Looking Back at Ohio State's Six Heisman Trophy Winners, and Their Seven Heisman Trophies

By Kevin Harrish on December 8, 2018 at 2:15 pm
Troy Smith is Ohio State's last Heisman Trophy winner.

Ohio State Athletics

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While odds are he won't win it, Dwayne Haskins joins an elite group of Buckeyes on Saturday to finish as finalists for the Heisman Trophy, adding to Ohio State's rich Heisman history.

The Buckeyes are tied for the most Heisman trophies in college football history with seven, have one of the most lopsided winners in the awards' history, and boast the only two-time Heisman winner.

Here's a look back at Ohio State's Heisman winners.

1944 – Les Horvath

Les Horvath is Ohio State's first Heisman Trophy winner and the only winner that did not play football the previous season.

Horvath exhausted his three years of eligibility in 1942 and enrolled in Ohio State's school of dentistry in 1943, but the Buckeyes struggled after many players joined the military during World War II, leaving the roster depleted. So Ohio State took advantage of a war-time rule which granted an extra year of eligibility to graduate students and asked Horvath to return.

With his extra season, Horvath did everything for the Buckeyes – running, passing, kicking, blocking and tackling – and even called his own plays, earning him the nickname "Playing Coach." That season, he led the Big Ten in rushing and total offense and led the Buckeyes to a perfect 9-0 record and a No. 2 final ranking in the polls, earning him the Heisman Trophy.

1950 – Vic Janowicz

Vic Janowicz was another do-it-all player for the Buckeyes.

Woody Hayes, his head coach at the time, said Janowicz was "not only a great runner, but also passed, was a placekicker and punter, played safety on defense and was an outstanding blocker. Janowicz epitomized the 'triple-threat' football player."

In one lopsided 83-21 win over Iowa, Janowicz accounted for 46 points by accounting for six touchdowns and kicking eight extra points. He finished the season with 561 passing yards, 314 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, winning the Heisman Trophy as a junior.

1955 – Howard Cassady

In his day, Howard "Hopalong" Cassady was one of the most dominant runners ever.

His final season at Ohio State, Cassady turned in his best season, rushing for 958 yards and 15 touchdowns on his way to the program's third Heisman Trophy.

At the time of his graduation, Cassady held Ohio State's career rushing record (2,466 yards), the career all-purpose yards record (4,403 yards), and the scoring record (222 points).

1974 and 1975 – Archie Griffin

To this day, Archie Griffin is still the only player ever to win the Heisman Trophy multiple times, taking home the hardware in 1974 and 1975 after rushing for 1,620 as a junior and 1,357 as a senior.

Griffin's entire Buckeye career was marked by dominance. Griffin is the only running back to lead the Big Ten Conference in rushing for three straight years, is one of the only two players ever to start in four-consecutive Rose Bowls, and helped lead the Buckeyes to a  record of 40-5-1 during his time in Columbus.

Woody Hayes once said of Griffin, "he's a better young man than he is a football player, and he's the best football player I've ever seen."

1995 – Eddie George

Eddie George had one of the most dominating seasons in Ohio State history, resulting in he program's sixth Heisman Trophy in 1995.

As a senior, George rushed for a school record 1,927 yards and 24 touchdowns his senior season, an averaging 148.23 yards per game. He also caught 47 passes for 417 yards and one touchdown. 

That season, George rushed for over 200 yards three times, including a school record 314 yards along with three touchdowns against Illinois.

2006 – Troy Smith

Troy Smith is the winner of Ohio State's most recent Heisman Trophy, and he won it in absolutely landslide fashion, earning 91.6 percent of the first-place votes – a record which still stands today.

That season, Smith passed for a career-high 2,542 yards and 30 touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes to an undefeated season, which included wins over four ranked teams, including two ranked No. 2 in the country at the time.

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