He was also named the Unanimous All-American. In 1962, the Cleveland Browns drafted Davis into the NFL as a first-round first pick and into the American Football League as a first-round fourth pick.

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Jayden Daniels

Jayden holding his Heisman Trophy. Credit: Instagram

Jayden Daniels is the Heisman Trophy winner of 2023. He’s a quarterback for Louisiana State University (LSU), adding to the number of quarterbacks who’ve received this trophy. He became the first player since 2016 to win the award without playing in the conference championships.

He won the award with 2.029 points. Daniels played for Arizona State University between 2019 and 2021 before transferring to LSU in 2022. Other awards he’s received include the Walter Camp Award and AP College Football Player of the Year.

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Marcus Allen

The former football running back is an exclusive list of Heisman Trophy winners who’ve won the Super Bowl, named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, the national college title and the NFL MVP. 

Allen played for the University of South Carolina (USC) between 1978 and 1981. After, the Los Angeles Raiders drafted him as a first-round, 10th pick and he represented them for 10 years. In 1993, Allen moved to the Kansas City Chiefs until 1997. Other awards he won include: 

  • NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
  • NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
  • NFL Rushing Yards Leader.
  • NFL Scoring Leader.

College players who make it into the Heisman Trophy winners list increase their chances of landing a team. Nonetheless, it doesn’t determine whether they’ll have a good career in the NFL but they know what it takes to get to the top.

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Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi is a sports enthusiast who enjoys sharing sports knowledge. Over the years, she has also written on different niches, and she now brings that experience at Spotcovery. She writes sports content and also, Arts & Culture, Recipe, Beauty and more.


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