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Heisman Trophy: What happened to every winner since 2000?
Dec 13, 2008; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford poses after being awarded the 2008 Heisman Trophy in New York City. (Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports)

Heisman Trophy: What happened to every winner since 2000?

NEW YORK (BVM) – The winner of the annual Heisman Trophy is known as the best player in college football. Some of the winners go on to become great NFL players, while others fail to live up to the hype. 

The 2023 Heisman Trophy will be awarded Saturday. Take a moment down memory lane to see what happened to every Heisman winner since the year 2000. 

Chris Weinke (2000)

Despite winning the Heisman, the Florida State quarterback was chosen as the No. 106 pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He was already 28 years old at the time of the draft. Weinke unfortunately went 2-18 in 20 career starts and threw for just 3,904 yards and 15 touchdowns over his seven seasons in the league. Today, the 51-year-old is the quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech. 

Eric Crouch (2001)

Crouch was deemed the best player in college football as a quarterback, but he didn’t fit the mold for an NFL QB (partially because of his 6-foot stature). So, the Rams drafted him out of Nebraska as the No. 95 pick in the 2002 NFL Draft and they tried to transition him to the wide receiver position. Ultimately, he never played a down in the NFL because he left the league at 23 due to injuries. Today, the 45-year-old owns Crouch Recreation, which supplies and installs recreational products. 

Carson Palmer (2002)

The USC quarterback was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. He retired after 15 seasons, and at the time ranked No. 12th all-time in passing yards (46,247) and touchdowns (294). Palmer lives fairly under the radar these days and posts about his life on Instagram. 

Jason White (2003)

The Oklahoma quarterback was the third Heisman winner to go undrafted in the NFL. The Tennessee Titans later picked up White, but he never saw the NFL field because of knee injuries. Today, the 43-year-old is the vice president of Air Comfort Solutions, according to his LinkedIn. 

Matt Leinart (2004)

The USC quarterback was picked No. 10 overall in the 2006 NFL Draft and is now widely considered one the of biggest busts in Arizona Cardinals history. He passed for just 4,065 yards and 15 touchdowns during his six seasons in the league. Today, he serves as a football analyst for Fox Sports. 

Reggie Bush (2005)

The USC running back is the only athlete to ever have his Heisman Trophy vacated. The No. 2 pick in the 2006 NFL Draft went on to amass career totals of 1,286 carries for 5,490 yards and 36 touchdowns over his 11 seasons. While Bush wasn’t an NFL bust, he simply didn’t manage to live up to the high expectations coming out of college. These days, Bush remains relevant in the sports world and the Hollywood spotlight. 

Troy Smith (2006)

The Ohio State quarterback dropped to the No. 174 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, mainly because teams didn’t want to take a chance on a 6-foot QB. He went on to play in a disappointing 20 career games (eight starts). In recent years, the 39-year-old has been coaching at camps and working at THE Foundation to support OSU students and their NIL opportunities. 

Tim Tebow (2007)

The magic quickly faded after the quarterback left Florida. The No. 25 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft played just three seasons in the NFL and wasn’t successful in his comeback in 2021. Nowadays, Tebow spends his time working on several projects, including his Tim Tebow Foundation

Sam Bradford (2008)

The Oklahoma quarterback who was drafted in 2010 is widely considered to be one of the worst No. 1 picks in NFL history. He played in the league for nine seasons, but injuries prevented him from ever having a winning season as a starter. Today, the 36-year-old says he enjoys staying out of the spotlight and is focusing on taking care of his family. 

Mark Ingram Jr. (2009)

The running back was the first Alabama player to win the Heisman. He was passed on 27 times during the 2011 NFL Draft and went on to have a lengthy 12-year career (over 8,000 rushing yards and 65 touchdowns). He retired so that he could work in media, and today, the 33-year-old is an anchor for Fox Sports.

Cam Newton (2010)

The Auburn QB, who was selected No. 1 in the 2011 NFL Draft, remains in the conversation as one of the best Carolina Panthers of all time (32,382 passing yards and 194 touchdowns in addition to 5,628 rushing yards and 75 touchdowns over 11 seasons). These days, Newton is still training in case another team gives him a shot to play. 

Robert Griffin III (2011)

The Baylor quarterback was selected as the No. 2 NFL Draft pick in 2012. He started in just 42 games because a knee injury changed the trajectory of his career. Today, the 33-year-old is working on his podcast, “RG3 and The Ones,” and he’s also an analyst for ESPN.

Johnny Manziel (2012)

The legendary Texas A&M QB went on to flop in the NFL as the No. 22 pick from the 2014 draft. He played just two seasons because no team dared to sign someone who was always making headlines for the wrong reasons. More recently, Manziel talked about the rise and fall of his career in the Netflix documentary, “Untold: Johnny Football.” 

Jameis Winston (2013)

The No. 1 pick out of Florida State in the 2015 NFL Draft is currently in his ninth season in the league. Over 91 games, he has thrown for 22,104 yards with 141 touchdowns and 99 interceptions. 

Marcus Mariota (2014)

The Oregon quarterback was chosen as the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He’s currently in his ninth season (played in one game in 2023 so far) and is overall considered a massive draft bust. 

Derrick Henry (2015)

The Alabama running back was chosen relatively low in the 2016 NFL Draft at No. 45. He’s already tallied 9,176 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns within eight seasons so far. 

Lamar Jackson (2016)

It’s widely agreed upon that the Louisville quarterback should have been a top-two pick (instead of the No. 32 pick) in the 2018 NFL Draft. The franchise QB has already passed for 14,827 yards and 114 touchdowns in six seasons so far. 

Baker Mayfield (2017)

The Oklahoma quarterback became the first athlete to ever win the Heisman after beginning a career as a walk-on. The No. 1 pick of the 2018 draft has passed for 19,079 yards and 120 touchdowns in six seasons so far. 

Kyler Murray (2018)

The fifth-year QB has been experiencing many ups and downs since joining Arizona as the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick. In terms of the future, fans are hopeful Murray will have a big comeback from his ACL injury. 

Joe Burrow (2019)

The No. 1 overall pick out of LSU in the 2020 NFL Draft has set multiple records on his way to 14,083 passing yards and 97 touchdowns in just four seasons so far. 

DeVonta Smith (2020)

He became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard in 1991 and was taken as the No. 10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. In three seasons so far, Smith has tallied 223 catches for 2,946 yards and 18 touchdowns. 

Bryce Young (2021)

The No. 1 overall pick out of Alabama in the 2023 NFL Draft has passed for 2,055 yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions in 11 games this season as a rookie. 

Caleb Williams (2022)

The USC quarterback won’t go back-to-back for the Heisman Trophy since he’s not a finalist for 2023. But, the future looks bright considering that he’s widely expected to go No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.