University of Wisconsin

Ron Dayne became Wisconsin's second Heisman winner after setting the NCAA career rushing record with 7,125 yards.

The "Dayne Train"

Ron Dayne

RB | Senior | University of Wisconsin

Dayne joined Alan Ameche as a Wisconsin Heisman winner after setting the NCAA career rushing record — a record that still stands today.

Dayne was born in Blacksburg, Va., but grew up mostly in New Jersey. His stardom began while attending Overbrook High School in Pine Hill, where he was heavily recruited for his football and track and field prowess. He won state titles in both the shot put and discus — his best of 216-11 in the discus throw is still one of the best prep marks of all time. On the gridiron, he rushed for 1,566 yards and scored 27 touchdowns as a junior and followed that up with 1,785 yards and 24 TDs as a senior.

Dayne averaged over 10 yards per carry during his high-school career, but as a 270-pound athlete, the expectation was that he would not play tailback in college. Most schools recruited him as a fullback, but Wisconsin saw him as a primary ball carrier, so he signed to play for the Badgers in the spring of 1996.

His impact was immediate and huge. The “Dayne Train” carried the ball 1,220 times in his college career, becoming the work horse in Wisconsin’s fabled ground game. He gained 1,863 yards as a freshman, 1,421 as a sophomore, 1,325 as a junior, and 1,834 as a senior, becoming one of only five players to rush for over a thousand yards in four consecutive years. He ended his college career with 6,397 rushing yards, a total that still stands as the most ever in FBS history, eclipsing Ricky Williams previous record set in 1998. When yardage from bowl games is included in Dayne‚Äôs NCAA rushing record, his total comes to a remarkable 7,125 yards.

Dayne led Wisconsin to back-to-back Rose Bowl victories in his final two seasons. In those games, he came up huge, rushing for a combined 446 yards in wins over UCLA and Stanford. He’s the only Big Ten player in history to win back-to-back Rose Bowl MVP awards.

Dayne was drafted 11th overall by the New York Giants in the 2000 NFL draft.

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Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 921 - Announced: December 11, 1999.

 PlayerClassPositionSchool1st2nd3rdTotal Points
1Ron DayneSRRBWisconsin586121422042
2Joe HamiltonSRQBGeorgia Tech96285136944
3Michael VickRS FRQBVirginia Tech2572100319
4Drew BreesJRQBPurdue389121308
5Chad PenningtonRS SRQBMarshall214591247
6Peter WarrickSRWRFlorida State145061203
7Shaun AlexanderSRRBAlabama114352171
8Thomas JonesSRRBVirginia103246140
9LaVar ArringtonJRLBPenn State3141754
10Tim RattaySRQBLouisiana Tech151629

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.


1Ron Dayne310
2Joe Hamilton193
3Michael Vick36
4Drew Brees33
5Chad Pennington25


1Ron Dayne345
2Joe Hamilton134
3Michael Vick77
4Drew Brees49
5Chad Pennington46


1Ron Dayne296
2Joe Hamilton198
3Chad Pennington75
4Michael Vick60
5Drew Brees33


1Ron Dayne393
2Joe Hamilton149
3Drew Brees79
4Michael Vick53
5Chad Pennington42


1Ron Dayne363
2Joe Hamilton166
3Michael Vick67
4Drew Brees53
5Chad Pennington25

Far West

1Ron Dayne335
2Joe Hamilton154
3Drew Brees64
4Chad Pennington31
5Michael Vick26


Ron Dayne’s Heisman Year Statistics

DateOpponentResultAttYdsYPCTDRecYdsAvgTDPlaysAPYYPPTotal TDs
09/04/99Murray StateW 49-10201356.753000.000201356.83
09/11/99Ball StateW 50-10311585.091000.000311585.11
09/18/99at CincinnatiL 12-17282318.251000.000282318.31
09/25/99#5 MichiganL 16-2122884.001000.00022884.01
10/02/99at Ohio StateW 42-17321615.034000.000321615.04
10/09/99at #18 MinnesotaW 20-1725803.201000.00025803.21
10/16/99IndianaW 59-0171679.822000.000171679.82
10/23/99#7 Michigan StateW 40-10342146.292000.000342146.32
10/30/99at NorthwesternW 35-19351624.622000.000351624.62
11/06/99at #25 PurdueW 28-21322226.931199.000332317.01
11/13/99IowaW 41-3272168.001000.000272168.01
Heisman StatsBCS #7, AP #49-230318346.0519199.00030418436.119
01/01/00+ #22 StanfordW 17-9342005.881000.000342005.91
TotalsBCS #4, AP #410-233720346.0320199.00033820436.020

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