College Football is lucky to have had someone as humble, classy, and articulate as the Ohio State football team’s Archie Griffin as its only two-time Heisman Trophy winner. There have been some real losers who have hoisted the award at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City over the years. Guys like Johnny Manziel, Ricky Williams, and O.J. Simpson. Thankfully Griffin isn’t like those guys who either didn’t understand the importance of what they accomplished or fell from grace.
From the very moment he was named college football’s very best in 1974 and 75, Griffin has walked the walk. He has represented the award, the sport, and the Ohio State football team he played for with such class and dignity, that even bitter rival Michigan tips their hat in respect to Griffin. But once again, there is a threat to Griffin’s title of being the “only” two-time Heisman trophy winner.
USC’s Caleb Williams is the next to attempt to join the most exclusive club in all of sports. So exclusive, that if he were to join, it would be just him and Griffin. There have been many before who have attempted the feat. All have been unsuccessful in their attempt.
The list of those who have tried but failed is long and distinguished and continues to grow over the years. There have been nine Heisman Trophy Winners who had more eligibility left in their collegiate careers and decided to come back. The list includes: Oklahoma RB Billy Sims, BYU QB TY Detmer, USC QB Matt Leinart, Florida QB Tim Tebow, Alabama RB Mark Ingram II, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, Florida State QB Jameis Winston, Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, Alabama QB Bryce Young
Back in 2020, FoxSports interviewed Griffin on his feelings about sharing the stage with someone else as a two-time winner of the most prestigious award in college football.
"“I’ve said for a long time that there will be someone else to win it twice, and now that they’re giving it to freshmen, I think somebody’s going to win it three times. I really do because freshmen are winning it and you’ve got to stay in college at least three years, and if you can stay three years and have outstanding years, then there’s a possibility. But I know there will be someone to win it twice. And not a small part of me, but I’m sure a small part of my wife is saying she hopes they don’t.”"
Will Williams be able to finally do what the nine before him could not? Will he be able to stay healthy throughout the entire season? An injury could derail his opportunity before he even gets started. Will someone else step up and have even a better season than he will, which has happened the majority of the times the nine Heisman Trophy Winners before him tried and failed on winning a second? Can someone like Marvin Harrison Jr., J.J. McCarthy, Jordan Travis, or even someone no one is even talking about step up and become the next Heisman Trophy Winner?
Whether Williams wins the award and joins the Ohio State football team’s Archie as the only two-time winner or not, no one will ever be able to take away Griffin’s claim as the first-ever two-time winner.