For years, Texas owned the bragging rights to the only high school to produce two Heisman Trophy winners, but that distinction changed in 2004 when California claimed a share
In case you are ever on a TV sports trivia show and the question is: What is the only high school to produce two Heisman Trophy winners?
Until 2004, Woodrow Wilson High School of Dallas, Texas, was the correct answer. For many years, I could proudly boast that my high school was the only high school to produce two college Heisman Trophy winners. I recently discovered that Woodrow Wilson shares that distinction with Mater Dei High School in Santa Anna, California thanks to Matt Leinart of Norte Dame winning the Heisman in 2004.
Davey O’Brien was born on June 22, 1917. He led the Woodrow Wilson Wildcats to the Texas UIL state finals and was an all-state quarterback in 1932. He played for Coach Dutch Meyers at Texas Christian University and was the smallest of all Heisman Trophy winners at 5-foot, 7-inches and 151 pounds. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1938. He did not play football professionally, pursuing a career as an FBI agent.
Tim Brown was born on July 22, 1966. He, like O’Brian, had a successful high school career at Woodrow and also starred as a strong sprinter posting a 47.1 time in the 440-yard dash. He had exceptional speed with 4.3 football speed.
After high school, Tim played for Coach Lou Holtz at Notre Dame, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1987. He was a consensus College All-American and Player of the Year in 1987 and was drafted by the LA Raiders and played 17 years in the NFL. He was All-Pro nine times and was named to the NFL All-Decade team.
After playing at Mater Dei High School, John Huarte played for Ara Parseghian at Notre Dame and won the Heisman in 1964. He was drafted by the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles in 1965. He played for the Jets, Eagles and Patriots over his six-year NFL career.
After playing at Mater Dei High School, Matt Leinart played for Pete Carroll at the University of Southern California and won the Heisman in 2004. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2006. During his six-year career, he played for Arizona, Houston and Oakland.
Take some time to give this some serious thought. IF the Heisman selection committee had not over-looked ME during my senior year at East Texas State University in 1961 (instead of selecting Ernie Davis of Syracuse), there would have been three Heisman Winners from Woodrow Wilson when Tim Brown won in 1987 – making Mater Dei High School of no consequence today.
Surely, no other high school will ever produce three Heisman winners, so I guess I will have to be satisfied with Woodrow Wilson being the FIRST high school in the nation to produce two Heisman Trophy winners.
Photos courtesy of NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL & NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE ARCHIVES
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