Since 1935, the Heisman Trophy has been awarded to college football’s most outstanding player. Ohio State, Oklahoma and Notre Dame are tied for the most recipients by a single program with seven each. In other words, those three programs account for nearly 25 percent of all winners.
Alabama’s Devonta Smith won the 2020 Heisman Trophy as the only non-quarterback Heisman finalist. The other three contenders included teammate Mac Jones (Alabama), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and Kyle Trask (Florida). After the virtual presentation, a COVID-19 precaution, Alabama now has three Heisman Trophy winners, tying rival Auburn, Army, Florida, Florida State, Michigan and Nebraska.
Here is the complete list of the 10 colleges which have produced the most Heisman Trophy winners. Click or tap here to jump right to the list of every Heisman Trophy winner.
Ohio State — 7
Winners: 1944 Les Horvath, 1950 Vic Janowicz, 1955 Howard Cassady, 1974 & 1975 Archie Griffin, 1995 Eddie George, 2006 Troy Smith
Archie Griffin did something in 1974 and 1975 that has never been matched. The Ohio State running back became the first and only player ever to win a second Heisman. At 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, he was the Buckeyes starting tailback all four years, at time in which they tallied a 40-5-1 record and four Big Ten titles. Through 12 games as a junior, Griffin rushed 1,695 yards for 12 touchdowns. As a senior, he showed more versatility, rushing 1,450 yards for four touchdowns and receiving 170 yards on 14 catches.
Oklahoma — 7
Winners: 1952 Billy Vessels, 1969 Steve Owens, 1978 Billy Sims, 2003 Jason White, 2008 Sam Bradford, 2017 Baker Mayfield, 2018 Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray, the born and bred Texan who originally signed with Texas A&M, found his footing in Oklahoma in the shadow of Baker Mayfield’s 2018 Heisman performance. No pressure, right? The junior quarterback closely mirrored Mayfield’s senior season, passing for 4,054 yards and 40 touchdowns and leading Oklahoma to a 12-1 record, a Big 12 title and a College Football Playoff berth. In comparison, Mayfield threw for 4,340 yards with 41 touchdowns and led the Sooners to their first CFP.
In 2019, the cycle continues. For the third year in a row, an Oklahoma transfer quarterback is in the Heisman spotlight again. Jalen Hurts will try to be the Sooners’ eighth Heisman winner in program history.
Notre Dame — 7
Winners: 1943 Angelo Bertelli, 1947 John Lujack, 1949 Leon Hart, 1953 John Lattner, 1956 Paul Hornung, 1964 John Huarte, 1987 Tim Brown
As of 2019, the two oldest living Heisman winners shared similar paths to their legendary careers. With nine years apart, John Lujack and Paul Hornung led their respective Notre Dame teams through strong senior seasons. Lujack, the oldest living Heisman recipient, completed 61 passes for 777 yards and ran for 139 yards on 12 carries, and Hornung rushed for 420 yards on 94 carries and completed 59 passes for 917 yards and three touchdowns.
Southern California — 6
Winners: 1965 Mike Garrett, 1968 O. J. Simpson, 1979 Charles White, 1981 Marcus Allen, 2002 Carson Palmer, 2004 Matt Leinart
Southern Cal has been a running back factory for most of its existence. All of the Trojans’ Heisman winners prior to Carson Palmer in 2002 had been running backs, and Marcus Allen added to that incredible run with his record-breaking 1981 season. Allen became the first player in FBS history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season. In total, he ran for 2,342 yards and scored 23 touchdowns.
In 2005, the Trojans became the second program in history to record seven Heisman trophy winners, tying Notre Dame. Southern Cal now sits with six Heisman Trophy winners because Reggie Bush’s award was forfeited due to NCAA violations.
Alabama — 3
Winners: 2009 Mark Ingram, 2015 Derrick Henry, 2020 Devonta Smith
Devonta Smith made history on Jan. 5, 2021, by becoming the first wide receiver since Desmond Howard in 1991 to win the Heisman Trophy. He is just the fourth wide receiver to carry home the illustrious award. With COVID-19 being the backdrop of the 2020 college football season, Smith never missed a game. He led the FBS in receiving yards (1,511) with 98 receptions over 11 games. In that span, he caught 17 touchdown passes.
Smith is Alabama’s third winner in 11 years, an incredible feat accomplished under head coach Nick Saban, who began his tenure with the Tide in 2007.
Auburn — 3
Winners: 1971 Pat Sullivan, 1985 Bo Jackson, 2010 Cam Newton
The namesake of the trophy awarded to the best FBS player each season belongs to John Heisman, former coach of the Auburn Tigers. The legendary name has been followed by many legendary Tigers players, including Auburn’s three Heisman Trophy winners — Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson and Cam Newton. After setting several SEC and school records, Sullivan became the Tigers’ first Heisman recipient in 1971. The senior quarterback led Auburn to an undefeated season, throwing for 2,012 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was later honored SEC Player of the Year and selected to the All-SEC athletic and academic teams in 1970 and 1971.
NATIONAL CHAMPS: College football teams with the most national titles
Bo Jackson earned his spot in sports lore as an elite two-sport athlete. Aside from baseball, it was his football career that garnered national attention. He became Auburn’s first and only running back to rush for more than 4,000 yards in a career. After rushing for 1,786 and 17 touchdowns his senior year, he edged Chuck Long for the Heisman in what remains the closest vote in the award’s history.
Lastly, there’s Cam Newton, who won the Heisman overwhelmingly in 2010. One year removed from backing up Tim Tebow at Florida, he became the first double-transfer to win the award after throwing for 2,589 yards, 28 touchdowns and six interceptions and rushing for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Army — 3
Winners: 1945 Felix “Doc” Blanchard, 1946 Glenn Davis, 1958 Pete Dawkins
The Heisman Trophy has been awarded to the same school in back-to-back years four times, and Army made history by being the second to do it in 1945 and 1946. Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis were both neck and neck in Heisman voting in 1945, but Blanchard, the junior fullback, rushed for 722 yards, received for 166 yards and scored 17 touchdowns to earn the Heisman, edging out his teammate. Davis took his runner-up finish in voting as redemption in 1946. He rushed for 712 yards, received for 348 yards and scored 13 touchdowns, earning the trophy in 1946.
With the Blanchard-Davis duo, Army went 27-0-1 and won three national championships.
Florida — 3
Winners: 1966 Steve Spurrier, 1996 Danny Wuerffel, 2007 Tim Tebow
Some say Tebow changed the game of football. And for the three full years he manned Florida’s quarterback position, he was the face of the college game. He opened the door for football’s underclassmen by becoming the sport’s first sophomore to ever win a Heisman trophy. Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Alabama’s Mark Ingram then followed him in 2008 and 2009 as sophomore Heisman recipients.
The spread quarterback rushed and passed for 51 touchdowns and threw for 3,132 yards with just six interceptions in the 2007 regular season.
Florida State — 3
Winners: 1993 Charlie Ward, 2000 Chris Weinke, 2013 Jameis Winston
When mentioning a Florida Gator great, a Florida State Seminole legend must follow. For a program that has countless household names, Jameis Winston practically surpassed all. As a freshman, he led Florida State to its third national championship, becoming the first redshirt freshman to win a Heisman and national title in the same season. The two-sport athlete threw for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns for a 190.04 pass efficiency rating — the second-best among Heisman winners. He surpassed both his Seminole Heisman predecessors in season touchdowns while being the second freshman in history to win the trophy.
Michigan — 3
Winners: 1940 Tom Harmon, 1991 Desmond Howard, 1997 Charles Woodson
Desmond Howard was a spectacle to watch every Saturday. His acrobatic catches, key returns and high football IQ created a sound foundation for his award-winning junior season. He received for 960 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns. His Heisman pose to punctuate his score during the 1991 Ohio State-Michigan game captured the hearts of many. Well, maybe not Michigan fans. At the time, he won the Heisman with the second largest margin in the history of the award.
Six years later, Charles Woodson became one of the few players to win the Heisman with significant minutes on both sides of the ball. In 1997, he intercepted seven passes, collected 43 tackles and received for 231 yards and one touchdown to propel the Wolverines to a national title.
Nebraska — 3
Winners: 1972 Johnny Rodgers, 1983 Mike Rozier, 2001 Eric Crouch
Noted as one of the best option quarterbacks ever, Eric Crouch combined 1,510 passing yards with a career-high 1,115 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns to secure the 2001 Heisman Trophy. In addition to the Heisman, he earned the Walter Camp Player-of-the-Year award and the Davey O’Brien quarterback award that year, as the Huskers went on to lose the Miami Hurricanes in the national title game. Crouch walked off the Nebraska campus holding 32 school records.
Heisman Trophy winners from 1935 to today
|1943||Angelo Bertelli*||Notre Dame||QB||64.80%||Senior|
|1944||Les Horvath||Ohio State||HB/QB||18.31%||Senior|
|1947||Johnny Lujack||Notre Dame||QB||74.20%||Senior|
|1949||Leon Hart*||Notre Dame||TE||36.53%||Senior|
|1950||Vic Janowicz||Ohio State||HB/P||22.03%||Junior|
|1953||Johnny Lattner||Notre Dame||HB||49.14%||Senior|
|1955||Howard Cassady||Ohio State||HB||55.87%||Senior|
|1956||Paul Hornung‡||Notre Dame||QB||26.96%||Senior|
|1957||John David Crow||Texas A&M||HB||31.12%||Senior|
|1962||Terry Baker*||Oregon State||QB||21.25%||Senior|
|1964||John Huarte||Notre Dame||QB||30.98%||Senior|
|1968||O. J. Simpson‡||USC||HB||80.64%||Senior|
|1973||John Cappelletti||Penn State||RB||32.78%||Senior|
|1974||Archie Griffin||Ohio State||RB||59.53%||Junior|
|1975||Archie Griffin||Ohio State||RB||57.64%||Senior|
|1980||George Rogers*||South Carolina||RB||35.81%||Senior|
|1984||Doug Flutie||Boston College||QB||71.11%||Senior|
|1987||Tim Brown†||Notre Dame||WR||45.78%||Senior|
|1988||Barry Sanders†||Oklahoma State||RB||68.27%||Junior|
|1993||Charlie Ward||Florida State||QB||83.79%||Senior‡|
|1995||Eddie George||Ohio State||RB||52.84%||Senior|
|2000||Chris Weinke||Florida State||QB||58.86%||Senior|
|2006||Troy Smith||Ohio State||QB||91.63%||Senior‡|
|2009||Mark Ingram Jr.||Alabama||RB||46.99%||Sophomore|
|2011||Robert Griffin III||Baylor||QB||60.66%||Junior‡|
|2012||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||QB||72.88%||Freshman‡|
|2013||Jameis Winston*||Florida State||QB||79.12%||Freshman‡|
*first overall NFL draft pick
†award forfeited due to NCAA policy violations