The Heisman Trophy finalists in 2022 are coming from some familiar names in the college football world. USC, Ohio State, TCU and Georgia are the schools represented among the four finalists.
Whichever quarterback wins the Heisman Trophy, whether it’s Caleb Williams, C.J. Stroud, Max Duggan or Stetson Bennett, will grow the list of winners from their respective schools. Each of the programs have at least one Heisman winner in their history, while USC and Ohio State are among the most represented in the sport’s most prestigious award.
All told, there have been Heisman winners from 40 different schools in the 87 years of the award.
Which program has won the Heisman Trophy the most? Here’s a look at the schools with the most winners.
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What school has the most Heisman winners?
There is a four-way tie for the school with the most Heisman winners, at seven each: Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma. If Stroud wins, Ohio State will take the lead.
The Sooners have recently made a run at the list of Heisman winners with two in the past six years, with Lincoln Riley coaching Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray to back-to-back Heisman wins in 2017 and 2018. Should Williams win, it would be Riley’s third Heisman quarterback coached, more than all but 11 FBS teams in history.
Among those four, Ohio State has the next most recent winner with Troy Smith in 2006. Notre Dame has not seen a player win the Heisman since 1987, when wide receiver Tim Brown won the award. Although, there have been plenty of finalists to travel from South Bend to New York City.
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USC would be tied for the lead with Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma. USC had back-to-back Heisman winners in 2004 and 2005 (Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush), but Bush’s win has since been vacated following an NCAA investigation into improper benefits received by the star running back.
Heisman Trophy winners by school
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*Reggie Bush vacated his Heisman Trophy after NCAA sanctions
Ohio State Heisman winners
Ohio State is the only team that has the distinction of having more trophies than different Heisman winners. There are six different Buckeyes to win the Heisman Trophy: Les Horvath (1944), Vic Janowicz (1950), Archie Griffin (1974), Archie Griffin (1975), Eddie George (1995) and Troy Smith (2006).
Yes, Griffin has won the Heisman Trophy twice. He is the only player to have done so when he won it in back-to-back years from 1974-75.
Of Ohio State’s Heisman Trophy winners, Smith is the only primary quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy.
Heisman winners by year– Complete history of players to win college football’s top award
Notre Dame Heisman winners
The Fighting Irish rolled in the Heisman Trophy winners during the 1940s and 1950s.
During that time, Angelo Bertelli (1943), Johnny Lujack (1947), Leon Hart (1949), Johnny Lattner (1953) and Pual Hornung (1956) all ended the year winning the Heisman Trophy.
Since 1956, only two Notre Dame players have won the award: quarterback John Huarte in 1964 and wide receiver Tim Brown in 1987.
Oklahoma Heisman winners
Oklahoma has recently become a quarterback Heisman factory. Even before Riley’s time in Norman, Okla., there had already been two quarterbacks this century win the Heisman.
Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008) were the first two Oklahoma QBs to win the Heisman, later being joined by Mayfield (2017) and Murray (2018).
The Sooners were already well represented before that quartet of QBs. Backs Billy Vessels (1952), Steve Owens (1969) and Billy Sims (1978) were the first three Oklahoma Heisman winners.
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USC Heisman winners
The vacated Heisman from Bush drops USC’s total from seven to six, but even without that, the Trojans still began the 2000s with two Heisman winners early. Carson Palmer won the 2002 Heisman, two years before Leinart would become the second USC QB to win the award in 2004.
Before Palmer and Leinart, USC had produced four running backs that won the Heisman Trophy. Mike Garrett (1965) was the first Trojan to win the award, followed by O.J. Simpson (1968), Charles White (1979) and Marcus Allen (1981).
A win by Williams would move USC into a tie with Ohio State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma for the most Heisman Trophy winners.
Alabama Heisman winners
Before Nick Saban arrived, Alabama, for all its historic success, had no Heisman Trophy winners. He’s really changed that mark.
Mark Ingram was the first Crimson Tide player to win the Heisman, when he claimed the award in 2009. Six years later, Derrick Henry became the second Alabama running back to win the award.
Devonta Smith in 2020 became only the fourth wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy, when he caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards with 23 touchdowns en route to a national championship.
The next year, Bryce Young became the first Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy after throwing for 4,872 yards with 47 touchdowns and seven picks.