University of Southern California

Allen became the fourth USC running back to win the Heisman while becoming the first player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season.

Heisman Winner

Marcus Allen

RB | Senior | University of Southern California

Allen became the fourth USC running back to win the Heisman while becoming the first player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season. He is arguably the most decorated player in the history of football as he is the only player to win a national title, a Heisman, a Super Bowl, a Super Bowl MVP award and an NFL regular-season MVP award.

The 6-2, 210-pound Allen was born in San Diego, Calif., where he was an all-star quarterback and safety at Lincoln High. In the 1977 San Diego Section 2A championship victory over Kearny, Allen rushed for 195 yards and scored all five of Lincoln’s touchdowns (one on defense).

The highly-coveted recruit signed with USC in the spring of 1978 as a safety, but was moved to tailback that fall. As the backup to Charles White, he carried the ball 31 times for 171 yards as the Trojans won the 1978 national title. He was moved to the fullback spot in 1979 and Allen responded with 649 yards and eight touchdowns while playing the role of lead blocker for White’s Heisman bid. As a 1980 junior, Allen moved back to tailback and promptly rushed for 1,563 yards and 14 scores while leading the nation in all-purpose yardage.

His senior season of 1981 was one of the greatest in Heisman history. He topped the 200-yard rushing mark in eight of 11 games and totaled 2,342 yards while scoring 23 touchdowns (while also catching 29 passes) as the Trojans finished 9-2 on the year.

Allen was awarded the Heisman as well as the Maxwell and Walter Camp player of the year awards. He finished his four college seasons with 4,669 rushing yards, 5,232 total yards, and 46 touchdowns, while averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

Drafted with the 10th pick of the 1982 first round by the Oakland Raiders, Allen played professionally until 1997, when he retired from the Kansas City Chiefs. He was the MVP of the 1984 Super Bowl and the NFL’s MVP in 1985.

Allen was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1999.

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Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 1050 - Announced: December 5, 1981.

  Player Class Position School 1st2nd3rd Total Points
1Marcus AllenSRRBUSC441204661797
2Herschel WalkerSORBGeorgia1522781871199
3Jim McMahonSRQBBYU91131171706
4Dan MarinoJRQBPittsburgh1651106256
5Art SchlichterSRQBOhio State211556149
6Darrin NelsonSRRBStanford771348
7Anthony CarterJRWRMichigan2111442
8Kenneth SimsSRDTTexas361334
9Reggie CollierJRQBSo. Mississippi261230
10Rich DianaJRRBYale321023

Three points are awarded for first place on a ballot, with two points for second place and one point for third place.

Heisman Voting By Region

Heisman voters are spread out across six regions, with roughly 145 per region.

South

  Player
1Herschel Walker
2Marcus Allen
3Jim McMahon
4Dan Marino
5Reggie Collier

Northeast

  Player
1Marcus Allen
2Herschel Walker
3Jim McMahon
4Dan Marino
5Rich Diana

Mid-Atlantic

  Player
1Marcus Allen
2Herschel Walker
3Dan Marino
4Jim McMahon
5Art Schlichter

Midwest

  Player
1Marcus Allen
2Herschel Walker
3Art Schlichter
4Jim McMahon
5Anthony Carter

Southwest

  Player
1Marcus Allen
2Herschel Walker
3Jim McMahon
4Kenneth Sims
5Dan Marino

Far West

  Player
1Marcus Allen
2Jim McMahon
3Herschel Walker
4Darrin Nelson
5Dan Marino

Statistics

Marcus’s Heisman Year Statistics

Date Opponent Result Att Yds YPC TD Rec Yards Avg TD Plays APY YPP Total TDs
9/12/81 Tennessee W 43-7 22 210 9.55 4 4 21 5.25 0 26 231 8.9 4
9/19/81 at Indiana W 21-0 40 274 6.85 2 3 25 8.33 0 43 299 6.7 2
9/26/81 #14 Oklahoma W 28-24 39 208 5.33 2 3 15 5.00 0 42 223 5.3 2
10/3/81 at Oregon State W 56-22 35 233 6.70 3 2 26 13.00 0 37 259 7.0 3
10/10/81 Arizona L 10-13 26 211 8.12 1 1 2 2.00 0 27 213 7.9 1
10/17/81 Stanford W 25-17 40 153 3.83 1 4 69 17.25 0 44 222 5.0 1
10/24/81 at Notre Dame W 14-7 33 147 4.45 1 4 12 3.00 0 37 159 4.3 1
10/31/81 Washington State W 41-17 44 289 6.57 3 2 22 11.00 1 46 311 6.8 4
11/7/81 at California W 21-3 46 243 5.30 3 0 0 0.00 0 46 243 5.3 3
11/14/81 at #7 Washington L 3-13 38 155 4.07 0 2 5 2.50 0 40 160 4.0 0
11/21/81 UCLA W 22-21 40 219 5.48 2 4 20 5.00 0 44 239 5.4 2
Heisman Stats AP #8 9-2 403 2342 5.81 22 29 217 7.48 1 432 2559 6.0 23
01/01/82 + #3 Penn State L 10-26 30 85 2.83 0 5 39 7.80 0 35 124 3.5 0
Totals 9-3, AP #14, UPI #13 433 2427 5.60 22 34 256 7.52 1 467 2683 5.7 23

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