On October 10th, a movie known as, “The Express”, will bring new information to the light that most have never known. “Who is the first African-American Heisman Trophy winner?” The answer to this question is Ernie Davis from Syracuse University. Numerous men have won this honor, and many will for many years to come. In order to know why such honor is placed on Davis, you must know the Heisman Trophy history itself.

This year will mark the 73rd Heisman Trophy awarding, in December, before the National Championship game. The award is in honor of the great coach, John Heisman, who was one of the greatest coaches of his era. This award recognizes the player who is regarded as the “Most Outstanding Player” throughout the year. In order to win, you have to be a constant all-star that makes plays on a regular basis. Everyone watches and everyone will be judging someone who is a “Heisman hopeful”. In order to get an invitation to the ceremony in New York, you must be able to play your position well, and in order to win, you must be someone that transcends how the game is played. From Jay Berwanger in 1935 to Tim Tebow in 2007, 71 men have won the statue, designed after early great, Ed Smith. In its long history, 36 different schools have had someone that has won this award. Ohio State University, the University of Southern California, and Notre Dame are all tied for the most all time winners, with seven each. No school in North Carolina has ever won one, and the closest that you would have to go to be in a state that has won one would be South Carolina’s University of South Carolina back in 1980. Under the ACC, there have only been two original Heisman winners, both coming from Florida State University, Charlie Ward (1993) and Chris Weinke (2000). A more in depth look into the actual, individual winners, themselves, show interesting trends and notes. The most notable winner would have to be the only man to win two Heisman winners, Archie Griffin from Ohio State, back in 1974-75. Griffin, a running back, is one of the many men who were as either a quarterback or running back. To win the Heisman outside of those two categories is rare; in fact, only five men have won that were not either a quarterback or running back. Larry Kelley, the 2nd ever winner, was an end, 1949’s Leon Hart was a tight/defensive end, Tim Brown was the first ever wide receiver in 1987, wide receiver Desmond Howard in 1991, and the only primary defensive player to ever win, defensive back, Charles Woodson. Quite the interesting list of men that has won; but, it doesn’t always guarantee NFL success. Men such as Marcus Allen and Barry Sanders, who have won, have led successful careers and have become Hall of Famers, while some, such as Eric Crouch and Jason White, can’t pass the task. It’s just a matter of luck, skill, and determination. When you are watching “The Express”, realize that a man like Ernie Davis is truly amazing, and that he being the first minority winner is a true accomplishment, on so many levels.