Ranking every Heisman Trophy winner this century

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Heisman Trophy
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Heisman Trophy winner No. 18: Carson Palmer, QB, USC (2002)

Carson Palmer was largely at the beginning of an unforgettable run for the Trojans and the quarterback had a heavy hand in bringing about that success. So it wasn’t a surprise when he took home the award in the 2002 season given the success that USC enjoyed and the numbers he put up, which were quite eye-popping at the time.

The eventual Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick threw for 3,942 yards, 33 touchdowns and only 10 picks on the year. He was clearly the best quarterback in the country for the 2002 season and deserving of the honor — it’s just that those numbers look a bit diminutive in the modern era.

Heisman Trophy winner No. 17: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama (2009)

Considering that only three of the Heisman winners in the 21s century were non-quarterbacks, you would think that Mark Ingram’s 2009 season would be one that would drop your jaw. While he was great beyond question, the overall numbers he ended up with weren’t nearly as outlandish as you might think.

On the season, Ingram rushed 271 times for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns, adding 334 receiving yards and three more scores as well. Falling just shy of 2,000 total yards on the season, Ingram was clearly the heart and soul of an excellent Crimson Tide offense, but the then-sophomore wasn’t untouchable by any stretch.

Heisman Trophy winner No. 16: Jason White, QB, Oklahoma (2003)

The only thing that could keep former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jason White out of the Heisman race was his health. So when he stayed healthy for the 2003 season, it figured that he was able to not only compete for the award but actually take it home. And there’s little argument about whether or not he was deserving.

For the year, White threw for 3,846 yards with 40 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, numbers that are gaudy even for many of today’s quarterbacks. His performance was quite impressive and he can look at his trophy case fondly but, overall, it doesn’t necessarily have the things that make other seasons on this list pop.