Brigham Young University

Ty Detmer holds the records for most passing yards and total offense in Heisman history and is the last winner to come from a school that does not play in a major FBS conference.

Heisman Winner

Ty Detmer

QB | RS Junior | Brigham Young University

Detmer won BYU’s first Heisman by producing the most passing yards and total offense in the history of the award. He is the last Heisman winner to come from a school that does not play in a major FBS conference.

The 6-foot, 175-pounder native finished the 1990 regular season with 5,188 yards passing and 41 touchdowns to go with 5,022 yards of total offense.

Detmer was born in San Marcos, Texas, and attended Southwest High in San Antonio, where he earned letters in golf, football, basketball, baseball, and track. As a 1986 senior, Detmer won high school All-American honors in football and was the Texas Player of the Year. He also won all-state honors in baseball and all-district accolades in basketball.

He signed with BYU and, after redshirting the 1987 season, showed early flashes of greatness in 1988 by coming off the bench to lead the Cougars to a 20-17 win over Colorado in the Freedom Bowl.

Detmer took over the starting job the following season and set the NCAA record for passing by a sophomore with 4,560 yards (with 32 touchdowns). His rating of 175.6 nearly broke the NCAA record for pass efficiency in a season.

His epic junior year included a 28-21 victory over top-ranked Miami early in the season in Provo, one of the biggest wins in BYU history. During the nationally televised victory over the Hurricanes, Detmer threw for 406 yards and earned national Player-of-the-Week honors. The win was, without a doubt, a huge factor in him winning the Heisman later in the year.

Detmer returned for his senior season in 1991, passing for 4,031 yards and 35 scores while finishing third in the Heisman vote behind Desmond Howard.

By the end of his collegiate career, Detmer had broken 59 NCAA records and tied three others. He finished his career with a then-NCAA-record 15,031 yards passing. He also had 14,665 career yards in total offense, another NCAA best at the time. The Cougars were invited to four bowl games and compiled a record of 37-13-2 during the Detmer years.

After finishing his record-setting career at BYU and earning a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration, Detmer was drafted in the 9th round of the 1992 draft by the Green Bay Packers and had a pretty decent journeyman career, playing for the Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons.

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Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 917 - Announced: December 1, 1990.

 PlayerClassPositionSchool1st2nd3rdTotal Points
1Ty DetmerJRQBBYU3612081181482
2Raghib IsmailJRWRNotre Dame2371741181177
3Eric BieniemySRRBColorado114153150798
4Shawn MooreRS SRQBVirginia4696135465
5David KlinglerJRQBHouston72750125
6Herman MooreJRWRVirginia6142268
7Greg LewisSRRBWashington451941
8Craig EricksonSRQBMiami (Fla.)061931
9Darren LewisSRRBTexas A&M091331
10Mike MayweatherSRRBArmy34420

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.


1Ty Detmer259
2Raghib Ismail206
3Eric Bieniemy111
4Shawn Moore82
5David Klingler20


1Ty Detmer230
2Raghib Ismail215
3Eric Bieniemy92
4Shawn Moore47
5David Klingler12


1Ty Detmer236
2Raghib Ismail221
3Shawn Moore149
4Eric Bieniemy111
5David Klingler21


1Ty Detmer234
2Raghib Ismail226
3Eric Bieniemy126
4Shawn Moore62
5David Klingler23


1Ty Detmer256
2Eric Bieniemy209
3Raghib Ismail134
4Shawn Moore64
5David Klingler28

Far West

1Ty Detmer267
2Raghib Ismail175
3Eric Bieniemy149
4Shawn Moore61
5David Klingler21


Ty Detmer’s Heisman Year Statistics

DateOpponentResultAttCompPct.YardsYPATDIntRatingRushesYardsYPCTDPlaysTotal OffYPPTotal TDs
9/1/90at UTEPW 30-10463371.73878.412140.894-3-0.752503847.683
9/8/90#1 MiamiW 28-21543870.34067.531148.161170.630654136.353
9/15/90Washington StateW 50-36503264.04489.052164.2610-9-0.900604397.315
9/22/90SDSUW 62-34382668.451414.030208.093-30-10.0004148411.803
9/29/90at OregonL 32-16573357.84427.825117.076-56-9.330633866.122
10/13/90Colorado StateW 52-9382668.43168.343157.22331.000413197.784
10/27/90New MexicoW 55-31412663.446411.052188.975-28-5.601464369.476
11/3/90at #25 Air ForceW 54-7433069.73979.230170.34263.000454038.953
11/10/90at WyomingW 45-14503570.04849.722156.5111-16-1.450614687.672
11/17/90at UtahW 45-22502856.04519.052156.774-7-1.750544448.225
11/24/90Utah StateW 45-10503264.056011.055171.086-39-6.500565219.305
12/1/90at HawaiiL 59-28452248.83197.134112.66860.751533256.134
Heisman StatsAP #1310-256236164.251889.24128155.8973-166-2.3463550227.9045
12/29/90+ #12 Texas A&ML 65-14231147.81205.11197.34-27-6.8027933.441
Totals10-3, AP #23, Coaches #2358537263.553089.14229153.5877-193-2.50466251157.7246

(+) Neutral Site


Ty Detmer wins the 1990 Heisman Trophy