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1991 - 56th Award
Desmond Howard
Michigan Receiver

The 5-foot 10-inch, 170-pound junior sensation from Cleveland becomes the second Heisman recipient from the Ann Arbor school. It was in the Notre Dame game that Howard showed a spellbound national television audience just why he is the heart and soul of the 1991 Maize and Blue. With Michigan desperate to end a string of four consecutive defeats at Notre Dame's hands, an early Wolverine surge had run out of steam and the Irish were poised to take the lead. Then, quickly, Michigan moved into Notre Dame territory. On the crucial fourth-down-and-inches play that decided the outcome, Howard's old high school classmate, Wolverine quarterback Elvis Grbac, launched a high, floating spiral that seemed too distant to be caught. But the mercurial Howard raced under it, leaped as far as he could, and cradled the ball in his outstretched hands for the touchdown that gave Michigan one of its most cherished victories. The play is already enshrined in Ann Arbor lore as "the catch." In game after game, Howard has made dazzling receptions, run kickoffs back with reckless abandon and a wondrous facility for using his blockers to full open-field advantage, and carried the ball brilliantly on wide-sweeping reverses. Howard's 1991 season was amazing by any standards catching 61 passes for 950 yards and 19 touchdowns (23 total TDs.) He was the first receiver in Big Ten conference history to lead the league in scoring with 138 points. Add the 12 scores as a sophomore and two as a freshman, and Howard amassed an amazing 37 touchdowns in his UM career. The Washington Redskins drafted him in the first round. While he never caught on as a receiver, he's turned himself into one of the greatest kick returners in NFL history including a Super Bowl MVP with the Packers.













1stDesmond HowardMichiganJr.WR64068212,077
2ndCasey WeldonFlorida StateSr.QB1917596503
3rdTy DetmerBrigham YoungSr.QB19129130445
4thSteve EmtmanWashingtonJr.DT2910070357
5thShane MatthewsFloridaJr.QB117269246
6thVaughn DunbarIndianaSr.TB65153173
7thJeff BlakeEast CarolinaSr.QB72935114
8thTerrell BuckleyFlorida StateJr.DB12451102
9thMarshall FaulkSan Diego StateFr.RB0103252
10thBucky RichardsonTexas A & MSr.QB69945

Michigan's Desmond Howard won all six sections in recording the third highest margin of victory in Heisman Trophy history. Howard became the fourth consecutive junior and the second Michigan player to win the Heisman, 51 years after Hall of Famer Tom Harmon won his. Ty Detmer, the Brigham Young quarterback who was the Heisman winner in 1990, managed only a third place finish.

No. of registered electors: 917
Date of announcement: December 14, 1991
Date of dinner: December 17, 1991

The number of points by region and position within each region are as follows for the top five candidates:



Mid Atlantic




Far West


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