Today marks the 80th anniversary since TCU’s Davey O’Brien won the Heisman Trophy.
O’Brien is the school’s only Heisman Trophy winner, earning the honor on Dec. 6, 1938. He is also the shortest player in history to win the award at 5-foot-7.
In a story recapping the night in New York, an Associated Press writer said: “Little Davey O’Brien, the pigskin passer from Texas Christian University, who never gets flustered on a football field, blushed furiously tonight when he had to stand up before a crowd of 1200 New Yorkers and receive the John Heisman Memorial award as ‘the outstanding football player of the year.’”
O’Brien had a sensational season in leading TCU to the national championship in 1938. He did it all -- running, passing, place-kicking, returning kicks, punting and intercepting passes. O’Brien led the nation in passing in 1937 and 1938, and was No. 1 in total offense in 1938.
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Also in 1938, he threw a touchdown pass in every game, a rare feat in how the game was played in those days.
As stated, O’Brien is the only TCU player who has won the prestigious award. The school had a “Davey Day” for this year’s season opener against Southern to commemorate the 80th anniversary.
The school has had five other players finish in the top-five of voting as well.
Sammy Baugh finished fourth in 1936; Jim Swink finished second in 1955; Kenneth Davis finished fifth in 1984; LaDainian Tomlinson finished fourth in 2000; and Trevone Boykin finished fourth in 2014.
This year’s Heisman Trophy will be awarded on Saturday night. The finalists are Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins.