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The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time

Updated February 11, 2020 10.6k votes 1.8k voters 17.1k views28 items

List RulesVote up the Heisman Trophy winners who had the most disappointing NFL career.

The worst Heisman Trophy winners certainly excelled in the college game but failed at the next level. The biggest Heisman disappointments hail from some of the most storied programs in college football, and while many Heisman Trophy winners had great NFL careers (players like Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen and Tony Dorsett), others peaked in college and were just never the same. The biggest Heisman busts were of course high draft picks but quite obviously failed to live up to expectations. Heisman busts like Matt Leinart and Andre Ware could fall into the category of enormously disappointing QBs. Other Heisman Trophy failures in the NFL were running backs (like Rashaan Salaam and Archie Griffin) that never matched their college success at the pro level. There have been many Heisman Trophy busts over the year but which one do you think is the biggest? Vote now for the most disappointing Heisman Trophy winner!
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  • 1
    Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
  • 2
    Gino Torretta is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    337
    129

    Gino Torretta

    Quarterback

    BirthplacePinole, California, United States of America

    Age50

    TeamsSeattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings

  • 3
    Matt Leinart is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    514
    176

    Matt Leinart

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceSanta Ana, California, United States of America

    Age37

    TeamsBuffalo Bills, USC Trojans football, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans

  • 4
    Jason White is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    308
    117

    Jason White

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceTuttle, Oklahoma

    Age40

    TeamsOklahoma Sooners football

  • 5
    Eric Crouch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    372
    160

    Eric Crouch

    Safety, Quarterback

    BirthplaceOmaha, Nebraska

    Age41

    TeamsHamburg Sea Devils, Toronto Argonauts, St. Louis Rams, Omaha Nighthawks, Nebraska Cornhuskers football

  • 6
    Troy Smith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    309
    131

    Troy Smith

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceColumbus, Ohio

    Age36

    TeamsPittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Omaha Nighthawks, San Francisco 49ers, Ohio State Buckeyes football

  • 7
    Andre Ware is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    271
    121

    Andre Ware

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceGalveston, Texas, United States of America

    Age52

    TeamsOttawa Rough Riders, Toronto Argonauts, Houston Cougars football, Berlin Thunder, Jacksonville Jaguars

  • 8
    Danny Wuerffel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    261
    102

    Danny Wuerffel

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceFort Walton Beach, Florida

    Age46

    TeamsNew Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins, Florida Gators football, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears

  • 9
    JaMarcus Russell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    104
    4

    JaMarcus Russell

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceMobile, Alabama

    Age35

    TeamsOakland Raiders, LSU Tigers football

    More JaMarcus Russell 

    #57 of 146 The Best LSU Football Players of All Time#53 of 53 The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked

  • 10
    Rashaan Salaam is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    224
    99

    Rashaan Salaam

    Running back

    BirthplaceLa Jolla, San Diego, California

    Age45

    TeamsMemphis Maniax, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Colorado Buffaloes football

  • 11
    Chris Weinke is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    208
    101

    Chris Weinke

  • 12
    Ty Detmer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    178
    104

    Ty Detmer

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceSan Marcos, Texas

    Age52

    TeamsGreen Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles

  • 13
    Robert Griffin III is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    421
    335

    BirthplaceOkinawa Prefecture, Japan

    Age30

    TeamsWashington Redskins, Baylor Bears football

    More Robert Griffin III 

    #48 of 83 The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time#39 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames

  • 14
    Vince Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    317
    228

    Vince Young

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas, United States of America

    Age37

    TeamsBuffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles, Texas Longhorns football

    More Vince Young 

    #1009 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever#57 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • 15
    Ron Dayne is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    181
    119
  • 16
    Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    443
    391

    Tim Tebow

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceMakati, Philippines

    Age33

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

    More Tim Tebow 

    #9 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#346 of 438 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

  • 17
    John Huarte is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    115
    72

    John Huarte

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceAnaheim, California, United States of America

    Age76

    More John Huarte 

    #38 of 82 The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time#57 of 59 The Best Philadelphia Eagles Quarterbacks of All Time

  • 18
    Gary Beban is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    110
    69

    Gary Beban

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceCalifornia

    Age74

  • 19
    Terry Baker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    97
    62

    Terry Baker

    Quarterback

    BirthplacePine River, Minnesota

    Age79

  • 20
    John Cappelletti is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    100
    102

    John Cappelletti

    Running back

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

    Age68

    TeamsLos Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers

    More John Cappelletti 

    #7 of 94 The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time#9 of 26 The Best College Running Backs of the 1970s

  • 21
    Archie Griffin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    143
    162

    Archie Griffin

    Running back

    BirthplaceColumbus, Ohio, United States of America

    Age66

    TeamsCincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Bulls, Ohio State Buckeyes football

    More Archie Griffin 

    #121 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time#1 of 83 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time

  • 22
    Joey Harrington is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    21
    7

    Joey Harrington

    Quarterback

    BirthplacePortland, Oregon

    Age41

    TeamsNew Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Oregon Ducks football, Miami Dolphins

    More Joey Harrington 

    #12 of 98 The Best Oregon Ducks of All Time#24 of 142 The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

  • 23
    Kyle Boller is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    20
    7

    Kyle Boller

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceBurbank, California

    Age39

    TeamsCalifornia Golden Bears football, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Baltimore Ravens

  • 24
    Sam Bradford is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    223
    366

    Sam Bradford

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceOklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America

    Age32

    TeamsSt. Louis Rams, Oklahoma Sooners football

  • 25
    Baker Mayfield is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time
    54
    48

    Baker Mayfield

    Quarterback

    Age25

    TeamsCleveland Browns

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