University of Southern California

Simpson won USC's second Heisman while setting the NCAA single-season rushing mark in 1968.

Heisman Winner

O.J. Simpson

RB | Senior | University of Southern California

Simpson, one of the greatest backs in football history, won USC’s second Heisman (and its second in four years) while setting the NCAA single-season rushing mark in 1968.

Born in San Francisco, Simpson graduate from Galileo High in 1965 as a star running back, defensive back and track athlete. He attended City College of San Francisco for his first two seasons and was named a junior college All-American as a running back in 1966 (he is the first of three Heisman winners to attend junior college).

The 6-2, 210-pound Simpson transferred to USC in 1967, where he immediately became a star on the track that spring, finishing sixth in NCAA 100m-dash while also running the third leg on the world-record setting 440-yard relay squad that won an NCAA title. The following fall, Simpson led the nation in rushing with 1,543 yards and scored 13 touchdowns to help lead USC to a 10-1 record and the national title. He finished second in the Heisman to UCLA’s Gary Beban.

As a senior, Simpson ran wild, logging 1,709 yards and scoring 22 touchdowns in the regular season as USC went 9-0-1 and finished second in the polls. He carried the ball an NCAA-record 334 times. Not surprisingly, Simpson cruised to the Heisman, winning by a record margin of 1,750 points.

In his 22-game career, Simpson gained 3,423 yards and scored 36 touchdowns playing for teams that went a combined 19-2-1 while winning a national title and two Pac-8 crowns. He also threw three touchdown passes as a Trojan.

He was selected as the first overall pick in the 1969 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills and had a great football career. He became the first pro player to rush for over 2,000 yards when he gained 2,003 in 1973 in just 14 games. He later went on to be seen on television and movie screens regularly and was a sports broadcaster for NBC and ABC.

Simpson was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1985.

Simpson died on April 10, 2024, at the age of 76.

More Articles About O.J. Simpson

Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 1,200 - Announced: November 26, 1968.

 PlayerClassPositionSchool1st2nd3rdTotal Points
1O.J. SimpsonSRRBUSC855128822,853
2Leroy KeyesSRRB-CBPurdue493582401,103
3Terry HanrattySRQBNotre Dame2286149387
4Ted KwalickSRTEPenn State146974254
5Ted HendricksSRDEMiami (Fla.)75249174
6Ron JohnsonSRRBMichigan123650158
7Bob DouglassSRQBKansas93339132
8Chris GilbertSRRBTexas123420124
9Brian DowlingSRQBYale152524119
10Ron SellersSRWRFlorida State7252091

Three points are awarded for first place on a ballot, with two points for second place and one point for third place.

Heisman Voting By Region

At this time, Heisman voters are spread out across five regions.


1O.J. Simpson
2Leroy Keyes
3Ted Hendricks
4Ron Sellers
5Terry Hanratty


1O.J. Simpson
2Leroy Keyes
3Ted Kwalick
4Terry Hanratty
5Brian Dowling


1O.J. Simpson
2Leroy Keyes
3Terry Hanratty
4Ron Johnson
5Bob Douglass


1O.J. Simpson
2Chris Gilbert
3Leroy Keyes
4Terry Hanratty
5Bob Douglass

Far West

1O.J. Simpson
2Leroy Keyes
3Bill Enyart
4Terry Hanratty
5Ted Kwalick


DateOpponentResultAttYardsYPCTDRecYardsAvgTDPlaysAll-Purpose YardsYPPTotal TDs
9/21/68at #18 MinnesotaW 29-20392366.0546579.500452936.54
9/28/68at NorthwesternW 24-7341895.553000.000341895.63
10/5/68MiamiW 28-3381634.2822105.000401734.32
10/12/68at #20 StanfordW 27-24472204.683144.000482244.73
10/19/68WashingtonW 14-7331725.212000.000331725.22
11/2/68at OregonW 20-1325672.6811-4-4.00026632.41
11/9/68CaliforniaW 35-17311645.292000.000311645.32
11/16/68#15 Oregon StateW 17-13472385.0612126.000492505.11
11/23/68UCLAW 28-16402055.1233248.00045272*6.03
11/30/68#5 Notre DameT 21-2121552.6113237.6702594^3.81
Heisman StatsAP #2, UPI #29-0-135517094.8122181267.000379**1966**5.222
1/1/69+#1 Ohio StateL 27-16281716.10188510.63037276$7.51
Totals9-1-1, AP #438318804.9023262118.11041622425.423

(+) Neutral Site
(*) Include 2 kickoff returns for 43 yards vs UCLA
(^) Includes 1 kickoff for 16 yards vs. Notre Dame
($) Includes 1 kickoff for 20 yards vs. Ohio State
(**) Includes 3 miscellaneous kickoff returns for 72 yards (Simpson had 7 KOR for 151 yards total in 1968)


O.J. Simpson - Heisman Winner
O.J. Simpson - Heisman Winner
O.J. Simpson - Heisman Winner