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Heisman Trophy facts and figures

The most famous individual trophy in sports will be given out tonight, with Florida State's Jameis Winston the favorite to carry it away.

December 13, 2013|Times staff reports
  • Heisman finalists (from left) Auburn running back Tre Mason, Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, Boston College running back Andre Williams and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel gather around the trophy Friday in New York.
Heisman finalists (from left) Auburn running back Tre Mason, Northern… (Julio Cortez / AP )

Some facts and figures about the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented today in New York ¿(TV: ESPN, 5 p.m.) to one of six finalists:

In the beginning

New York's Downtown Athletic Club, which presents the trophy, asked sculptor Frank Eliscu to design the trophy in 1934.

Role model

Eliscu used Ed Smith, a back on the 1934 New York University football team, as his model. The first design received approval from Jim Crowley, one of the legendary Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, who was then coaching Fordham. Eliscu watched a Fordham practice and made slight adjustments to the trophy based on watching the players in action.

Who, me?

Smith did not realize that the sculpture for which he posed was for the Heisman Trophy until 1982. He was given his own Heisman Trophy in 1985.

OK'd by the Irish

Final approval of the trophy design was given by Fighting Irish coach Elmer Layden and the entire Notre Dame football team on Nov. 16, 1935, after which it was sent to its final stage, bronze casting.

Heavy little dude

The trophy weighs 45 pounds, is 14 inches long, 13¿1/2¿ inches in height and 6¿1/2¿ inches in width.

Not as catchy

The trophy was originally called the DAC trophy and was first given to Jay Berwanger, a back for Chicago, on Dec. 9, 1935. It was renamed the Heisman trophy after John Heisman's death in 1936.

Named after....

Heisman, the first athletic director of the DAC, was a college coach from 1892 to 1927, is credited with inventing the center snap and was one of the main proponents of the legalization of the forward pass in 1906. He coached Georgia Tech to a 222-0 win over Cumberland in 1916.


In 1961, Syracuse running back Ernie Davis was the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. He died of leukemia in 1963.


Ohio State running back Archie Griffin is the only player to receive the award twice, winning it in 1974 and 1975.

Prep schools

Two high schools have produced multiple Heisman trophy winners: Woodrow Wilson High in Dallas (Davey O'Brien in 1938 and Tim Brown in 1987) and Mater Dei in Santa Ana (John Huarte in 1964 and Matt Leinart in 2004).

Heisman U.'s

Ohio State and Notre Dame have the most Heisman trophies won, with seven each, USC had seven until Reggie Bush's Heisman win was vacated for NCAA rules violations.

Yes they Canton

Eight of the 74 Heisman winners went on to have Hall of Fame NFL careers: Doak Walker, Paul Hornung, Roger Staubach, O.J. Simpson, Tony Dorsett, Earl Campbell, Marcus Allen and Barry Sanders.

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