Ty Detmer and the Heisman Trophy Winners of the 1990s: Where Are They Now?

Kris HughesCorrespondent INovember 16, 2010

Ty Detmer and the Heisman Trophy Winners of the 1990s: Where Are They Now?

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    The Heisman Trophy decade of 1990-2000 saw many great talents come and go. Each of the athletes who won the award during this time had great individual careers at their respective universities.

    A few went on to stardom at the professional level, while many more saw limited playing time and short careers. Some pursued lives away from football soon after leaving campus.

    This slide show will take a close look at this group of 10 Heisman trophy winners, their successes in college, their professional football accomplishments (or in some cases, lack thereof), and where life has taken them.

1990: Ty Detmer, Brigham Young University QB

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    The 1990 Heisman Memorial Trophy winner was Ty Detmer, quarterback from Brigham Young University.

    Detmer finished his collegiate career throwing for 15,031 yards and 121 touchdowns, for an overall passer rating of 162.7. Each of these totals were NCAA passing records as of Detmer's senior season in 1990.

    Ty played for six different NFL teams over an NFL career that spanned 13 seasons as both a part-time starter and backup for the likes of Rodney Peete, Tim Couch, Steve Young, Michael Vick and Matt Schaub.

    Most recently, Detmer was employed by Triton Financial from 2007-2009, an investment and athlete services firm in Austin, Texas, which is currently under federal investigation for securities fraud. Transitioning back to the sidelines in 2009, Detmer is the head high school football coach at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin.

1991: Desmond Howard, Michigan WR

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    Desmond Howard, wide receiver from the University of Michigan, was the 1991 Heisman Trophy Winner.

    Howard set or tied five NCAA and 12 Michigan records during his time as a Wolverine from 1987-1991. He led the Big Ten conference in scoring during his senior season with 138 points as he won the Heisman, Maxwell, Walter Camp and first-team All-American honors.

    The most unanimous Heisman winner in history as of 1991, Howard captured 85 percent of the first place votes in Heisman balloting.

    Howard had a quality NFL career, playing for five different NFL teams over 10 seasons, his most successful coming as a kick returner for the Green Bay Packers in the mid 1990s.

    He currently works as a college football analyst for ESPN and is a co-host of its popular College Gameday on Saturday mornings during the collegiate football season.

1992: Gino Torretta, University of Miami QB

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    Gino Torretta, University of Miami quarterback, was the 1992 winner of the Heisman Trophy.

    Torretta passed for more than 3,000 yards his senior season on track to winning the Heisman and the Davey O'Brien award as the nation's best offensive player. During the '92 season, Torretta passed for 17 touchdowns and only nine interceptions, leading Miami to the National Championship game versus the Alabama Crimson Tide.

    Torretta's collegiate career helped him to be labeled as a can't miss professional talent by scouts, something which did not ultimately turn out to be true. His NFL career saw the quarterback bounce from team to team during a short three year stint in the NFL. Torretta's talents never translated to the professional level and he eventually left the game for good prior to the 1997 NFL season.

    Gino currently is in marketing for Gabelli Asset Management in Florida and is CEO of Touchdown Radio, a media outlet which broadcasts an NCAA football game weekly on national radio.

1993: Charlie Ward, Florida State QB

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    Quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles, Charlie Ward was the 1993 Heisman Trophy winner.

    The only Heisman Trophy winner of the 90s to never play a down of professional football, Ward was an electric two-sport performer both on the gridiron and the basketball court. One of the most highly-decorated amateur athletes of the early 1990s, Ward threw for over 5,500 yards and 49 touchdowns during two years as the starting signal-caller for the Seminoles.

    His basketball exploits were even more legendary, however, as Ward ultimately decided to forgo a career in the NFL in favor of playing basketball at the professional level. Drafted as the 26th overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks, Ward went on to play 11 productive seasons in the NBA with the Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets, retiring from the hardwood in 2005.

    Charlie is currently the head basketball coach at Westbury Christian High School in Houston, Texas.

1994: Rashaan Salaam, University of Colorado RB

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    Rashaan Salaam, University of Colorado running back was the winner of the 1994 Heisman Trophy.

    Salaam was a dominant back in the old Big 8, running for 2,055 yards in his 1994 senior season. At the time, he became only the fourth major college football player to run for over 2,000 yards in a season, joining the likes of O.J. Simpson and Bo Jackson.

    Salaam's success at Colorado helped him to become the first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1995 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, his football successes ended in college, as Salaam was the most disappointing of the 1990's Heisman winners at the pro level.

    He played for four different NFL teams over eight seasons, ending his professional career with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League in 2004, never living up to the huge expectations placed on him coming out of Colorado.

    Salaam reportedly is working as a promoter of martial arts fights in China, but has maintained a low profile since his retirement from the game.

1995: Eddie George, Ohio State RB

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    Eddie George, running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes, was the winner of the 1995 Heisman Trophy.

    As a senior in 1995, George rushed for a school record 1,927 yards and 24 touchdowns, an average of 152.2 yards per game. He was the first-round selection of the Houston Oilers in the 1995 NFL Draft and left Ohio State second in school history in career rushing yards and third in rushing touchdowns.

    Eddie was arguably the most productive of the 1990s Heisman winners on the professional level, being named a pro-bowler four times from 1997-2000, and rushing for over 10,000 yards and 78 touchdowns prior to his retirement from professional football in 2005.

    He recently graduated from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with an MBA in Executive Management and currently hosts a show on the Big Ten Network called The Quad.

1996: Danny Wuerffel, Florida QB

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    The 1996 winner of the Heisman Trophy was Danny Wuerffel, quarterback for the Florida Gators.

    Danny finished his career at Florida throwing for a prolific 10,875 yards and 114 touchdowns, the best in Southeastern Conference history, and the second-best in NCAA history. In 1995, his efficiency rating of 178.4 set an all-time collegiate mark.

    During his Heisman winning season in 1996, he threw for a whopping 3,625 yards and 39 touchdowns. His passing efficiency rating of 170.6 made his the only quarterback in college history to have two consecutive seasons with a rating greater than 170.

    Unfortunately, his professional gridiron career was not as spectacular. Danny bounced between four NFL teams over six largely uneventful seasons, retiring from pro football prior to the 2003 season.

    He currently leads a Christian-based non-profit organization called Desire Street Ministries which is focused on helping to rebuild post-Katrina New Orleans.

1997: Charles Woodson, Michigan CB

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    Charles Woodson, a cornerback from the University of Michigan, was the winner of the 1997 Heisman.

    During Woodson's junior season in 1997, he became the third Michigan player to win the Heisman along with Desmond Howard and Tom Harmon in 1940. Receiving 282 more votes than first-ballot hall-of-famer, and Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning, Woodson was and still is the only primarily defensive player to have won the award.

    Charles has enjoyed an extensive and productive 13 year NFL career with the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers. A six-time Pro Bowler, he is widely recognized as one of the top cornerbacks in the league.

    Away from the game, Woodson is a primary investor in Twentyfour Winery based in Napa Valley, California, and has expressed an interest in working in the winery business when the day comes to hang up his cleats.

1998: Ricky Williams University of Texas RB

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    Ricky Williams, running back from the University of Texas, was the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner.

    A talent of legendary status, often compared to the all-time greats such as Earl Campbell and Jim Brown while at Texas, Ricky Williams holds or shares over 20 NCAA rushing records, and became the all-time Division I-A career rushing leader with 6,279 yards in 1998, a record broken a year later by the 1999 Heisman winner, Wisconsin running back, Ron Dayne.

    Williams by almost all accounts was to be the next great running back, having the potential to be one of the greatest of all time. These expectations weighed on him from day one, and a frustrating and often confusing professional career followed.

    His pro career included two protracted stints with the Miami Dolphins, a brief stay with the New Orleans Saints and hall-of-fame coach Mike Ditka, and a short jaunt to Canada to play with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. During all this, Williams walked away from football for a short retirement to pursue his interests in philosophy and alternative medicine. This strange decision, combined with lifelong battles with marijuana and social anxiety disorder hampered what could have been an illustrious career for the back.

    Currently, Williams shares backfield duties with former Auburn University star Ronnie Brown and still had enough gas left in the tank to run for over 1,000 yards in the 2009 season.

1999: Ron Dayne, University of Wisconsin RB

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    Ron Dayne, running back from the University of Wisconsin, was the 1999 Heisman Trophy winner.

    Dayne ended his career as a Badger with a whopping 6,397 rushing yards, eclipsing the record set by 1998 winner Ricky Williams, and not including yardage from the bowl games in which he participated while in Madison.

    Selected as the 11th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Dayne teamed up with Tiki Barber in the Giants' backfield to form the "Thunder and Lightning" combo which powered the team to the Super Bowl in the 2000 season. Over the following few years, Dayne's talents diminished as he battled with coaches and his own weight control issues. He saw limited action with the Dallas Cowboys in 2005, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans in 2006, and Indianapolis Colts in 2007.

    Having not played any pro football since that 2007 season, Dayne considers himself a free agent according to news reports and currently resides in Waunakee, Wisconsin.

2000: Chris Weinke, Florida State University QB

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    Chris Weinke, quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles, was the 2000 Heisman Trophy winner.

    As a senior in 2000, Weinke led the nation in passing with 4,167 yards from scrimmage and won the Heisman, Davey O'Brien Award and the Johnny Unitas award as the nation's best quarterback. Leading the Seminoles to their third national championship game in as many years, Weinke at age 28 was the oldest player ever to win the Heisman.

    He finished at Florida State with an overall win-loss record of 32-2, and became the seventh Florida State player and second quarterback to have his jersey retired.

    Chris played seven seasons in the NFL as a backup, mostly with the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers, never breaking the ceiling to become a starter and eventually retiring from the game in 2008.

    He currently is the Director of the IMG Madden Football Academy.