Heisman Trophy: History of NCAA Football’s Top Award

MIKE Comic 104 Heisman TrophyUntil the Heisman Trophy is formally awarded this evening, speculation will swirl in college football circles. And, it won’t be about the storied history of NCAA football’s top award.

Most of the arguments will center on whether Florida State QB Jameis Winston will win the award by a record margin.

Other pundits will debate who will finish second.

Scribes and fans will wrangle over whether it be last year’s Heisman winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A & M, record setting RB Andre Williams of Boston College or do-it-all QB Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois. Others will spar over how high in the balloting lightly regarded RB Tre Mason of Auburn and widely known QB AJ McCarron of Alabama will finish.

However, no one will disagree that the Heisman Trophy, standing 13.5” tall and weighing in at a hefty 25 lbs., easily stiff-arms all other potential choices as the most prestigious award in all of college sports.

Every December since 1935, the Heisman Trust in New York City awards the beautiful bronze trophy to “the nation’s most outstanding football player whose performance best exhibits the finest of excellence with integrity.”

Votes from 870 sports journalists, geographically located in six sections across the United States, plus previous Heisman Trophy winners and one collective vote from ESPN sports fans, are submitted to the Deloitte accounting firm where the ballots are tabulated and governed by the Heisman Trust.

Since 2005 the annual winner has been selected at the Best Buy Theater in the New York Hilton in Times Square, New York City, before a national television audience on ESPN.

Quarterbacks and running backs have dominated the Heisman Trophy selection process over the years. No primary defensive player has ever won the coveted trophy, although Michigan’s multi-talented Charles Woodson won the prize in 1997 as a game-changing defensive back, kick returner and punt returner.

Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, both exciting, dual threat quarterbacks, have been the most recent recipients of the venerated award.

Current NFL stars Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers QB), Mark Ingram, Jr. (New Orleans Saints RB) and Sam Bradford (St.Louis Rams QB) received the honor in 2010, 2009 and 2008 respectively.

Ohio State University’s Archie Griffin is the only two time winner (1974 and 1975) of the Heisman Trophy. Florida’s Tim Tebow became the first sophomore winner back in 2007, and in 2012 Manziel emerged as the first freshman. In 1962 the late Ernie Davis of Syracuse was the first African American chosen.

In addition, Ohio State and Notre Dame have witnessed seven winners each from their universities, while USC is the only NCAA school to have its Heisman winner, Reggie Bush in 2005, vacated for accepting improper benefits. Despite its rich football history, Alabama’s only Heisman winner has been Ingram.

What originally began as a great idea by former Auburn, Clemson and UPenn Coach John W. Heisman in 1935 has transformed into college athletics’ most celebrated acknowledgement.

Heisman Trophy winners form college football’s most famous and well-respected fraternity. These players will always be recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments.

Just like the famed Heisman Trophy pose, every college football player would stiff-arm and side-step all would-be competitors to carry home college football’s most prestigious annual award.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

P.S. The Heisman Trophy ranks as the #1 pick in my book NCAA Football Favorites. Click here to buy.

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