Time for the latest in a series of trivia tidbits about Heisman Trophy winners. Today, a few notes on Heisman winners from the 1970s.
Did you know …
… 1970 was known as, “the year of the quarterback,” and Stanford’s Jim Plunkett beat out noted signal callers such as Notre Dame’s Joe Theismann and Mississippi’s Archie Manning.
… Plunkett was the fifth Heisman winner in a seven year span (1964-1970) to be born in California.
… Plunkett’s 2,715 passing yards was a Heisman record until topped by Doug Flutie in 1984.
… Plunkett is one of two Heisman winners with a Native American heritage, Sam Bradford being the other.
… Plunkett was the last West Coast Heisman winner not from USC until 2014, when Marcus Mariota won the award.
… Pat Sullivan was the last quarterback to win the Heisman until Flutie in 1984, a span of 12 seasons without a quarterback winner.
… Rodgers’ marks for catches (54), receiving yardage (919) and touchdown receptions (8) were Heisman records until surpassed by Desmond Howard in 1991.
… in an incredibly moving and heartfelt acceptance speech, John Cappelletti dedicated his 1973 Heisman Trophy to his ailing brother Joey. Cappalletti’s speech remains one of the most memorable moments in college sports history. Joey passed away from childhood leukemia in 1976. The bond between the two brothers was chronicled in the book, Something for Joey by Richard E. Peck. The book would later become a made for TV movie with the same name.
… Cappelletti’s sister-in-law is the daughter of 1954 Heisman Trophy winner Alan Ameche.
… Cappelletti almost chose to attend Villanova, where he played all of his home high school football games.
… Legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes said of Griffin, “He’s a better young man than he is a football player, and he’s the best football player I’ve ever seen.”
… Griffin won the Heisman Trophy 1974 and 1975, making him the only player to win the Heisman Trophy twice. Griffin was also a member of four Big Ten Championship teams and was the first player to start four Rose Bowls.
… Tony Dorsett was the first major college back to compile four 1,000-yard seasons. He became the first freshman consensus All-American since 1944.
… Dorsett decided to stay close to home and play for Pittsburgh after Notre Dame head coach Ara Parseghian said he was ‘too small’ to play for him.
… Dorsett finished his career at Pittsburgh having rushed for 6082 yards, an NCAA record that would stand until 1998, when it was surpassed by another Heisman winner, Texas running back Ricky Williams.
… Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, who unsuccessfully recruited Campbell, said in a 1989 book that Campbell was the only player he ever saw who could have gone straight from high school to the NFL and immediately become a star.
… Billy Sims was the sixth junior to win the Heisman and the first to do so after receiving a medical redshirt.
… SIms is the only player to finish as Heisman runner up after winning the Heisman (fifth player overall to do both).
… Charles White was the seventh-consecutive running back to win the award.
… White one of three Heisman winners (Bertelli and Palmer are the others) whose replacement (in this case Marcus Allen) also won a Heisman.
… because of an early-season injury, White won the Heisman despite appearing in the fewest regular season games of any Heisman winner since the NCAA allowed teams to move to an 11-game schedule in 1970.
… White is the last player to win a Heisman playing on a team with a tie.