University of Miami

Vinny Testaverde won Miami's first Heisman Trophy while leading the Hurricanes to an undefeated regular season in 1986.

Heisman Winner

Vinny Testaverde

QB | RS Senior | University of Miami

Testaverde won Miami’s first Heisman Trophy while leading the Hurricanes to an undefeated regular season in 1986.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Testaverde went to school at Sewanhaka High in Floral Park on Long Island, and graduated in 1981. He then went to Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virg., for a post-graduate year of college preparatory work (1995 Heisman winner Eddie George also attended Fork Union) before signing with Miami in 1982.

The quarterback depth his freshman year was remarkable and included Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and current Georgia head coach Mark Richt.

Testaverde threw for 79 yards in limited action as a 1982 true freshman and then redshirted in 1983 when Miami won the national title. He served as a backup to Kosar in 1984 before taking over the starting job as junior in 1985. Testaverde threw for 3,238 yards and 21 touchdowns that season and led Miami to a 10-2 record and a No. 9 final ranking.

His senior year was a magical one. Testaverde threw for 2,557 yards and 26 touchdowns (while also adding four rushing scores) as Miami finished the regular season 11-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country. Testaverde won the Heisman in a landslide over Temple’s Paul Palmer.

A loss to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl cost the Hurricanes another national title, but it didn’t dim Testaverde’s star.

Tampa Bay selected Testaverde as the first overall pick of the 1987 NFL Draft. He finished his pro career with 46,233 yards passing and 275 touchdowns, both among the top eight on the NFL career charts at the time of his retirement. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

More Articles About Vinny Testaverde

Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 1050 - Announced: December 6, 1986.

 PlayerClassPositionSchool1st2nd3rdTotal Points
1Vinny TestaverdeRS SRQBMiami (Fla.)67876272213
2Paul PalmerSRRBTemple28207174672
3Jim HarbaughSRQBMichigan25136111458
4Brian BosworthJRLBOklahoma913696395
5Gordon LockbaumJRRB/DBHoly Cross323968242
6Brent FullwoodSRRBAuburn44527129
7Cornelius BennettSRLBAlabama3292996
8D.J. Dozier*SRRBPenn State0233177
9Kevin SweeneySRQBFresno State6162373
10Chris SpielmanJRLBOhio State592760

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

(*) Invited, but did not attend Heisman ceremony.

Heisman Voting By Region

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


1Vinny Testaverde
2Brent Fullwood
3Paul Palmer
4Cornelius Bennett
5Jim Harbaugh


1Vinny Testaverde
2Gordon Lockbaum
3Paul Palmer
4Brian Bosworth
5Jim Harbaugh


1Vinny Testaverde
2Paul Palmer
3Jim Harbaugh
4Brian Bosworth
5Gordon Lockbaum


1Vinny Testaverde
2Jim Harbaugh
3Paul Palmer
4Brian Bosworth
5Don McPherson


1Vinny Testaverde
2Brian Bosworth
3Paul Palmer
4Jim Harbaugh
5Kevin Murray

Far West

1Vinny Testaverde
2Paul Palmer
3Jim Harbaugh
4Brian Bosworth
5Kevin Sweeney


Vinny Testaverde’s Heisman Year Statistics

DateOpponentResultAttCompPct.YdsYPATDIntRatingRushesYdsYPCTDPlaysTotal OffYPPTotal TDs
8/30/86at South CarolinaW 34-14301756.62317.710132.355-11-2.200352206.281
9/6/86at FloridaW 23-15251248.01636.51391.973-17-5.660281465.211
9/13/86Texas TechW 61-11271659.233012.242196.0034113.6013037112.365
9/27/86#3 OklahomaW 28-16282175.02619.340200.447-39-5.570352226.344
10/4/86Northern IllinoisW 34-0161280.020813.020225.45210.5011820911.613
10/11/86at West VirginiaW 58-14201470.01889.430198.464133.250242018.373
10/18/86at CincinnatiW 45-13352468.52627.520150.31393.000382717.133
11/1/86#20 Florida StateW 41-23352160.03159.032152.467-33-4.712422826.715
11/8/86at PittsburghW 37-10261765.329111.241202.485-31-6.200312608.384
11/15/86TulsaW 23-10342161.73089.121151.397-36-5.140412726.632
11/27/86East Carolina (DNP)**W 36-10
Heisman StatsAP #1, Coaches #111-027617563.425579.3269165.7946-103-2.23432224547.6230
1/2/87+ #1 Penn StateL 14-10502652.02855.70579.884-27-6.750542584.770
Totals11-1, #2 in both polls32620161.628428.72614152.6250-130-2.60437627127.2130

(+) Neutral Site
(**) Testaverde missed the East Carolina game after suffering minor injuries from falling off his motor scooter the previous Tuesday.