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1953 - 19th Award
John Lattner
Notre Dame Back

Lattner scored 20 touchdowns and 120 points for the Irish. He gained 3,095 yards rushing, catching passes, returning punts and kickoffs and intercepting passes. Notre Dame lost only three times in three years. The 195-pound smack-over halfback turned in fine performances in showcase games against the top caliber teams of Oklahoma, Purdue, Southern Cal. and Iowa. Lattner won the Heisman in 1953 even though he didn't even lead the Irish in passing, rushing, receiving or scoring. If you wanted a runner, Lattner ran for 1724 yards in his career and 20 touchdowns averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He caught 39 passes for 613 yards averaging 15.7 yards per catch for his career. He also was a game-breaking kick returner. He returned 11 kicks for 366 yards and 2 TDs along with 27 punt returns for 307 yards. Lattner held the Notre Dame record for all-purpose yards until Vagas Ferguson broke it in 1979. As great an offensive weapons as Lattner was, he was also a solid defensive back picking off 13 passes for his career. He also punted. John went from Notre Dame to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he tore up his knee playing in a military game and never played in the NFL again. He then served for two years in the Air Force ('55-'57). Afterwards he took up coaching at St. Joseph High School and Denver University. In 1962, he opened a steak house in Chicago, which bore his name as well as a second restaurant, Marina City. His Heisman Trophy was always proudly on display at Lattner's Steak House. He is currently Vice-President of Sales for PAL Graphics, Inc. He has been active in fund raising for many charities and serves on the Physical Fitness Committee of the State of Illinois.

John was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1979.

The Voting

 

Points

 

Place

Name

School

Class

Position

1

2

3

Total

1John LattnerNotre DameSr.HB3842831321,850
2Paul GielMinnesotaSr.TB3662951061,794
3Paul CameronUCLASr.HB4489134444
4Bernie FaloneyMarylandSr.QB463452258
5Bob GarrettStanfordSr.QB324349231
6Alan AmecheWisconsinJr.FB253860211
7J.C. CarolineIllinoisSo.HB153774193
8J.D. RobertsOklahomaSr.G62148108
9Lamar McHanArkansasSr.QB1512978
10Steve MeilingerKentuckySr.E1210965

With 1,255 media voting, this was the closest election since the Heisman started and is the third closes overall in Heisman history. Paul Giel's 1,794 points are the most ever for a second place finish and Giel also accumulated the most first place votes ever for a runner-up. Lattner took the East, South and Southwest and Giel won the Midwest and Far West. Giel moved on to professional baseball, pitching for the New York Giants, and then became athletic director at his alma mater, Minnesota.

Number of registered electors: 1,255
Date of announcement: December 1, 1953
Date of dinner: December 8, 1953

The positions within each region:

Place

East

South

Midwest

Southwest

Far West

1LattnerLattnerGielLattnerGiel
2GielGielLattnerGielLattner
3FaloneyFaloneyAmecheMcHanGarrett
4CarolineCameronCameronCameronCameron
5CameronMeilingerCarolineRobertsRoberts

With 1,255 media votes this was the closest election since the Heisman and was the third closest overall in Heisman history. Paul Giel's 1,794 points were the most ever for a second place finish and Giel also accumulated the most first place votes ever for a runner-up. Lattner took the East, South and Southwest and Giel won the Midwest and Far West. Giel moved on to professional baseball, pitching for the New York Giants, and then became athletic director at his alma mater, Minnesota.

Number of registered electors:
Date of announcement: 1 December
Date of dinner: 8 December 1953

The positions within each region:

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Kelloggs