What You May Not Know About The Heisman Trophy

Heisman Trophy HistorySaturday, Robert Griffin III was awarded the 77th Heisman Trophy. The Baylor quarterback became the 76th man ever to receive the highly prestigious honor (Ohio State's Archie Griffin is a two-time winner).

While gridiron fans are well aware of the exploits of this illustrious club of college football players, many followers of the game may not be as aware of the history and design of the trophy itself.

In 1935, New York's Downtown Athletic Club instituted an award honoring the country's top football player. The inaugural award, known as the DAC Trophy, was given to University of Chicago halfback Jay Berwanger.

One year later, the DAC Trophy was renamed the Heisman Memorial Trophy, after the passing of John Heisman, the director of athletics at the Downtown Athletic Club. The award was designed by New York artist Frank Elisco. Elisco used New York University player Ed Smith as his artistic inspiration.

Looking back, it's amazing to consider the impact noted “football powers” the University of Chicago and NYU have had on the historic landscape of college football. In fact, NYU disbanded their entire program in 1942.

Each season, two trophies are manufactured. One becomes the property of the award winner, while the second award is sent to the winning player's university. The below ifollosports.com original photo showcases none other than OJ Simpson's USC held Heisman Trophy. This artifact is on display at SC's Heritage Hall.

OJ Simpson Heisman Trophy


The trophy itself weighs a whopping 45 pounds. It stands 13.5 inches tall and 14 inches long. Here is a close up look at the true size of Frank Elisco's creation (same photo as above).

Heisman Trophy History

For more information on the Heisman, you can refer to this encounter story submitted to ifollosports.com last year.