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Reclaiming Heisman won’t be easy

Jake Trotter Modified: August 24, 2009 at 10:46 am •  Published: August 24, 2009
NORMAN — In the 74-year history of the Heisman, only one player, Ohio State’s Archie Griffin, has been able to win the Trophy twice.

This season, Oklahoma quarterback and reigning Heisman winner Sam Bradford will attempt to become the second.

But repeating won’t be easy. All told, nine returning winners of the Trophy have come up short, including four since Griffin repeated in 1975.

Among those is former Sooner quarterback Jason White, who won the Heisman in 2003, but finished third in the voting in 2004.

White spoke with The Oklahoman about the pressure on Heisman winners who come back to college and what advice he’d give Bradford after experiencing the hoopla of playing as a returning Heisman winner himself:

What is the challenge of coming back to college as a Heisman winner?

White: "You’ve got that ‘X’ on your back because you won the year before. But you have to put that aside. For me, it wasn’t a challenge winning the Heisman and coming back. The challenge was meeting the new goals I had set for myself: winning a Big 12 title, a national championship.”

What kind of pressure do you face on the field holding the title of Heisman winner?

"You dealt with it the year before, going through that Heisman hype. But after winning the Heisman, it’s pretty crazy. To come back and play the next year, there is a sense to show people you’re worthy of winning that award, that it wasn’t a fluke. I also think there’s more criticism after you win the Heisman. Media and voters, they pick you apart more, because they feel like you’ve already reached that and need to be judged at a higher level.”

Having gone through the experience and knowing that Sam is about to go through it, what would you tell him?

"I’m pretty sure Sam has similar goals to what I had.


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