clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Heisman Trophy & The New York Jets

New England Patriots v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Tonight we'll find out which college football player will win the highly coveted Heisman Trophy. Although realistically, we already know. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson is an overwhelming favourite, and if any of the other 4 finalists were to walk away with the award, it would be considered a huge upset.

Jackson accounted for 51 touchdowns this year, throwing for 3390 yards and rushing for another 1538 yards. There is no doubt he is an incredible athlete, however not everyone believes this will translate to the NFL at the QB position, Mel Kiper being one of them:

Kiper: Let's get this out of the way: I don't view Jackson as an NFL quarterback prospect at this point. He's an athlete -- a phenomenal one at that -- playing quarterback, but I haven't seen consistent NFL-level passing skills. Jackson has completed only 57.6 percent of his passes this season (54.7 in 2015), and that's a huge red flag for NFL teams. If he can't complete 65 percent of his passes in the ACC, what optimism is there for completing 65 percent of his passes in the NFL?

However we're not here to talk about Jackson (that will come later), or any of the other Heisman trophy finalists. We're here to talk about the Heisman trophy and the New York Jets.

If you were asked right now how many former Heisman Trophy winners went on to play for the New York Jets, would you know? If the answer is yes, give yourself a gold star. I had no idea, so I went and did a little research and this is what I found.

John Huarte was the first Heisman winner to suit up for the Jets. The former Notre Dame signal caller was drafted by both the AFL Jets and the NFL Eagles in 1965, he choose to sign in New York but was beaten out by another rookie by the name of Joe Namath, a man who finished 11th in the Heisman voting the year that Huarte won it in 1964.

It was a long wait before another Heisman winner would grace the Jets playing field. In 1998 the Jets signed local man Vinny Testaverde after making the decision to release Neil O'Donnell just 2 years after he signed a 5 year $25 million contract. At the time of the signing, a lot of people didn't really consider Vinny to be the answer with Parcell's seeming to like Foley and Testaverde being 34 years old at the time. However he would play for the Jets between 1998-2003 and again in 2005. Vinny won the Heisman in 1986 while playing his college basketball at Miami. That year he completed 63.4% of his passes for 2,557 yards, 26 TD's and 9 INT's. He was the first overall pick in the 1987 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Next up we have Tim Tebow, the man who divides any room in any building in any city in America. I always liked Tim, a great competitor with a heart of a champion. Unfortunately his talent level didn't translate to the NFL. He had a couple of decent runs, but you'll now find him in the Mets minor league baseball system. Tebow won the Heisman in 2007 throwing for 3,286 yards, 32 TD's to 6 INT's, while also rushing for 895 yards and 23 TD's, that's what you call domination. After playing a couple of years in Denver, Tebow was traded to the Jets following the Bronco's signing of Peyton Manning. We all know that the story of Tim Tebow and the Jets did not end well. He was released in 2013.

There we have it. The Heisman was first awarded back in 1935. The Jets played their first season in 1960. So of the 55 Heisman winners who were awarded the distinguished honour in the years the Jets have been active, only three of them have ever played in New York for the Titans/Jets.