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Austin R. Vaughn | NCAA.com | December 4, 2015

33rd anniversary of Herschel Walker's Heisman

  Walker was one of many legends present at the 1982 Heisman Trophy ceremony.

Thirty-three years ago today, Georgia running back Herschel Walker won the Heisman Trophy following a college career that saw him win a national championship and be named first team All American three times.

Walker, the only player to finish in the top three in Heisman voting every year he played, is known as an SEC legend. Georgia retired his No. 34 and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Walker's professional career was not as successful as his college years, though he rushed for more than 1,000 yards twice in the NFL and three times in the USFL. Meanwhile, three of the men who finished below Walker in the Heisman voting that year would go on to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

John Elway finished second in the 1982 Heisman voting and later led the Denver Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl victories and five AFC championships. He was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times and remains the Broncos' all-time career leader in wins, completions, passing yards, rushing yards by a quarterback and passing touchdowns.

Eric Dickerson finished third in the voting. His NFL career rivaled even Elway's. Dickerson was selected to the Pro Bowl six times, named AP first-team All Pro five times, set the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single season at 2,105 and finished his career as the seventh leading rusher of all time.

Dan Marino finished tenth in the voting that year. Less than a year before, Marino's Pitt Panthers and Walker's Georgia Bulldogs faced off in the Sugar Bowl. On fourth down, with just 35 seconds to go, Marino tossed a 33 yard touchdown strike to John Brown to take the lead. Pitt was able to keep the Dawgs from scoring in that last half minute and the previously undefeated Bulldogs' dream of a second consecutive national championship were dashed. 

In the NFL, Marino became the first quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a single season and the first to throw 40 touchdowns in a single season. Marino was also a nine-time Pro Bowler, three-time first team All-Pro and was named the 25th best NFL player of all time by NFL.com in 2009.


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