Is Winning The Heisman Trophy Overrated?

Ryan PickardCorrespondent INovember 29, 2009

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13:  Sam Bradford of the Oklahoma Sooners holds the Heisman Trophy on December 13, 2008 at the Sports Museum of America in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding player in collegiate football each year. Most of the time the award is given to a senior player and every so often a junior or sophomore player has won it but a freshman has never won the Heisman.

The Heisman is supposed to represent the best college football player in the country but does that success translate over to the NFL?

The Heisman has been handed out 74 times with 73 different winners. Archie Griffin is the only player to have won the award twice when he played for Ohio State and won it in 1974 and 1975. Of the 73 winners only eight of them have actually gone on to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Since 2000 there have been seven winners that have gone on to play in the NFL. Of the seven only Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Carson Palmer have had good NFL careers. Ironically they all played for University of Southern California.

In 2000 Chris Weinke won the award but wasn't drafted until the fourth round of the 2001 draft by the Carolina Panthers. Weinke went on to finish with a record of 2-18 as a starting quarterback and is now a free agent.

The very next year Eric Crouch won the award and was drafted in the third round by the St. Louis Rams but as a wide receiver. Crouch felt he could play quarterback and left the Rams before ever playing for them. He would  go on to sign for Kansas City but was sent over to play in NFL Europe. Crouch never played a single game in the NFL.

Then there was Jason White who won the Heisman in 2003. He had a great career at the University of Oklahoma but wound up going undrafted and never played a single game in the NFL instead retiring after saying that his knees couldn't handle playing in the NFL.

There have been plenty of players that have also had great careers in the NFL after winning the Heisman. Four of them have gone on to be named MVP of the Super Bowl including Roger Staubach and Desmond Howard.

While winning the Heisman Trophy is a great honor it doesn't always mean that you are going to succeed when it comes to the pro level. It will be very interesting to see how good Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford do when they enter the NFL next year.