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Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders was best of Heisman winners

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On the eve of the latest Heisman race, a look at the top 10 Heisman winners of all time.

1. Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State: In 1988, Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards and scored 37 touchdowns. In the 27 years since, no Heisman winner has rushed for more yards.

2. Archie Griffin, Ohio State: Other winners may talk about their Heismans, but Griffin is the only guy with a matched set. He won in both 1974 and 1975, rushing for 1,695 and 1,450 yards (counting bowl games).

3. Jameis Winston, FSU: If you throw in winning the national title (14 Heisman winners won it that same year), then it’s hard to beat Winston’s 2013 season when he threw for 4,054 yards and 40 touchdowns (counting the bowl game).

4. Cam Newton, Auburn: In his single season for the Tigers in 2010, Newton threw for 2,855 yards and rushed for 1,473 to lead Auburn to the national title.

5. Marcus Mariota, Oregon: Mariota was helped by his offense, but he still threw for 4,454 yards and led his team to the national title game (a loss) in 2-14.

6. Bo Jackson, Auburn: Has there ever been a better athlete than Jackson, who rushed for 1,786 yards in 1985?

7. Tim Tebow, Florida: Tebow threw for 3,286 yards and rushed for 838, accounting for 51 touchdowns in 2007. This was not one of Tebow’s national championship seasons, however.

8. O.J. Simpson, Southern Cal: Long before his trials and his time in prison, Simpson won the Heisman by the widest margin in history (1,750 votes) in 1968.

9. Herschel Walker, Georgia: Walker ran for 1,891 yards to lead the Bulldogs in 1982.

10. Danny Wuerffel, Florida: Wuerffel is another who won a Heisman and a national title in the same year. He threw for 3,625 yards and 39 touchdowns in 1996

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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