University of Texas

Ricky Williams broke Tony Dorsett's 22-year-old NCAA career rushing record on his way to joining Earl Campbell as the second Texas player to win the Heisman.

Heisman Winner

Ricky Williams

RB | Senior | University of Texas

Williams broke Tony Dorsett’s 22-year-old NCAA career rushing record and joined Earl Campbell to become the second Texas player to win the Heisman.

The 6-foot, 225-pound Williams was born in San Diego, Calif., where he prepped at Patrick Henry High. He was considered one of the top running backs in the country as a 1994 senior, when he rushed for 2,099 yards and 25 touchdowns. Williams left the West Coast and signed with Texas, citing the state’s love of football.

He began his career in Austin as a fullback in a freshman year that saw him break Campbell’s freshman rushing record with 990 yards and eight touchdowns on just 166 carries. As a sophomore, he rushed for 100 yards seven times and registered 1,272 yards and 12 TDs.

Williams broke out as a junior, leading the nation with 1,893 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns while finishing fifth in the 1997 Heisman vote.  He entered 1998 as one of the front runners for the award and, also, within reach of Dorsett’s record.

Williams solidified his place in college football history with a dash to that record and the Heisman Trophy in 1998. Williams led Texas to a 9-3 record, set 21 NCAA records and received what was then the greatest percentage of first-place votes cast in Heisman history (43% of the 920 voters). Williams produced one of the finest seasons in college football history in 1998, rushing for 2,124 yards and 27 TDs. He also became the first-ever two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award and claimed the Maxwell and Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year awards.

Texas officially retired Williams’ No. 34 jersey in a pregame ceremony prior to the Oklahoma State game on Sept. 30, 2000.

In the 1999 NFL draft, Mike Ditka and the New Orleans Saints stunned the sports world by trading their entire draft in 1999 and first and third-round selections in 2000 (to the Washington Redskins) for the right to select Williams with the fifth pick.
The selection of Williams marks the first time in NFL history that one player has been a team’s entire draft class.

More Articles About Ricky Williams

Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 921 - Announced: December 12, 1998.

 PlayerClassPositionSchool1st2nd3rdTotal Points
1Ricky WilliamsSRRBTexas71491312355
2Michael BishopSRQBKansas State41250169792
3Cade McNownSRQBUCLA28217178696
4Tim CrouchJRQBKentucky26153143527
5Donovan McNabbRS SRQBSyracuse135485232
6Daunte CulpepperSRQBUCF5113067
7Champ BaileyJRDB/WR/STGeorgia682155
8Torry HoltSRWRNorth Carolina State283244
9Joe GermaineRS SRQBOhio State2111543
10Shaun KingSRQBTulane1111338

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

Heisman voters are spread out across six regions, with roughly 145 per region.


1Ricky Williams398
2Tim Couch162
3Michael Bishop93
4Cade McNown85


1Ricky Williams382
2Michael Bishop123
3Cade McNown106
4Tim Couch59


1Ricky Williams403
2Michael Bishop107
3Cade McNown102
4Tim Couch99


1Ricky Williams384
2Michael Bishop144
3Cade McNown106
4Tim Couch65


1Ricky Williams404
2Cade McNown193
3Michael Bishop112
4Tim Couch80

Far West

1Ricky Williams384
2Cade McNown185
3Michael Bishop132
4Tim Couch62


Ricky Williams’ Heisman Year Statistics

DateOpponentResultAttYdsYPCTDRecYdsAvgTDPlaysAPYYPPTotal TDs
09/05/98New Mexico StateW 66-36362155.976000.000362156.06
09/12/98at #8 UCLAL 31-49291605.51135418.000322146.71
09/19/98at #10 Kansas StateL 7-4825431.720166.00026491.90
09/26/98RiceW 59-213031810.6064328.0003435010.36
10/03/98Iowa StateW 54-33373509.4552178.500393679.45
10/10/98+ OklahomaW 34-3311394.4823279.000341664.92
10/24/98BaylorW 30-20392596.6422105.000412696.62
10/31/98at #19 NebraskaW 20-16371504.050000.000371504.10
11/07/98Oklahoma StateW 37-2423903.91137424.601261646.32
11/14/98at Texas TechL 35-42301414.701166.000311474.71
11/27/98#11 Texas A&MW 26-24442595.8815367.200492956.01
Heisman StatsAP #208-336121245.88272426210.91138523866.228
01/01/99+ Mississippi StateW 38-11302036.7625459.000352487.12
TotalsCoaches #16, AP #159-339124276.20292930710.58142027346.530

(+) Neutral Site


Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB
Ricky Williams 1998 Heisman Texas RB