When it comes to sports, few awards are as coveted and well-known as the Heisman Trophy. Every year college football players around the nation vie for this illustrious award which has become an emblem of championship quality.
Between 2015 and 2019, the five winners of the award were some of the finest College Football players that the NCAA has ever seen.
With the 2023 NFL Draft looming large on the horizon, we decided to take a look at the recent Heisman trophy winners and how they have fared since making the jump to the NFL.
Last season, USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams won the coveted award, and he will continue to feature in the College game for the next season at least. He couldn’t lead his side to victory last term, however, as the Georgia Bulldogs thumped the TCU Horndog Frogs by a score of 65-7 at SoFi Stadium. Thanks to their dominant victory last season, Bovada’s NCAA football odds predict that the Bulldogs will come out victorious once again next season.
In 2021, the coveted award was won by Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young. The talented 21-year-old will be featured in this year’s NFL Draft, and he is being tipped by experts to be the number one overall pick.
Three years ago was one of those rare occasions where a quarterback doesn’t pick up the coveted award. That year, the Heisman was picked up by wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Also a former Crimson Tide star, Smith recently led the Philadelphia Eagles to Super Bowl LVII however, suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs.
With the three most recent winners out of the way, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the last five Heisman trophy winners of the 2010s.
Derrick Henry // 2015
During his junior season with Alabama, running back Derrick Henry racked up 2,219 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns. His outstanding performance helped Alabama win both the SEC championship and College Football Playoff National Championship that year.
After being drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2016, he has been named to three Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team. In both 2019 and 2020, Henry led the league in terms of both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He will be hoping his performances in the 2023 season can lead the Titans back to the playoffs after missing out last season.
Lamar Jackson // 2016
During his sophomore season with Louisville, quarterback Lamar Jackson had 3,543 passing yards and 30 throwing touchdowns, as well as 1,571 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. His impressive performance earned him a unanimous All-American selection and won Louisville an ACC Championship that season. After being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, he earned MVP honors in 2019 after helping lead Baltimore to its second consecutive division title.
He was also named First Team All-Pro in 2019 as well as securing Pro Bowl honors in 2019 and 2021. Jackson is considered one of the top quarterbacks currently in the NFL today.
Baker Mayfield // 2017
During his senior season with Oklahoma, quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns while leading Oklahoma to a Big 12 Conference Championship title that season as well as an NCAA national championship. Mayfield was drafted as the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, where he would spend three seasons.
In 2021, Mayfield was traded to the Carolina Panthers and spent just one unsuccessful season at Bank of America Stadium before being traded once again, this time to the Los Angeles Rams. He is currently the second-string QB in California, however, with Matthew Stafford the regular starter.
Kyler Murray // 2018
During his final season with Oklahoma before declaring for the NFL Draft early on, Murray threw for 4,361 yards along with 42 touchdowns while also racking up 1,001 rushing yards along with 12 more scores on the ground. With Murray’s help, Oklahoma won yet another Big 12 Conference Championship that year as well, making it four straight conference titles.
After being drafted first overall by Arizona Cardinals in 2019, he earned Offensive Rookie of The Year honors that same season after throwing for 3,722 yards along with 20 touchdown passes. He also made it to his first Pro Bowl in the 2020 season despite having an injury-shortened regular season due to a shoulder injury suffered early on. He would once again receive Pro Bowl honors in 2021.
Joe Burrow // 2019
The finest quarterback to come out of the NCAA in recent years is Joe Burrow. During his fifth year of college eligibility which was his lone season at LSU, Burrow threw for 5,671 passing yards along with 60 touchdown passes while leading LSU all the way to winning both the SEC Conference Championship title that year as well as the National Championship title.
It was after this incredible feat achieved by Burrow, which included him winning both Heisman Trophy Award as well Unanimous All-American Award. That had him selected first overall during the 2020 NFL Draft by Cincinnati Bengals. And Burrow’s stint in Ohio has been incredible.
Jackpot Joey – as he’s affectionately known – led the Bengals to a first Super Bowl appearance in 34 years in 2022. He would then lead his side to a memorable victory over the Buffalo Bills to reach the Conference Championship last season; however, his side was narrowly defeated by the Chiefs.
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