On Dec. 8, 1977, Earl Campbell became the first Texas player to win the Heisman Trophy.
The most prestigious award in college football will be handed out for the 82nd time this Saturday, and despite a stellar season by D’Onta Foreman, it won’t be going to a Longhorn this year. Ricky Williams is the only player to match Campbell’s feat while wearing the burnt orange and white, doing so in 1998.
But Campbell will always be the first, and the “Tyler Rose” has been a Texas legend ever since. Campbell ran away with the award in 1977, garnering 371 of 640 first-place votes and 1,547 points. That year’s runner up, Oklahoma State running back Terry Miller, had 812.
Campbell rushed for 1,744 yards and 18 touchdowns, not including the 116 yards he gained in a Cotton Bowl loss to that year’s national champion, Notre Dame. The Longhorns, led by Fred Akers, finished 11-1.
“I will represent what a Heisman Trophy winner should be,” Campbell said upon accepting the Heisman at the Downtown Athletic Club, exactly 39 years ago Thursday.
Campbell remains third on Texas’ all-time rushing list with 4,443 yards. He’s also third in rushing touchdowns (40), third in career 100-yard rushing games (22) and fifth in single-season rushing yards (1,744).
He previously held the record for consecutive 100-yard rushing efforts until Foreman broke it on Nov. 19 against Kansas. Foreman was not a Heisman Trophy finalist despite leading the nation with 2,028 rushing yards.
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