University of Texas

Ricky Williams broke Tony Dorsett's 22-year-old NCAA career rushing record on his way to joining Earl Campbell as the second Texas player to win the Heisman.

Heisman Winner

Ricky Williams

RB | Senior | University of Texas

Williams broke Tony Dorsett’s 22-year-old NCAA career rushing record and joined Earl Campbell to become the second Texas player to win the Heisman.

The 6-foot, 225-pound Williams was born in San Diego, Calif., where he prepped at Patrick Henry High. He was considered one of the top running backs in the country as a 1994 senior, when he rushed for 2,099 yards and 25 touchdowns. Williams left the West Coast and signed with Texas, citing the state’s love of football.

He began his career in Austin as a fullback in a freshman year that saw him break Campbell’s freshman rushing record with 990 yards and eight touchdowns on just 166 carries. As a sophomore, he rushed for 100 yards seven times and registered 1,272 yards and 12 TDs.

Williams broke out as a junior, leading the nation with 1,893 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns while finishing fifth in the 1997 Heisman vote.  He entered 1998 as one of the front runners for the award and, also, within reach of Dorsett’s record.

Williams solidified his place in college football history with a dash to that record and the Heisman Trophy in 1998. Williams led Texas to a 9-3 record, set 21 NCAA records and received what was then the greatest percentage of first-place votes cast in Heisman history (43% of the 920 voters). Williams produced one of the finest seasons in college football history in 1998, rushing for 2,124 yards and 27 TDs. He also became the first-ever two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award and claimed the Maxwell and Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year awards.

Texas officially retired Williams’ No. 34 jersey in a pregame ceremony prior to the Oklahoma State game on Sept. 30, 2000.

In the 1999 NFL draft, Mike Ditka and the New Orleans Saints stunned the sports world by trading their entire draft in 1999 and first and third-round selections in 2000 (to the Washington Redskins) for the right to select Williams with the fifth pick.
The selection of Williams marks the first time in NFL history that one player has been a team’s entire draft class.

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Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 921 - Announced: December 12, 1998.

  Player Class Position School 1st2nd3rd Total Points
1Ricky WilliamsSRRBTexas71491312355
2Michael BishopSRQBKansas State41250169792
3Cade McNownSRQBUCLA28217178696
4Tim CrouchJRQBKentucky26153143527
5Donovan McNabbRS SRQBSyracuse135485232
6Daunte CulpepperSRQBUCF5113067
7Champ BaileyJRDB/WR/STGeorgia682155
8Torry HoltSRWRNorth Carolina State283244
9Joe GermaineRS SRQBOhio State2111543
10Shaun KingSRQBTulane1111338

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 Points
1Ricky Williams398
2Tim Couch162
3Michael Bishop93
4Cade McNown85

Northeast

  Player Points
1Ricky Williams382
2Michael Bishop123
3Cade McNown106
4Tim Couch59

Mid-Atlantic

  Player Points
1Ricky Williams403
2Michael Bishop107
3Cade McNown102
4Tim Couch99

Midwest

  Player Points
1Ricky Williams384
2Michael Bishop144
3Cade McNown106
4Tim Couch65

Southwest

  Player Points
1Ricky Williams404
2Cade McNown193
3Michael Bishop112
4Tim Couch80

Far West

  Player Points
1Ricky Williams384
2Cade McNown185
3Michael Bishop132
4Tim Couch62

Statistics

Ricky Williams’ Heisman Year Statistics

Date Opponent Result Att Yds YPC TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays APY YPP Total TDs
09/05/98 New Mexico State W 66-36 36 215 5.97 6 0 0 0.00 0 36 215 6.0 6
09/12/98 at #8 UCLA L 31-49 29 160 5.51 1 3 54 18.00 0 32 214 6.7 1
09/19/98 at #10 Kansas State L 7-48 25 43 1.72 0 1 6 6.00 0 26 49 1.9 0
09/26/98 Rice W 59-21 30 318 10.60 6 4 32 8.00 0 34 350 10.3 6
10/03/98 Iowa State W 54-33 37 350 9.45 5 2 17 8.50 0 39 367 9.4 5
10/10/98 + Oklahoma W 34-3 31 139 4.48 2 3 27 9.00 0 34 166 4.9 2
10/24/98 Baylor W 30-20 39 259 6.64 2 2 10 5.00 0 41 269 6.6 2
10/31/98 at #19 Nebraska W 20-16 37 150 4.05 0 0 0 0.00 0 37 150 4.1 0
11/07/98 Oklahoma State W 37-24 23 90 3.91 1 3 74 24.60 1 26 164 6.3 2
11/14/98 at Texas Tech L 35-42 30 141 4.70 1 1 6 6.00 0 31 147 4.7 1
11/27/98 #11 Texas A&M W 26-24 44 259 5.88 1 5 36 7.20 0 49 295 6.0 1
Heisman Stats AP #20 8-3 361 2124 5.88 27 24 262 10.91 1 385 2386 6.2 28
01/01/99 + Mississippi State W 38-11 30 203 6.76 2 5 45 9.00 0 35 248 7.1 2
Totals Coaches #16, AP #15 9-3 391 2427 6.20 29 29 307 10.58 1 420 2734 6.5 30

(+) Neutral Site

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Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB