Sunday, November 15, 2009
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Sam Bradford - 2008

History & Tradition - Heisman

Sam Bradford - 2008 - 74th winner 

Sam Bradford of the University of Oklahoma was selected as the 74th winner of the Heisman Memorial Trophy.

Bradford, of Oklahoma City, completed 302 of his 442 passes this year, for 4,464 yards and 48 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions. While leading the highest scoring offense in the history of NCAA College Football, Bradford broke the Oklahoma season and career touchdown records both previously held by 2003 Heisman winner Jason White. His 84 career touchdowns are the most ever for a player at the end of his sophomore season. He has quarterbacked Oklahoma to a 12-1 record and a berth in the BCS Championship Game.



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Jason White - 2003

History & Tradition - Heisman

Jason White - 2003 - 69th award

Jason White became the fourth Sooner to win the Heisman Trophy following Billy Vessels (1952), Steve Owens (1969), and Billy Sims (1978). White led his team to 12 straight victories, throwing for a school record forty (40) touchdown passes in a season and securing a spot for the Sooners to play in the Sugar Bowl.

In 2003, White was the Associated Press Player of the Year, a consensus All-American, a consensus Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, won the Davey O'Brien Award and the Jim Thorpe Courage Award.

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Billy Sims - 1978

History & Tradition - Heisman

Billy Sims - 1978 - 44th Award

Billy Sims was the nation's leading rusher and scorer for 1978, averaging 160.1 yards and 10.9 points a game. He set the Big Eight Conference single season rushing record of 1,762 yards on 231 carries for a phenomenal average of 7.6 yards per carry. Sims was the only back in the nation's top 50 to average 7.0 per carry, and became the first player in Big Eight history to rush for more than 300 yards in three straight games. Sims compiled these statistics in only one full season of play-injuries kept him out of play in his freshman year, and most of his sophomore year as well. In 1978, Sims was the Associated & United Press College Player of the Year; he was also consensus All-American, Walter Camp Foundation's Player of the Year, and Sports Magazine's Player of the Year. Billy was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1994. He is now retired from the NFL.

Billy was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1995.

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Steve Owens - 1969

History & Tradition - Heisman

Steve Owens - 1969

Steve Owens - 1969 - 35th Award Winner

While playing football at the University of Oklahoma, Steve Owens was All-American for two years; All Big Eight conference in 1967, 1968 and 1969; and Big 8 Player of the Year in 1968 and 1969. The Detroit Lions drafted Steve in the first round. He was the first Detroit Lion to gain over 1,000 yards in a season and was an All-Pro selection in 1971 and 1972. After six years with Detroit, Steve retired due to a serious knee injury. In 1991, Owens was honored by being named to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, and was named the Walter Camp Foundation Alumnus of the Year. Steve was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor in 1992. Steve is CEO of Steve Owens Associates and President of Owens-Powell & Associates, both of which offer full range of insurance and service related products. Steve is also CEO of FORESIGHT, Inc., which provides services to the rent-to-own industry on a national level. Steve has given his time to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Child Welfare Citizens Advisory Board and the Advisory Board for the Norman Family Y. Steve is on the Board of Directors of Security National Bank in Norman, Jim Thorpe Foundation, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, and the Heisman Foundation. Owens served as Athletic Director at the University of Oklahoma from September 1996 until his resignation in March 1998. Steve & Barbara have a son Michael who lives in Norman.

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Billy Vessels - 1952

History & Tradition - Heisman

Billy Vessels - 1952 - 18th Winner

A great star on a star-studded Sooner team, Vessels scored 18 touchdowns, gained over 1,000 yards rushing and caught eight passes for 200 yards. In his senior year he threw 18 passes and completed seven for 209 yards and three touchdowns. A fierce competitor, he is best remembered for his running savagery against Notre Dame. Against the Irish, he scored three touchdowns  and surged 195 yards rushing in 17 carries, for an average of 11.5 yards per carry. In 1953, Vessels turned pro for the Edmonton Eskimos and won the Schenley Award as the top player in Canada. Billy then served as an officer in the U.S. Army before spending one year with the Baltimore Colts in 1956. In 1957, Vessels moved to Florida and became assistant to the president of Mackle Company, a major real estate developer. Billy has been active in fund raising, alumni association work, and has served on President Kennedy's Physical Fitness Program for two years. Billy passed away on 17 November 2001 after a long illness.

Billy was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1974.

The Voting


Place Name School Class Position 1 2 3 Total
1 Billy Vessels Oklahoma Sr. RB 98 91 49 525
2 Jack Scarbath Maryland Sr. QB 70 57 43 367
3 Paul Giel Minnesota Jr. TB 76 38 25 329
4 Donn Moomaw UCLA Sr. LB 54 32 31 257
5 John Lattner Notre Dame Jr. HB 35 45 58 253
6 Paul Cameron UCLA Jr. HB 40 35 28 218
7 Jim Sears Sounthern California Sr. B 38 21 17 173
8 Don McAuliffe Michigan State Sr. HB 26 29 28 164
9 Don Heinrich Washington Sr. QB 19 28 40 153
10 Tom Catlin Oklahoma Sr. C 25 26 23 150



The voting board was expanded to 1,222 media members for this Heisman election and a total of 162 players received votes. Vessels won in the South and Southwest and became the first player from what was then the Missouri Valley Conference to win the Heisman.

No. of registered electors: 1,222 Date of announcement: November 25, 1952

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Bennie Owen is the grandfather of both the OU football and basketball programs and the football field is still named after him to this day, though the stadium is not. Owen was the first of four OU football...


Switzer played football at the University of Arkansas. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and after...


“We compete, not so much against an opponent, but against ourselves. The real test is this: Did I make my best effort on every play?” Years: 1947-1963
Place of Birth: Minneapolis, MN


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