Not too long ago we took a look at Heisman Trophy Winners in the Hall of Fame.
We received a great comment from a reader named Mike who asked:
“I would like to know how many heisman runner-ups, for example Steve Young, went on to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. It would be ironic if that number was higher than 8.”
Not only is this a great question, I thought it was a great idea for a whole separate post.
Winning the Heisman Trophy is an awesome accomplishment, but it doesn’t guarantee NFL greatness. There are plenty of trophy winners who have played well in the pros, had average careers, and been thought of as busts. The same is true of those that have finished second in the balloting for the Heisman.
There are five players who have finished second in Heisman Trophy balloting and gone on to earn their way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
Charlie Trippi – 1946
Bob Griese – 1966
O.J. Simpson – 1967*
John Elway – 1982
Steve Young – 1983
*While O.J. Simpson did in fact finish second in the 1967 Heisman Trophy balloting and also make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he also won the award in 1968 so is included on the list of Heisman winners who are in the Hall of Fame too. Two other players, Tom Harmon in the 1940’s and Herschel Walker in the 1980’s, have also finished second in balloting and then later won the award. Neither of them is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame though.
Also, while only five players make it onto this list, there are four others who are still active and who will most likely be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame eventually: Marshall Faulk, Peyton Manning, Larry Fitzgerald, and Adrian Peterson. If that happens, that would up the total to nine which would be one more than the amount of trophy winners in the Hall of Fame at this point in time.
While most know that Ohio State running back Archie Griffin is the only player to have ever won the Heisman Trophy twice, there are three players who have finished second in the balloting twice: Glenn Davis in 1944 and 1945, Charlie Justice in 1948 and 1949, and Darren McFadden in 2006 and 2007.