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The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time

Updated June 14, 2019 35.2k votes 2.8k voters 24.5k views83 items

List RulesPlease rank the players only on their Heisman season and not how they played in the pros or in bowl games

A list of the best Heisman Trophy winners of all time. Since 1935, the Heisman Trophy has been handed out to the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Some of the greatest players in college football history have won this award. The Heisman Trophy is one of the most coveted awards in all of American sports. Of the tens of thousands of players who compete on Saturdays, many of them want to win this award.

Notre Dame and Ohio State are currently the schools with the most Heisman winners with 7 each. USC is second with 6, though they had 7 prior to Reggie Bush vacating the 2005 Heisman Trophy due to a controversial ruling by the NCAA. Schools, students and alumni take a lot of pride when one of their players winning the Heisman.

The list of collegiate superstars who have won the Heisman is impressive. Pro Football Hall of Fame running backs like Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders, USC's Marcus Allen and Texas's Earl Campbell were all recipients of the Heisman Trophy. Ohio State's Archie Griffin is the only two-time Heisman winner. More recently, quarterbacks like Auburn's Cam Newton, Baylor's Robert Griffin III and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel have won the award.  

College football is one of the most popular sports in America. Second to winning a national championship, nothing riles up a school's fan base like having a player in contention to win the Heisman Trophy.

This is the list of all of the Heisman Trophy winners of all time. Vote or rerank this list based on who you think is the greatest Heisman Trophy winner ever. 
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  • 1
    Barry Sanders
    1,078
    312

    Barry Sanders

    Running back

    BirthplaceWichita, Kansas, United States of America

    Age52

    TeamsOklahoma State Cowboys football, Detroit Lions

  • 2
    Bo Jackson
    1,000
    369

    Bo Jackson

    Running back

    BirthplaceBessemer, Alabama, United States of America

    Age57

    TeamsKansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

  • 3
    Herschel Walker
    804
    316

    Herschel Walker

    Running back, Return specialist

    BirthplaceGeorgia, USA, Wrightsville

    Age58

    TeamsGeorgia Bulldogs football team, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys

  • 4
    Earl Campbell
    568
    284

    Earl Campbell

    Running back

    BirthplaceTyler, Texas, United States of America

    Age65

    TeamsNew Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers, Texas Longhorns football

  • 5
    Marcus Allen
    473
    288

    Marcus Allen

    Running back

    BirthplaceSan Diego, California, USA

    Age60

    TeamsUSC Trojans football, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs

  • 6
    Roger Staubach
    524
    312

    Roger Staubach

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceCincinnati, Ohio, United States of America

    Age78

    TeamsNavy Midshipmen football, Dallas Cowboys

  • 7
    Tony Dorsett
    454
    289

    Tony Dorsett

    Running back

    BirthplaceRochester, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Age66

    TeamsDenver Broncos, Pittsburgh Panthers football, Dallas Cowboys

  • 8
    Charles Woodson
    655
    418

    Charles Woodson

    Cornerback, Return specialist

    BirthplaceSebring, Ohio, United States of America

    Age43

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers

  • 9
    Archie Griffin
    475
    322

    Archie Griffin

    Running back

    BirthplaceColumbus, Ohio, United States of America

    Age66

    TeamsCincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Bulls, Ohio State Buckeyes football

    More Archie Griffin 

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  • 10
    Tim Tebow
    615
    498

    Tim Tebow

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceMakati, Philippines

    Age33

    TeamsDenver Broncos, Florida Gators football, New England Patriots, New York Jets

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  • 11
    Eddie George
    365
    297

    Eddie George

    Running back

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Age47

    TeamsTennessee Titans, Ohio State Buckeyes football, Dallas Cowboys

  • 12
    Derrick Henry
    95
    41

    Derrick Henry

    Running Back

    TeamsTennessee Titans

    More Derrick Henry 

    #27 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time#2 of 91 The Best Alabama Crimson Tide Football Players of All Time

  • 13
    Ricky Williams
    399
    336

    Ricky Williams

    Running back

    BirthplaceSan Diego, California, United States of America

    Age38

    TeamsNew Orleans Saints, Toronto Argonauts, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, Texas Longhorns football

  • 14
    Billy Sims
    294
    240

    Billy Sims

    Running Back

    BirthplaceSt. Louis, Missouri

    Age65

    TeamsOklahoma Sooners football, Detroit Lions

  • 15
    Reggie Bush
    371
    342

    Reggie Bush

    Running back

    BirthplaceSpring Valley, California, United States of America

    Age35

    TeamsNew Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins

  • 16
    Lamar Jackson
    92
    47

    Lamar Jackson

    Quarterback

    TeamsBaltimore Ravens

  • 17
    Paul Hornung
    283
    226

    Paul Hornung

    Running Back

    BirthplaceLouisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    Age84

    TeamsNotre Dame Fighting Irish football, Green Bay Packers

  • 18
    O. J. Simpson
    461
    471

    O. J. Simpson

    Running back

    BirthplaceCalifornia, United States of America

    Age73

    TeamsBuffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers

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  • 19
    Cam Newton
    508
    515

    Cam Newton

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceAtlanta, Georgia

    Age31

    TeamsCarolina Panthers

  • 20
    Doug Flutie
    354
    347

    Doug Flutie

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceManchester, Maryland, United States of America

    Age57

    TeamsBuffalo Bills, Toronto Argonauts, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, New Jersey Generals

  • 21
    Ernie Davis
    192
    173

    Ernie Davis

    Running Back

    BirthplaceNew Salem-Buffington, Pennsylvania

    AgeDec. at 24 (1939-1963)

    TeamsCleveland Browns, Syracuse Orange football

  • 22
    Doak Walker
    241
    216

    Doak Walker

    Running back, Return specialist

    BirthplaceDallas, Texas

    AgeDied at 71 (1927-1998)

    TeamsSouthern Methodist University Mustang football, Southern Methodist University Mustangs football, Detroit Lions

  • 23
    Tim Brown
    334
    353

    Tim Brown

    Wide Receiver

    BirthplaceDallas, Texas

    Age54

    TeamsNotre Dame Fighting Irish football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders

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    #3 of 82 The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time#23 of 214 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

  • 24
    Jim Plunkett
    238
    244

    Jim Plunkett

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceSan Jose, California, United States of America

    Age72

    TeamsStanford Cardinal football, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers

    More Jim Plunkett 

    #35 of 252 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time#180 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever

  • 25
    Kyler Murray
    74
    48

    Kyler Murray

    Quarterback

    TeamsArizona Cardinals

    More Kyler Murray 

    #26 of 53 The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked#9 of 74 The Best Oklahoma Sooners of All Time