DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that five of the last 15 winners of the Heisman Memorial Trophy in college football was also selected as the first overall pick of their NFL draft class? In 2002, then-USC Trojan quarterback Carlson Palmer lifted the coveted football MVP award and was selected first overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, becoming the first Heisman winner in 16 years to achieve the feat. He was followed by former Arizona Cardinal Sam Bradford, who won the Heisman in 2008 and became the top draftee of the 2009 NFL selection. In 2010, Cam Newton, a rookie quarterback for the University of Florida, broke scoring records to earn the Heisman Trophy and become the top pick for the 2011 draft for the NFL, where he also put his name on history books with an MVP season and a runner-up finish in 2015.
Another notable Heisman trophy winner is Steve Spurrier, who received the 1966 award but gave the trophy to the school so it can be admired by students and teachers. This action led the Downtown Athletic Club (the organization that handles the award) to give two trophies to winners, one for himself and another for the school. The Heisman Trophy is not without tragedy, as the late Syracuse halfback Ernie Davis broke the racial barrier and became the first African-American to win the award in 1961 before being selected first overall in the 1962 NFL Draft by the admittedly racist owner of the Washington Redskins. He was immediately traded to the Cleveland Browns, though he could not play in the NFL since he lost his battle to leukemia and died just before the 1963 season started.