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 HeismanTrophy.com. “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)

From HeismanTrophy.com: 

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

* record

Year Name School Pos. Class Points % of Points Possible
2019 Joe Burrow LSU QB Senior * 2,608 * 93.8%
2018 Kyler Murray Oklahoma QB Junior 2,167 77.8%
2017 Baker Mayfield Oklahoma QB Senior 2,398 86.0%
2016 Lamar Jackson Louisville QB Sophomore 2,144 79.5%
2015 Derrick Henry Alabama RB Junior 1,832 65.7%
2014 Marcus Mariota Oregon QB Junior 2,534 90.9%
2013 Jameis Winston Florida State QB Freshman 2,205 79.1%
2012 Johnny Manziel Texas A&M QB Freshman 2,029 72.9%
2011 Robert Griffin III Baylor QB Junior 1,687 60.7%
2010 Cam Newton Auburn QB Junior 2,263 81.6%
2009 Mark Ingram Jr. Alabama RB Sophomore 1,304 47.0%
2008 Sam Bradford Oklahoma QB Sophomore 1,726 62.1%
2007 Tim Tebow Florida QB Sophomore 1,957 70.5%
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State QB Senior 2,540 91.6%
2005 (vacated) Reggie Bush USC RB Junior 2,541 91.8%
2004 Matt Leinart USC QB Junior 1,325 47.9%
2003 Jason White Oklahoma QB Senior 1,481 53.5%
2002 Carson Palmer USC QB Senior 1,328 48.0%
2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska QB Senior 770 27.8%
2000 Chris Weinke Florida State QB Senior 1,628 58.9%
1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin RB Senior 2,042 73.8%
1998 Ricky Williams Texas RB Senior 2,355 85.2%
1997 Charles Woodson Michigan CB/PR Junior 1,815 65.7%
1996 Danny Wuerffel Florida QB Senior 1,363 49.4%
1995 Eddie George Ohio State RB Senior 1,460 52.8%
1994 Rashaan Salaam Colorado RB Junior 1,743 63.2%
1993 Charlie Ward Florida State QB Senior 2,310 83.8%
1992 Gino Torretta Miami QB Senior 1,400 50.8%
1991 Desmond Howard Michigan WR/PR Junior 2,077 75.5%
1990 Ty Detmer BYU QB Junior 1,482 53.9%
1989 Andre Ware Houston QB Junior 1,073 39.0%
1988 Barry Sanders Oklahoma State RB Junior 1,878 68.3%
1987 Tim Brown Notre Dame WR Senior 1,442 45.8%
1986 Vinny Testaverde Miami QB Senior 2,213 70.3%
1985 Bo Jackson Auburn RB Senior 1,509 47.9%
1984 Doug Flutie Boston College QB Senior 2,240 71.1%
1983 Mike Rozier Nebraska RB Senior 1,801 57.2%
1982 Herschel Walker Georgia RB Junior 1,926 61.1%
1981 Marcus Allen USC RB Senior 1,797 57.1%
1980 George Rogers South Carolina RB Senior 1,128 35.8%
1979 Charles White USC RB Senior 1,695 53.8%
1978 Billy Sims Oklahoma RB Junior 827 26.3%
1977 Earl Campbell Texas RB Senior 1,547 49.1%
1976 Tony Dorsett Pittsburgh RB Senior 2,357 75.0%
1975 Archie Griffin Ohio State RB Senior 1,800 57.6%
1974 Archie Griffin Ohio State RB Junior 1,920 59.5%
1973 John Cappelletti Penn State RB Senior 1,057 32.8%
1972 Johnny Rodgers Nebraska WR/RB Senior 1,310 38.8%
1971 Pat Sullivan Auburn QB Senior 1,597 42.3%
1970 Jim Plunkett Stanford QB Senior 2,229 58.8%
1969 Steve Owens Oklahoma FB Senior 1,488 40.9%
1968 O. J. Simpson USC HB Senior 2,853 80.6%
1967 Gary Beban UCLA QB Senior 1,968 63.5%
1966 Steve Spurrier Florida QB Senior 1,679 48.3%
1965 Mike Garrett USC HB Senior 926 26.6%
1964 John Huarte Notre Dame QB Senior 1,026 31.0%
1963 Roger Staubach Navy QB Junior 1,860 55.2%
1962 Terry Baker Oregon State QB Senior 707 21.3%
1961 Ernie Davis Syracuse HB/LB/FB Senior 824 25.2%
1960 Joe Bellino Navy HB Senior 1,793 52.9%
1959 Billy Cannon LSU HB Senior 1,929 53.7%
1958 Pete Dawkins Army HB Senior 1,394 39.0%
1957 John David Crow Texas A&M HB Senior 1,183 31.1%
1956 Paul Hornung Notre Dame QB Senior 1,066 27.0%
1955 Howard Cassady Ohio State HB Senior 2,219 55.9%
1954 Alan Ameche Wisconsin FB Senior 1,068 27.0%
1953 Johnny Lattner Notre Dame HB Senior 1,850 49.1%
1952 Billy Vessels Oklahoma HB Senior 525 14.3%
1951 Dick Kazmaier Princeton HB Senior 1,777 60.0%
1950 Vic Janowicz Ohio State HB/P Junior 633 22.0%
1949 Leon Hart Notre Dame End Senior 995 36.5%
1948 Doak Walker SMU HB Junior 778 28.6%
1947 Johnny Lujack Notre Dame QB Senior 742 74.2%
1946 Glenn Davis Army HB Senior 792 79.2%
1945 Doc Blanchard Army FB Junior 860 33.8%
1944 Les Horvath Ohio State HB/QB Senior 412 18.3%
1943 Angelo Bertelli Notre Dame QB Senior 648 64.8%
1942 Frank Sinkwich Georgia HB Senior 1,059 56.2%
1941 Bruce Smith Minnesota HB Senior 554 50.0%
1940 Tom Harmon Michigan HB Senior 1,303 54.3%
1939 Nile Kinnick Iowa HB/QB Senior 651 31.0%
1938 Davey O’Brien TCU QB Senior 519 29.6%
1937 Clint Frank Yale HB Senior 524 32.9%
1936 Larry Kelley Yale End Senior 219 36.4%
1935 Jay Berwanger Chicago HB Senior 84 43.1%