January 31, 2023

It’s been almost half a century since Archie Griffin became the only repeat winner of the Heisman Trophy. Since running back Ohio State, now 68, easily passed Cal’s Chuck Muncie and USC’s Rickey Bell in 1975 to win their second Heisman, 11 players have had the opportunity to repeat themselves as winners of the prestigious honor.

If very early odds prove right, USC quarterback Caleb Williams will make history alongside Griffin Heisman. Here are the 11 who have had a chance to repeat since Griffin accepted the award a second time.

Billy Sims, Oklahoma, 1978 Heisman winner

Sims is the only player on this list to come second in the Heisman vote the year after winning. In 1979, he finished a distant second (nearly 900 points) behind USC running back Charles White, who sadly passed away on January 11 at the age of 64.

Ty Detmer, BYU, 1990 Heisman Winner

Detmer had an impressive 1991 season, albeit not impressive enough, as Michigan receiver and return specialist Desmond Howard easily won the Heisman. Florida quarterback Casey Weldon was voted second with Detmer third.

Jason White, Oklahoma, 2003 Heisman Winner

A far cry from the wishbone’s Billy Sims/Barry Switzer era, White defeated Pitt receiver Larry Fitzgerald by 128 voting points to win the Heisman. He had a slightly better passing efficiency rating in 2004, despite finishing third behind winner Matt Leinart and teammate Adrian Peterson. White, who was more than 300 votes behind Leinart, was just 40 points behind Peterson and had more first-place votes than the running back by 171-154. Leinart had 267 first-place votes.

Matt Leinart, USC, 2004 Heisman Winner

Like White, Leinart followed up his Heisman-winning season by finishing third in voting. Also, a teammate was one of the two players ahead of him when Reggie Bush, who finished fifth in 2004, easily passed Texas quarterback Vince Young (933 points) to win the 2005 award. Leinart was more than 800 points behind Young. (Bush returned the trophy after an NCAA investigation.)

Tim Tebow, Florida, 2007 Heisman winner

Tebow played two more seasons after winning the Heisman as a sophomore. So if he didn’t win for consecutive years, he could still have been a two-time winner. In 2008, Tebow had the most first-place votes (309) only to finish third behind winner, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford (300). Texas quarterback Colt McCoy (266) was trapped between them. Tebow was 151 points behind Bradford and 29 behind McCoy. He finished his UF career in 2009 in fifth place.

Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, 2008 Heisman Winner

Like Tebow, Bradford was a sophomore when he won the award. However, his 2009 season was limited to three games due to shoulder injuries. It was the last three games of his college career.

Mark Ingram, Alabama, 2009 Heisman Winner

As the third straight runner-up to win the Heisman, the Crimson Tide running back followed with a solid but injury-plagued 2010 season. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton easily outperformed Stanford QB Andrew Luck to win the honors.

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 2012 Heisman Winner

After winning the honors as a redshirt freshman, Manziel’s second and final season as a player at College Station was also very impressive. However, it resulted in a fifth-place finish and well behind the 2013 winner, who was another redshirt freshman: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.

Jameis Winston, Florida State, 2013 Heisman Winner

Winston’s second and final season in Tallahassee resulted in him finishing sixth in the 2014 vote, with Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota taking the award with ease. The two are forever linked as consecutive Heisman winners and are back-to-back picks (Winston, Tampa Bay and Mariota, Tennessee) in the 2015 NFL draft.

Lamar Jackson, Louisville, 2016 Heisman Winner

Jackson put together two phenomenal seasons in 2016 and 2017. What stopped him from repeating himself as a Heisman winner was the year the Oklahoma quarterback had Baker Mayfield in 2017. Also, with Bryce Love, Stanford finished second in the voting well ahead of Jackson, who finished third.

Bryce Young, Alabama, 2021 Winner

After easily winning the Heisman in 2021, Young had a stellar 2022. However, USC’s Caleb Williams won the award, with Young taking sixth place on the vote.


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