Can you name all nine Heisman Trophy winners who were enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Hint: There are a lot of running backs.
The Heisman Trophy has been awarded since 1935 but only nine of the winners have gone on to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The elite fraternity was stuck on eight since 2004 before Tim Brown finally joined the Hall of Fame in the Class of 2015. Brown won the Heisman at Notre Dame after having 990 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns, and three punt returns that made the difference. Those numbers wouldn’t be good enough to win the Heisman in this pass-happy era, but he proved in the NFL that he was as good as anyone not named Jerry Rice.
Brown remains the last wide receiver to win the Heisman and is the only Heisman receiver in the Hall of Fame.
The first Heisman winners to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame came in 1985 when O.J. Simpson and Roger Staubach were enshrined in the same class. Staubach remains the only Heisman quarterback to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s also one of two Heisman’s to win multiple Super Bowls, joining Jim Plunkett in that distinction.
Simpson was the first of seven Heisman-winning running backs to have been immortalized in Canton, Ohio.
One year after Simpson and Staubach went in together, the next year saw a pair of Heisman’s go in together in the Class of 1986. Running backs Paul Hornung and Doak Walker, who have awards named after them in college, were the third and fourth Heisman winners in the Hall and the run on running backs going in was on.
Five years later saw Earl Campbell enshrined in the Class of 1991, Tony Dorsett made it in 1994, Marcus Allen was inducted in 2003 and Barry Sanders followed with the Class of 2004.
The next Heisman winner to make the Hall of Fame will be 1997 winner, Charles Woodson, who should be a first-ballot lock in the Class of 2021. That will bring the number of Heisman winners in the Pro Football Hall of Fame up to 10.
Heisman winners in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- O.J. Simpson – HOF Class of 1985
- Roger Staubach – HOF Class of 1985
- Paul Hornung – HOF Class of 1986
- Doak Walker – HOF Class of 1986
- Earl Campbell – HOF Class of 1991
- Tony Dorsett – HOF Class of 1994
- Marcus Allen – HOF Class of 2003
- Barry Sanders – HOF Class of 2004
- Tim Brown – HOF Class of 2015
The 2018 Heisman ceremony is Saturday, Dec. 8 and Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins are this year’s finalists. Murray will be pursuing a baseball career after the Oakland A’s used the No. 9 pick in last year’s draft on him. Tagovailoa and Haskins, however, will look to join this elite fraternity in about the next 15-20 years.