The Heisman Trophy is often reserved for the eldest players in college football, but the trophy has seen younger players winning in recent times. The five youngest players come from three distinct eras, but there is a trend in the present day to give the trophy to a younger man before he leaves for the NFL. This is a story of the five youngest men to win the highest honor in NCAA football.
#1: Mark Ingram
Mark Ingram is the youngest on the list by just a few days, and even the most-avid fan could forget he is the youngest. Johnny Manziel is remembered at the first freshman to win the trophy, but Mark Ingram did the same thing. He led an Alabama team that won a national title, and he has been a great player in the NFL. He begins the list, but he did not sizzle as much as others on the list.
#2: Johnny Manziel
Johnny Manziel beat Alabama by himself in his freshman season at Texas A&M, and he was given the Heisman Trophy for a freshman season for the ages. His ability to run with the ball reminded quite a few people of Steve Young, and he gave the football world visions of the Steve Young from BYU, but he was drafted by the Browns. His career fizzled, and he left behind the great player that everyone saw on Saturdays.
#3: Rashan Salaam
Rashan Salaam won the Heisman Trophy at Colorado while trying to bring the team back to prominence. The team featured players such as Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrook. He was on the field for the magical fifth down, and he ran for more yards than anyone in Colorado history. The Colorado football program saw the last of its golden years with Rashan in the backfield, and he ran so well that he was drafted at the top of the NFL draft.
#4: Archie Griffin
Archie Griffin is the only man to win the Heisman Trophy twice because if his incredible college football career. He ran the Ohio State Buckeyes to greatness in the 70s, and he began a trend at Ohio State that continues in the present day. Players who come to The Ohio State University to play running back are cast in the mold of Archie Griffin, and they want to live up to his image. Winning the Heisman is one of the most-difficult things to do, and winning it twice is a feat that will not soon be repeated in today’s NCAA bowl series.
#5: Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow won the Heisman in his sophomore season without winning the national title, but he was off a freshman year where he was the “other” quarterback for the Florida offense. He came out of the shadow of Chris Leak to build a career that many believe puts him in the same class as Hershel Walker. The old SEC football fan looks at Tim Tebow as someone who ran over people as Hershel did, and he won two national championships at Florida in his time there. He nearly won a third title in his senior season, and he set the NFL on fire for a short time.
The five men on this list saw their football careers blossom at a young age, and it is interesting to note that each of them did not have a hall of fame NFL career. Their football days were numbered after almost doing too much in college, but they are remembered as the best because their college careers only happen in the dreams of young boys around America.