How Many Washington Players Have Won the Heisman Trophy?

    Washington has had some of the top players in college football in their ranks. Find out how many Huskies have won a Heisman Trophy.

    The Washington Huskies are one of the top teams in the nation, making it to the National Championship Game in 2023. With previous players such as Warren Moon and Mark Brunell, they have had some of the greatest players dress in purple and gold.

    As one of the biggest college football programs on the West Coast, you would expect them to have had players who have won the Heisman Trophy. But has a Huskie ever won the prestigious award?

    Has a Washington Player Won a Heisman Trophy?

    Surprisingly, a Washington player has never won a Heisman Trophy. They are one of the biggest programs in college football to have never had a player receive the award.

    Despite not having a player win the award, the program can boast eight finalists since the creation of the award in 1935.

    The closest the Huskies have come is in 2023 when QB Michael Penix finished runner-up to LSU QB Jayden Daniels. Penix was considered one of the favorites for the award after a career year in 2023 where he led the Huskies to the College Football Playoff and a National Championship Game.

    The list also includes QB Jake Browning, who holds several school records. Between 2015 and 2018, Browning has the most passing yards in school history, with 12,296. He also holds the most passing touchdowns in school history with 94.

    Penix sits third on both those lists with 9,289 passing yards and 66 touchdowns in just two years.

    The most fruitful period for Washington and the Heisman Trophy was between 1990 and 2000 when the Huskies had four players as finalists.

    During this time, Greg Lewis, Steve Emtman, Napoleon Kaufman, and Marques Tuiasosopo all gained votes in the race for the Heisman Trophy. Before Penix, Emtman was the highest a Wahington player had got, finishing fourth in 1991. That was the year Michigan WR and College GameDay co-host Desmond Howard ran away with the award.

    Washington is just one of the top programs in the nation to have never won a Heisman Trophy. Other blue-blood programs that have shockingly never had a player win the award include Clemson, Tennessee, and Ole Miss.

    The program may not have ever had a Heisman Trophy winner, but they do have plenty of alumni in the College Football Hall of Fame. 13 former Huskies have been inducted, including previous finalists Emtman, Hugh McElhenny, and Don Heinrich.

    Full List of Washington Heisman Trophy Finalists

    Hugh McElhenny, RB, 1951 – 8th
    Don Heinrich, QB, 1952 – 9th
    Greg Lewis, RB, 1990 – 7th
    Steve Emtman, DL, 1991 – 4th
    Napoleon Kaufman, RB, 1994 – 9th
    Marques Tuiasosopo, QB, 2000 – 8th
    Jake Browning, QB, 2016 – 6th
    Michael Penix, QB, 2023 – 2nd

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