Campus Corner

Ten Heisman winners have played on a Super Bowl champion: Can Cam Newton make it 11?

Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach won a Heisman Trophy at Navy.
Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach won a Heisman Trophy at Navy. File photo

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday will try to become the 11th player to win a Heisman Trophy and a Super Bowl.

If he’s the Super Bowl MVP, he’ll become the fifth to pull the double.

Seems like there should be more, right?

But only two Heisman winner have won a Super Bowl in the last two decades, and former Southern California running back Reggie Bush returned his college award as part of NCAA penalties against him.

Here’s the list.

Paul Hornung, running back

Heisman: 1956 Notre Dame

Super Bowl I: Green Bay Packers

A pinched nerve in his neck limited Hornung to nine regular-season games and he didn’t appear in the playoffs. But one of the most versatile players in NFL history was part of the first Super Bowl championship team.

Roger Staubach, quarterback

Heisman: 1963 Navy

Super Bowls VI and XII: Dallas Cowboys

Staubach became the first Heisman winner to be chosen Super Bowl MVP when he led the Cowboys to a 24-3 victory over the Dolphins in Super Bowl VI. He was the quarterback for the Cowboys’ first title game in Super Bowl V.

Mike Garrett, running back

Heisman: 1965 Southern California

Super Bowl IV: Kansas City Chiefs

Garrett played in the Super Bowl I loss to the Packers and returned for the Chiefs’ victory over the Vikings in Super Bowl IV. He became the first Heisman winner to play in a Super Bowl and scored a “65 Toss Power Trap” touchdown made famous by coach Hank Stram and NFL Films.

Jim Plunkett, quarterback

Heisman: 1970 Stanford

Super Bowl XV and XVIII: Oakland/LA Raiders

Plunkett was chosen MVP of Super Bowl XV after throwing for 261 yards and three touchdowns in Oakland’s victory over the Eagles. He was also the Raiders’ quarterback for their Super Bowl XVIII triumph over Washington.

Tony Dorsett, running back

Heisman: 1976 Pittsburgh

Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys

More history made here. Dorsett became the first player to win a Heisman Trophy, national championship — Pitt in 1976 — and Super Bowl, when the Cowboys beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XII.

George Rogers, running back

Heisman: 1980 South Carolina

Super Bowl XXII: Washington

The star running back in Super Bowl XXII was Timmy Smith, who rushed for a game-record 204 yards against the Broncos. Rogers chipped in 17 yards in five attempts in his final professional football game.

Marcus Allen, running back

Heisman: 1981 Southern California

Super Bowl XVIII: Los Angeles Raiders

It would be difficult to find a better three-year stretch than Allen from 1981 to 1983. He became the first college player to surpass 2,000 rushing yards in his Heisman season of 1981, was NFL offensive rookie of the year in 1982 and Super Bowl MVP after the 1983 season. Allen is the only player in history to play on a college national champion (USC in 1978), Super Bowl winner and win the Heisman and Super Bowl MVP. Cam Newton can match that feat.

Desmond Howard, wide receiver/returner

Heisman: 1991 Michigan

Super Bowl XXXI: Green Bay Packers

The landslide Heisman winner at Michigan, Howard is the latest of the group to be chosen Super Bowl MVP when he totaled 244 all-purpose yards, including a kickoff return for a touchdown, in the Packers’ victory over the Patriots.

Charles Woodson, Cornerback

Heisman: 1997 Michigan

Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers

Woodson became the first primarily defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy, and he was a member of the Packers team that defeated the Steelers in the Super Bowl. He had played in the Super Bowl for the Raiders in a losing cause to the Buccaneers.

Reggie Bush, running back

Heisman: 2005 Southern California (forfeited)

Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints

Bush rushed for 25 yards in the Saints’ victory over the Colts. He played on Southern California’s BCS National Championship team for 2004 and won the Heisman for the runner-up team for 2005 that lost to Texas, although Bush would forfeit the Heisman five years later because of NCAA infractions.

The Star's Sam Mellinger and Terez Paylor laugh about the ridiculous sights and sounds of Super Bowl 50 Media Night, complete with a montage of raw video strangeness.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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