Age and the Heisman

“Youth is wasted on the young” is a common saying that does not apply to Heisman Trophy winners, all of whom (with one exception) accomplished this life-changing feat before reaching their 24th birthdays.

It’s well known by now in Heisman lore that Lamar Jackson of Louisville is the youngest winner (age 19 years, 337 days) and that Florida State’s Chris Weinke (age 28 years, 131 days) is the oldest. But these two didn’t always hold that distinction.

Here’s a look at the progression of the youngest and oldest winners.

The Youngest Heisman Winners (Progession)

Year Player Age
1935 Jay Berwanger 21 years,
260 days
1936 Larry Kelley 21 years,
191 days
1938 Davey O’Brien 21 years,
164 days
1939 Nile Kinnick 21 years,
137 days
1940 Tom Harmon 21 years,
77 days
1945 Felix “Doc” Blanchard 20 years,
363 days
1950 Vic Janowicz 20 years,
288 days
1958 Pete Dawkins 20 years,
275 days
1964 John Huarte 20 years,
232 days
1974 Archie Griffin 20 years,
104 days
1994 Rashaan Salaam 20 years,
63 days
2009 Mark Ingram 19 years,
356 days
2013 Jameis Winston 19 years,
342 days
2016 Lamar Jackson 19 years,
337 days

The Oldest Heisman Winners (Progression)

Year Player Age
1935 Jay Berwanger 21 years
260 days
1937 Clinton Frank 22 years,
79 days
1942 Angelo Bertelli 22 years,
167 days
1944 Les Horvath 23 years,
52 days
1978 Billy Sims 23 years,
78 days
2000 Chris Weinke 28 years,
131 days