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1976 - 42nd Award
Tony Dorsett
Pittsburgh Back

In his fabulous four-year career at Pittsburgh, Dorsett established so many NCAA records that he deserves his own record book. Just to skim the surface Tony has most yards gained, most seasons gaining 1,000 yards, most seasons gaining 1,500 yards, most rushes, most yards rushing, most yards gained in a season and many freshman records as well. As a freshman Tony weighed only 155 lbs. but a strenuous weight lifting program brought him up to 192 lbs. Even as a "lightweight" he was a star, finishing 13th in Heisman voting as a freshman. He rushed for 1,948 yards his freshman year which gave him a four-year total of 6,082. Dorsett beat Ricky Bell, his only serious competition, by an overwhelming 701-73 margin in first place votes. In 1967, Tony led his team to a national championship by defeating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. After a publicity blitz, Tony went to the Dallas Cowboys for the 1977 season starting in the backfield under the 1963 Heisman winner Roger Staubach. In 1977, he was named "Rookie of the Year" and played in the Super Bowl. Dorsett, who retired from the NFL in 1990, is owner of Touchdown Productions.

Tony was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1994.

The Voting

 

Points

 

Place

Name

School

Class

Pos.

1

2

3

Total

1stTony DorsettPittsburghSr.RB701112 302,357
2ndRicky BellSouthern CaliforniaSr.TB 734851571,346
3rdRob LytleMichiganSr.RB 35 85138413
4thTerry MillerOklahoma StatJr.TB 18 43 57197
5thTommy KramerRiceSr.QB 6 7 3163
6thGifford NielsenBrigham YoungJr. QB 1 7 2845
7th Ray GoffGeorgiaSr.QB 2 12 1444
8thMike VoightNorth CarolinaSr.RB 1 7 2441
9thJoe RothCaliforniaSr.QB 0 6 2032
10thJeff DankworthUCLASr.QB 2 6 1331

Tony Dorsett's point total of 2,357 was second only to O.J. Simpson's 2,853 in 1968. Dorsett registered a 1,011-point margin of victory over Southern Cal's Ricky Bell, whose 1,346 total would have been high enough to win in several years. In what was primarily a two-man race, Dorsett and Bell finished one-two in all five sections.

No. of registered electors: 1,048
Date of announcement: November 30, 1976
Date of dinner: December 9, 1976

The positions within each region are as follows:

PlaceEASTSOUTHMIDWESTSOUTHWESTFAR WEST
1stDorsettDorsettDorsettDorsettDorsett
2ndBellBellBellBellBell
3rdLytleLytleLytleMillerLytle
4thMillerGoffMillerLytleNielsen
5thPagliaroVoightJohnsonKramerMiller

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