John W. Heisman was born in Cleveland, Ohio on the 23rd of October, 1869. Today his name is part of one of the greatest football traditions. With every passing decade the Heisman Memorial Trophy grows in importance and it is becoming the most respected achievement a football player can receive. This true innovator analyzed this sport like no other and managed to change its dynamics forever. Growing up somewhere in Pennsylvania, he started off in the world of soccer and rugby. When he turned 17 he joined Brown University. Here is where he entered the world of football along with several of his class mates. After transferring to Penn in order to follow his true dream of becoming a law student he overcame his mediocre athletic stature and played varsity football.
He started coaching at Oberlin College where he became popular for a seven out of seven winning streak. After that he trained several other teams reaching the peak of his career at Georgia Tech, managing to pull off 33 straight wins. He retired at age 62 and is still remembered as one of the most inventive and innovative coaches that has ever set foot on a football field.
Today the Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding player in college football. It is presented sometime in December and it is one of the oldest traditions in this sport. Over the years several players impressed audiences with incredible college performances but only a few held their own in the big leagues.
Here is a top five list of the greatest Heisman Trophy champions:
5. Reggie Bush
Winning the Heisman in 2005, he is known for one of the best plays ever seen on TV. He faked a defender with only one shoe, jumped over the corner back and managed one incredible touchdown. He became the most spectacular player of the 21st century even though having no consistency with his NFL team, the New Orleans Saints.
4. Barry Sanders
The fourth player on the list is part of what is known as the greatest season of college history. Barry Sanders was Oklahoma State`s running back and managed to set an incredible 25 NCAA records during 1988. He set the record for most touchdowns and most rushing yards in a single season. His performance of 2628 yards and 39 touchdowns is still standing unbeaten today. He became an NFL star and retired after a 10 year career.
3. Doug Flutie
Doug Flutie was 1984`s Heisman Trophy winner. Although not being given many chances because of his physique he managed to throw an incredible 10.579 yards in his four years spent at Boston College. He remained in history books for a movie like game ending when he managed to throw the winning touchdown pass against Miami. He pulled a Hail Mary and 1984 became the best year of his life. He struggled in the NFL and eventually found glory in the Canadian Football League. In the 1990s he joined the Buffalo Bills.
2. Herschel Walker
The second place is occupied by the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, Herschel Walker. Blazing through his junior season with an all-time high 1616 yards he managed to run a 5259 total in his career. He is still the record holder for most yards in three seasons. Sport enthusiasts characterized him as the all-around athlete. He was truly gifted being named an All-American sprinter and participating in the bobsled event at the Winter Olympics. He was drafted by the NJ Generals and became a star player. In 2008 he revealed the fact he struggled with a severe mental illness known as multiple personality disorder.
1. Archie Griffin
Ranking first is the only two time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. He managed to achieve college football greatness in 1974 and 1975 and even today remains an idol for the young players in the Buckeye State. He impressed both on and off the field, making Ohio State coach Woody H. state he has never encountered such an incredible person and football player. His career is remembered for the 4000 yards he managed to run for Ohio State and the impressive victory against longtime rivals Michigan. He was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and played there for seven NFL seasons.