Winning the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the best college football player of the year, brings with it a lot of attention and praise. The players who win this award are some of the best players to ever play college football. While many of them are drafted highly into the National Football League, winning the award is not a guarantee of pro football success.
Since the first Heisman Trophy was awarded in 1935 and through the year 2010, a span of 75 years, only eight players have won the Heisman Trophy and gone on to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here is a brief look at each one of those exceptional athletes.
Doak Walker starred at running back at Southern Methodist University and won the Heisman Trophy in 1948. He went on to play in the NFL and had a very successful career. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1986. The Doak Walker Award is named after him.
Paul Hornung won the Heisman Trophy in 1956 while starring for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He would go on to become one of the integral parts of Vince Lombardi’s 1960’s championship Green Bay Packers teams. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.
Playing for Navy, Roger Staubach had an incredibly successful college career and even won the Heisman Trophy in 1963. He would go on to become one of the most famous football players in the league as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys during the 1970’s when they were winning Super Bowls and establishing themselves as America’s Team. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
O.J. Simpson had an awesome career at the University of Southern California that culminated with him winning the Heisman Trophy in 1968. He would star for the Buffalo Bills and put up staggering numbers that had never been seen before from the running back position. He would go into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
Tony Dorsett won the Heisman Trophy in 1976 while playing college football for the University of Pittsburgh. He would go on to bigger fame as the star running back of the Dallas Cowboys. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1994.
Earl Campbell would play college football at the University of Texas where his exploits are still legendary. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1977 and then went on to become a star in the NFL with the Houston Oilers. He was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.
The University of Southern California had one of the best all around running backs ever during the early 1980’s in Marcus Allen. Following his college career, and his Heisman Trophy which he won in 1981, he was a star throughout the 1980’s for the Raiders. He played for the team in both Oakland and Los Angeles before ending his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
Barry Sanders put up incredible numbers at Oklahoma State University and won the Heisman Trophy in 1988. He would go on to play his entire career with the Detroit Lions, establishing himself as possibly the best to ever play the game. He was elected to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.