Anyone who watches college football and the NFL have a good idea of "The Heisman Curse." I don't mean the one that states the Heisman winner loses the Title game following the ceremony. I'm talking about the idea that a Heisman winner in college will, at the next level,
suffer an injury, get lost in the depth chart or never live up to the hype.
There are a few of theories as to why Heisman winners may seem to not succeed in the NFL. A prevalent one (that we like to think of) is that the Heisman winner is no longer the center of attention, and lets his ego get in the way of his performance.
Another idea that we like is that the player collapses under the expectations and the pressure to be the greatest NFL player ever like he was the greatest player for that one (or in Archie Griffin's case, two) year(s)
Another interesting one is that there is some sort of "hex" that Heisman players meet a career-ending injury before they can fully blossom. And then, there is the all-time greatest reason to why someone doesn't succeed in the pros, "he was undersized for his position."
I've looked at each Heisman Winner since 1961 (Ernie Davis), mostly because Terry Baker, the Heisman after Ernie, was considered the first Heisman Draft Bust. Here's a stat sheet for you to see how NCAA's finest fared in the next level.
Six of 45 Heisman Winners have gone to the NFL Hall of Fame
24 of 45
(53 Percent) HW's have never been to a Pro Bowl
10 of 45 (22 percent) have been chosen as No.1 draft picks, only
two of those draft picks went to the Hall of Fame
Hall of Famers
- 1988: Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State)
- 1981: Marcus Allen (USC)
- 1977: Earl Campbell (Texas)
- 1976: Tony Dorsett (Pitt)
- 1968: O.J. Simpson (USC)
- 1963: Roger Staubach (Navy)
- 2002: Carson Palmer (USC)
- 1998: Ricky Williams (Texas)
- 1997: Charles Woodson (Michigan)
- 1995: Eddie George (Ohio State)
- 1991: Desmond Howard (Michigan)
- 1987: Tim Brown (Notre Dame)
- 1985: Bo Jackson (Auburn)
- 1984: Doug Flutie (Boston College)
- 1983: Mike Rozier (Nebraska)
- 1982: Herschel Walker (Georgia)
- 1980: George Rogers (South Carolina)
- 1979: Charles White (USC)
- 1978: Billy Sims (Oklahoma)
- 1969: Steve Owens (Oklahoma)
- 1967: Gary Beban (UCLA)
- 2008: Sam Bradford (Oklahoma)—two shoulder injuries in the 2009 NCAA season
- 1998: Ricky Williams (Texas)—Drug Problems
- 1993: Charlie Ward (Florida State)—Drafted by the NBA
- 1985: Bo Jackson (Auburn)—Career ending injury his fourth season
- 1979: Billy Sims (Oklahoma)—Career ending injury his fifth season
- 1972 : Johnny Rodgers (Nebraska)—Career ending injury (during practice) in second NFL season
- 1961: Ernie Davis (Syracuse)—Diagnosed with Leukemia before rookie season, died 1963.