NEW YORK — Sam Bradford was welcomed to the Heisman fraternity Monday night in a ballroom at the New York Hilton. More than 1,000 people paid $500 a ticket to watch the Oklahoma sophomore quarterback be formally presented with the 2008 Heisman Trophy.
"I can’t tell you what an honor this is,” Bradford said. "I will carry the name ‘Heisman Trophy winner’ very proudly.” Bradford wasn’t the only honoree. The Heisman Trust recognized 1958 Heisman winner Pete Dawkins of Army (50th anniversary), 1983 winner Mike Rozier of Nebraska (25th anniversary) and 1998 winner Ricky Williams of Texas (10th anniversary), who wasn’t in attendance due to his obligation as a member of the Miami Dolphins. The Heisman Trust also recognized former NHL star Pat LaFontaine with the Heisman Humanitarian Award for his work with the Companions in Courage Foundation, which raises money to build interactive playrooms in hospitals for sick children. In all, 21 Heisman winners attended the ceremony, including OU Heisman winners Steve Owens (1969), Billy Sims (1978) and Jason White (2003). Among the Sooner entourage attending with Bradford were his parents, Kent and Martha; OU athletic director Joe Castiglione; coach Bob Stoops; and seven assistant coaches (Kevin Wilson, Josh Heupel, Jay Norvell, Cale Gundy, James Patton, Chris Wilson and Bobby Jack Wright). "I would just say this, as great a player Sam is, I think he is a better Christian, a better son, a better teammate, a better student,” Stoops said.