Wide Receiver Heisman Winners

Submitted by Catchafire on August 25th, 2017 at 8:50 PM
The last wide receiver to win the Heisman was our very own Desmond Howard. That was back in 1991. It is hard for me to believe that no other wide receiver has won it. What does it take for a wide receiver to win it, without making the QB look so good that he wins it?



August 25th, 2017 at 8:57 PM ^

He's going to need a few highlight reel catches for scores, a crapton of receving yards, and probably at least 2 kick/punt returns for TDs. And hope that a QB or RB doesn't go completely crazy, either. 


August 26th, 2017 at 1:13 PM ^

who used to work at Marshall and works for several different teams. He said Randy Moss was and still is the best player he has ever seen in his lifetime. He was uncoverable and he dominated P5 schools. One thought they could single cover him because it's Marshall and one play quickly changed their mind when he ran behind them with ease.

He said Chad Pennington was NFL caliber QB before his arm/shoulder problem started. He can throw the ball but once he got hurt, he wasn't the same after it.


August 25th, 2017 at 8:59 PM ^

Probably a situation where he has 2 different qb's throwing to him. Starting qb gets hurt midway through season and backup comes in and receiver still racks up the stats.


August 25th, 2017 at 9:08 PM ^

Heisman winners generally need stats, great highlights, and big wins, or some subset of these.

It's very hard to win without very good counting stats, and tough without mind blowing ones.

It's also really hard to win if you're not on a really good team. Losses tend to be held against great players; a mediocre game in a loss often ends a candidacy.

A receiver would need to: 1. Play for a team that makes the playoff. 2. Have incredible highlights. 3. Make key big plays in a huge game. 4. Have massive counting stats. 5. Not have a bad game. 6. Have this happen in a year where a QB doesn't light the world in fire.

The closest we've come since Desmond was Larry Fitzgerald. His team wasn't elite, though, and relatedly did not play in a "game of the year" type situation he could have used to separate himself.

An example of a different player that came close is Ndamakong Suh. Stats were ok, some good highlights, but not a visible position. Many believe he deserved to win. He had a chance to earn it, too--in the Big 12 title game, Nebraska had Texas backed against its own endzone very late. If Suh had made a sack for a game-winning safety, he wins the Heisman. Instead, Texas won the game.


August 25th, 2017 at 9:17 PM ^

In particular, you'd probably need an absurd amount of TDs and also need to be in a year where there isn't a clear amazing QB (Newton, Manziel, Mariota).


August 25th, 2017 at 10:19 PM ^

It's funny.  Desmond was such a luxury of a player.  It was common to go to him several times in a game, he would make insanely incredibly plays and then we were kind of done with him for the day.  We were so loaded at other positions that year that we didn't need him to be a Denard figure, all this despite the fact we lost Derrick Alexander in the opener.



August 26th, 2017 at 1:17 AM ^

Desmond, to me, shares a skill set with an elite set of players that includes Peter Warrick, Percy Harvin, and even Reggie Bush. Electric players that can have an impact on returns, on the ground, and through the air.

Howard won the Heisman because he did these things at key moments and added to his quickness a peerless acrobatic catching ability.

The only disappointment is that he'd be a much more effective pro in today's spread era, out of the slot. But a Super Bowl MVP isn't a bad consolation prize; more than any of those other guys.

PS Holy cow those highlights. Guy was playing a different sport than everybody else in the country that year.


August 25th, 2017 at 10:41 PM ^

I really think Randy moss would have won it if didn't screw up and stayed at Florida State or any other program AND wasn't same heisman class as Woodson.


August 26th, 2017 at 1:14 PM ^

couldn't win the Heisman, then no other WRs can win it ever IMO. He should've won the Heisman but that went to Jason White who went undrafted and didn't last long in the NFL. That is a bad vote in hindsight.