LSU Gold

Burrow Becomes LSU's Second Heisman Trophy Winner

The Tigers' senior quarterback won the 85th Heisman Trophy in record fashion.

by Todd Politz | Director of Digital Media
That's Joe Heisman Speech - Transcript A Letter from the Cannon Family The Speech Fowler Interview Worsham Column Burrow Bio 9 For 9: Heisman Moments Heisman Winner! Burrow by the Numbers +0
Burrow Becomes LSU's Second Heisman Trophy Winner

NEW YORK — For the first time in 60 years, an LSU Football player has staked his claim to the highest individual honor in collegiate sports, the Heisman Memorial Trophy. Senior quarterback Joe Burrow was announced as the 2019 winner at a ceremony at New York’s PlayStation Theater on Saturday evening.

As announced at 8:52 p.m. ET by Heisman Trophy Trustee Carol Pisano, Burrow became the second player from LSU to win the award, joining late halfback Billy Cannon who was announced as the winner on Dec. 1, 1959.

As a graduate transfer, Burrow signed to play his remaining two seasons of eligibility for LSU on the day Cannon passed away: May 20, 2018.

“I’d like to thank Louisiana, the entire state,” Burrow said in his emotional, 6 minute, 53 second speech after thanking his teammates, family and coaches. “Just a kid from Ohio coming down chasing a dream. And the entire state has just welcomed me and my family with open arms, and invited us in to be native Louisianians. I’ve learned to love crawfish and gumbo.

“Coach O,” Burrow continued, fighting back tears. “You have no idea what you mean to my family. I didn’t play for three years. You took a chance on me, not knowing if I could play or not. And I’m forever grateful for you. Can you imagine a guy like Coach O giving me the keys to his football program? It just means so much to me and my family.”

The vote was a historic runaway.

With 841 first-place votes (893 ballots tabulated from 927 voters), Burrow set Heisman Trophy records for receiving the highest percentage of first-place votes in history (90.7 percent), broke O.J. Simpson’s largest margin of victory (1,846 points), earned the highest percentage of possible points (93.8 percent) and the highest percentage of ballots received (95.5 percent).

2019 Heisman Memorial Trophy Voting

Number of ballots received and tabulated – 893 of 927 (96% of ballots)

Player Class Position School 1st 2nd 3rd Total Points
1 Joe Burrow SR QB LSU 841 41 3 2,608
2 Jalen Hurts SR QB Oklahoma 12 231 264 762
3 Justin Fields SO QB Ohio State 6 271 187 747
4 Chase Young JR DE Ohio State 20 205 173 643
5 Jonathan Taylor JR RB Wisconsin 6 44 83 189
6 JK Dobbins JR RB Ohio State 2 36 36 114
7 Trevor Lawrence SO QB Clemson 3 25 29 88
8 Chuba Hubbard SO RB Oklahoma St. 0 11 46 68
9 Travis Etienne JR RB Clemson 0 7 11 25
10 Tua Tagovailoa JR QB Alabama 1 4 13 24

Among national and league accolades already bestowed upon Burrow were AP National Player of the Year, Walter Camp Award (outstanding player of the year), Maxwell Award (collegiate player of the year), Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s best college quarterback), Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (nation’s top quarterback), Walter Camp First-Team All-American, and SEC Offensive Player of the Year (AP and Coaches).

On Dec. 9, Burrow was named one of four finalists for the 85th Heisman Trophy. He was voted the winner over Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young.

Awarded since 1935, “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity,” according to “The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.”

Burrow, who turned 23 on Tuesday, was joined at the ceremony by members of his family including his parents Robin and Jimmy, brothers Dan and Jamie, and his grandparents. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, LSU Athletics Director Scott Woodward, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, along with several LSU Athletics senior administrators and members of the Athletics Communications team were joined by Bunnie Cannon representing the Cannon family, LSU Football assistants Steve Ensminger and Joe Brady, and quarterback analyst Jorge Munoz.

  • Worsham: That’s Joe
  • Chapter 1: “That’s Joe: Same Guy, Different Jersey” | Video
  • Chapter 2: “That’s Joe: Found Our QB” | Video
  • Chapter 3: “That’s Joe: Quiet Leader” | Video
  • Chapter 4: “That’s Joe: One of Us” | Video

Burrow has re-written the LSU record book in 2019, establishing school records in just about every passing category including yards (4,715), touchdowns (48), yards per game (362.7), completions (342), total offense (5,004) and total offense per game (384.9).

Burrow, the 13th winner from Southeastern Conference, also set SEC records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a season, becoming the only player in league history to throw for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. With three more touchdown passes this season, he would become the third player in NCAA FBS history to throw more than 50 in a single season.

Known for his accuracy, composure, grit and leadership, Burrow is on pace to set NCAA records for single-season completion percentage (77.9) and pass efficiency rating (201.5).

“Thirteen-and-0,” Joe Burrow responded in reference to LSU’s 2019 team record when asked by Rece Davis on ESPN College GameDay about what’s been most meaningful. “All the records are great, but I have great people and great coaches around me, and a lot of great players. I’m sure you see it on Saturdays. It’s not just me out there. And, the cohesion between the coaches and the players is great. We have a great program going on right now.”

In 13 games, the Athens, Ohio, native has directed an LSU offense that scored a school-record 621 points, 47.8 points per game. The Tigers also scored 50 or more points a school-record six times in 2019 and LSU scored 40 points or more a record 10 times.

Burrow and the Tigers enter the College Football Playoffs ranked No. 1 in every major poll. LSU, winners of 14 straight games, will bring its 13-0 record into the CFP National Semifinal contest against No. 4 Oklahoma in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 28.

Burrow set the LSU single-game mark for passing touchdowns with six in the 66-38 win over Vanderbilt on Sept. 21. He holds the second- and third-highest passing yards games in LSU history, tossing for 471 yards and four TDs in a win over Texas during the second week of the season and 489 yards and five scores in the 58-37 win over Ole Miss in November.

Burrow has thrown for 300-yards or more in a school-record seven straight games heading into the Oklahoma contest and he holds the school-record for 300-yard passing games in a season with 11.

Dating to the 2018 season, Burrow has completed at least 20 passes in 16 consecutive games, also the longest streak of its kind in LSU history.

A two-year starter as a graduate transfer from Ohio State, Burrow has guided the Tigers to a 23-3 mark with nine wins against AP Top-10 opponents – most by any quarterback in school history.

LSU returns to practice on Monday, Dec. 16, in preparation for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Quotes from 2019 Heisman winner Joe Burrow after the Heisman ceremony

On winning
“I’m just grateful for the opportunity and it’s a blessing to be here. There are three great other options who had incredible seasons as well. I’m so grateful for my journey and everyone’s help along the way.”

On his emotional state after winning
“That’s the most I’ve cried in 23 years of living. When I got up there, all the people that have helped me from five years old to this year, went running through my mind. That’s what happened.”

Was it a sense of relief?
“Yes, absolutely. I’m ready to back to Baton Rouge and start practice on Monday.”

On LSU coach Ed Orgeron
“He’s meant so much to me and my family. He gave me an opportunity when not a lot of people thought I would do anything. He trusted me and gave me the keys.”

On the coming playoff
“Whenever u get into the playoff, it’s going to be a dog fight. I haven’t watched film yet, I’ve tried to enjoy this week. But I will watch starting Monday.”

Reflecting on his journey
“It’s been a long and winding one. There’s still more chapters to be written. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity at LSU and Ohio State and there still more chapters to be written.”

Describing his experience
“This is one of those things kids dream about. When I envisioned myself playing football, I dreamed of being on that stage and playing for a No. 1 team. So this is a dream come true.”

On representing his hometown of Athens, Ohio
“I lived in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Not a lot of people know where that is. It’s an impoverished area and as much as I can give back I’m going to do it. It means so much to me.”

On being a Heisman winner along with Billy Cannon
“He’s obviously a legend in Louisiana. To be mentioned in the  same sentence as Mr. Cannon is an honor. I just try to give back to Mr. Cannon’s family and LSU as much as I can.”

Quotes from LSU head coach Ed Orgeron

“Well, what a special moment. I thought Joe handled everything throughout the Heisman campaign and event with first class. He’s done it in a great manner. He’s thanked everyone. It’s the first time I’ve seen him get that emotional. When you saw him up there it was with his heart, and that’s how he plays and that’s what makes him the best player in America.”

“It means so much (for LSU to win the Heisman). We haven’t had one since Billy Cannon. We all grew up watching Billy. Joe did a tremendous job to follow that.”

LSU’s Highest Heisman Trophy Finishes (All-Time Top 10 in Voting Results)
1st – 2019 Joe Burrow, quarterback (2,608 points)
1st – 1959 Billy Cannon, halfback (1,929 points)
2nd – 1962 Jerry Stovall, halfback (618 points) – lost by 79 points
3rd – 1958 Billy Cannon, halfback (975 points)
4th – 1972 Bert Jones, quarterback (351 points)
5th – 2011 Tyrann Mathieu, safety (327 points)
5th – 1978 Charles Alexander, running back (282 points)
6th – 2015 Leonard Fournette, running Back (110 points)
9th – 1977 Charles Alexander, running back (54 points)
9th – 2007 Glenn Dorsey, defensive tackle (30 points)


Noteworthy facts about the 2019 Heisman vote

Percentage of total ballots on which the top four were named:
Joe Burrow – 95.47%
Jalen Hurts – 54.69%
Justin Fields – 50.05%
Chase Young – 42.95%

Number of ballots received and tabulated:
893 of 927 (96%)

Number of players receiving votes, by place:
First – 10 players
Second – 19
Third – 32

  • Burrow received 93.8% of total possible points, surpassing the previous record held by Troy Smith (91.63% in 2006).
  • Burrow was named to 95.47% of all ballots, breaking the previous record held by Marcus Mariota (95.17%).
  • Burrow received 90.07% of the first place votes, breaking the previous record of 86.7% held by Smith.
  • Burrow’s 841 first-place votes is the second best in Heisman history.
  • Burrow’s margin of victory of 1,846 points is the largest in Heisman history, topping O.J. Simpson’s 1968 mark.

Notes on Burrow’s win

  • He is LSU’s second Heisman winner, joining Billy Cannon (1959).
  • He is the first graduate transfer to win the Heisman.
  • He is the seventh player to win the Heisman after a transfer (including junior college), joining Felix “Doc” Blanchard (1945), O.J. Simpson (1968), Mike Rozier (1983), Cam Newton (2010), Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018).
  • He is the third consecutive transfer player of any kind to win the Heisman.
  • He is the 13th Heisman winner from the Southeastern Conference and its first since Derrick Henry (2015).
  • He is only the second senior to win the Heisman since 2006.
  • His completion percentage (77.9) is be the best in Heisman history, topping Robert Griffin’s 72.3 in 2011.
  • His 48 TD passes tie him with Sam Bradford for the most by a Heisman winner.
  • His passing yardage (4,715) is second most in Heisman history to Ty Detmer (5,188).
  • His 5,004 yards of total offense is the second most in Heisman history behind Detmer (5,022) in 1990.
  • His 51 total touchdowns (running and passing) ties him with Tim Tebow (2007), Lamar Jackson (2016) and Murray (2018) for the second-most in Heisman history.
  • His 9.35 yards per play is fifth best in Heisman history.
  • His pass efficiency rating (201.47) ranks him third in Heisman history behind Murray (205.72) and Mayfield (203.76).
  • He is the third Heisman Trophy winner to be born in Iowa, joining first Heisman winner Jay Berwanger (1935) and Nile Kinnick (1939).
  • He is the 17th quarterback in the last 19 years to win the Heisman and the 35th overall.
  • He is the first player to win the Heisman wearing No. 9.
  • He is the sixth Heisman winner to take part in the College Football Playoff, joining Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry, Mayfield and Murray.

Heisman Memorial Trophy Winners

YearNameSchoolPos.ClassPoints% of Points Possible
2023Jayden DanielsLSUQBSenior2,02975.9%
2022Caleb WilliamsUSCQBSophomore2,03177.3%
2021Bryce YoungAlabamaQBSophomore2,31183.0%
2020DeVonta SmithAlabamaWRSenior1,85666.8%
2019Joe BurrowLSUQBSenior2,60893.8%
2018Kyler MurrayOklahomaQBJunior2,16777.8%
2017Baker MayfieldOklahomaQBSenior2,39886.0%
2016Lamar JacksonLouisvilleQBSophomore2,14479.5%
2015Derrick HenryAlabamaRBJunior1,83265.7%
2014Marcus MariotaOregonQBJunior2,53490.9%
2013Jameis WinstonFlorida StateQBFreshman2,20579.1%
2012Johnny ManzielTexas A&MQBFreshman2,02972.9%
2011Robert Griffin IIIBaylorQBJunior1,68760.7%
2010Cam NewtonAuburnQBJunior2,26381.6%
2009Mark Ingram Jr.AlabamaRBSophomore1,30447.0%
2008Sam BradfordOklahomaQBSophomore1,72662.1%
2007Tim TebowFloridaQBSophomore1,95770.5%
2006Troy SmithOhio StateQBSenior2,54091.6%
2005(vacated) Reggie BushUSCRBJunior2,54191.8%
2004Matt LeinartUSCQBJunior1,32547.9%
2003Jason WhiteOklahomaQBSenior1,48153.5%
2002Carson PalmerUSCQBSenior1,32848.0%
2001Eric CrouchNebraskaQBSenior77027.8%
2000Chris WeinkeFlorida StateQBSenior1,62858.9%
1999Ron DayneWisconsinRBSenior2,04273.8%
1998Ricky WilliamsTexasRBSenior2,35585.2%
1997Charles WoodsonMichiganCB/PRJunior1,81565.7%
1996Danny WuerffelFloridaQBSenior1,36349.4%
1995Eddie GeorgeOhio StateRBSenior1,46052.8%
1994Rashaan SalaamColoradoRBJunior1,74363.2%
1993Charlie WardFlorida StateQBSenior2,31083.8%
1992Gino TorrettaMiamiQBSenior1,40050.8%
1991Desmond HowardMichiganWR/PRJunior2,07775.5%
1990Ty DetmerBYUQBJunior1,48253.9%
1989Andre WareHoustonQBJunior1,07339.0%
1988Barry SandersOklahoma StateRBJunior1,87868.3%
1987Tim BrownNotre DameWRSenior1,44245.8%
1986Vinny TestaverdeMiamiQBSenior2,21370.3%
1985Bo JacksonAuburnRBSenior1,50947.9%
1984Doug FlutieBoston CollegeQBSenior2,24071.1%
1983Mike RozierNebraskaRBSenior1,80157.2%
1982Herschel WalkerGeorgiaRBJunior1,92661.1%
1981Marcus AllenUSCRBSenior1,79757.1%
1980George RogersSouth CarolinaRBSenior1,12835.8%
1979Charles WhiteUSCRBSenior1,69553.8%
1978Billy SimsOklahomaRBJunior82726.3%
1977Earl CampbellTexasRBSenior1,54749.1%
1976Tony DorsettPittsburghRBSenior2,35775.0%
1975Archie GriffinOhio StateRBSenior1,80057.6%
1974Archie GriffinOhio StateRBJunior1,92059.5%
1973John CappellettiPenn StateRBSenior1,05732.8%
1972Johnny RodgersNebraskaWR/RBSenior1,31038.8%
1971Pat SullivanAuburnQBSenior1,59742.3%
1970Jim PlunkettStanfordQBSenior2,22958.8%
1969Steve OwensOklahomaFBSenior1,48840.9%
1968O. J. SimpsonUSCHBSenior2,85380.6%
1967Gary BebanUCLAQBSenior1,96863.5%
1966Steve SpurrierFloridaQBSenior1,67948.3%
1965Mike GarrettUSCHBSenior92626.6%
1964John HuarteNotre DameQBSenior1,02631.0%
1963Roger StaubachNavyQBJunior1,86055.2%
1962Terry BakerOregon StateQBSenior70721.3%
1961Ernie DavisSyracuseHB/LB/FBSenior82425.2%
1960Joe BellinoNavyHBSenior1,79352.9%
1959Billy CannonLSUHBSenior1,92953.7%
1958Pete DawkinsArmyHBSenior1,39439.0%
1957John David CrowTexas A&MHBSenior1,18331.1%
1956Paul HornungNotre DameQBSenior1,06627.0%
1955Howard CassadyOhio StateHBSenior2,21955.9%
1954Alan AmecheWisconsinFBSenior1,06827.0%
1953Johnny LattnerNotre DameHBSenior1,85049.1%
1952Billy VesselsOklahomaHBSenior52514.3%
1951Dick KazmaierPrincetonHBSenior1,77760.0%
1950Vic JanowiczOhio StateHB/PJunior63322.0%
1949Leon HartNotre DameEndSenior99536.5%
1948Doak WalkerSMUHBJunior77828.6%
1947Johnny LujackNotre DameQBSenior74274.2%
1946Glenn DavisArmyHBSenior79279.2%
1945Doc BlanchardArmyFBJunior86033.8%
1944Les HorvathOhio StateHB/QBSenior41218.3%
1943Angelo BertelliNotre DameQBSenior64864.8%
1942Frank SinkwichGeorgiaHBSenior1,05956.2%
1941Bruce SmithMinnesotaHBSenior55450.0%
1940Tom HarmonMichiganHBSenior1,30354.3%
1939Nile KinnickIowaHB/QBSenior65131.0%
1938Davey O’BrienTCUQBSenior51929.6%
1937Clint FrankYaleHBSenior52432.9%
1936Larry KelleyYaleEndSenior21936.4%
1935Jay BerwangerChicagoHBSenior8443.1%