Oklahoma could potentially achieve a feat that has only happened once in the history of college sports, producing the Heisman Trophy and Naismith Award winners in the same school year, which coincidentally was last accomplished by the Sooners. Former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and forward Blake Griffin did so for the Sooners in the 2008-09 school year.

Former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman last December and freshman guard Trae Young is among the frontrunners, if not the favorite, for the Naismith Award as he leads the country in both scoring (29.1 ppg) and assists (9.3 apg).

RELATED: Naismith Trophy Top 30 list announced 

This isn’t foreign territory for Oklahoma, which has produced a combined eight winners of the Heisman Trophy and Naismith Award. That number is tied with Notre Dame and Ohio State for the most all-time.

If Young can maintain his furious scoring pace while the Sooners contend for the Big 12 title, he and Mayfield could become the first pair of schoolmates to bring home the awards in the same school year since Bradford and Griffin.

Ten schools have produced at least one Heisman Trophy winner and one Naismith Award winner, and the Sooners could take the lead in combined winners if Young were to win the Naismith this spring.

We went behind the numbers for where Heisman and Naismith winners come from, including what conferences, schools, birth states, positions and class year have produced the most winners.

Two-sport excellence

Here are the 10 schools that have produced at least one Heisman Trophy winner and one Naismith Award winner in men’s basketball. Only two of them – Oklahoma and Texas – are responsible for multiple award winners in both sports.

School Heisman Trophy Winners Naismith Award Winners Total
Oklahoma 6 2 8
Notre Dame 7 1 8
Ohio State 7 1 8
UCLA 1 5 6
Texas 2 2 4
Michigan 3 1 4
Navy 2 1 3
Wisconsin 2 1 3
BYU 1 1 2
LSU 1 1 2

Conference superiority

Conference affiliations have changed countless times since the first Heisman Trophy was awarded to Chicago’s Jay Berwanger in 1935. For the sake of simplicity, we’re analyzing schools and conferences based upon their current affiliations and compositions, rather than the conference a school may have been a part of when one of its former players won a national award.

The ACC and Big Ten are tied for the most combined Heisman and Naismith winners from their respective member institutions. Of note: Only Notre Dame’s one Naismith Award (Austin Carr, 1971) count towards the ACC’s total since the Irish are a football independent. The same goes for Navy’s two Heisman winners and the AAC.

Conference Count
Big Ten 25
ACC 25
Big 12 17
SEC 16
Pac-12 11
FBS Independents 11
Big East 4
A-10 3
Ivy League 3
Missouri Valley 1
Mountain West 1
Patriot League 1
West Coast 1

Better with age

Seniors have won the Heisman Trophy and Naismith Award a combined 86 times. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors have won the two awards just 45 times. A freshman has won the two awards on a combined four occasions; all four instances have occured since 2007.

Here is a breakdown of the Heisman Trophy winners by class year.

Year Number of Winners
Senior 57
Junior 19
Sophomore 4
Freshman 2

*Former USC running back Reggie Bush had his Heisman Trophy vacated

Here is a breakdown of Naismith Award winners by class year.

Year Number of Winners
Senior 29
Junior 9
Sophomore 9
Freshman 2

Positional breakdown

To simplify the correlation between position and award winners, it’s better to have the ball in your hands, especially in football. A quarterback or running back has won the Heisman in 77 of the 83 years in which the trophy has been awarded. A quarterback has won the award in 15 of the last 18 seasons.

The principle isn’t as straight-forward in basketball but by categorizing Naismith Award winners into one of three positions – guard, forward and center – centers have won the award the fewest number of times. While a guard has won the award in five of the last eight seasons, forwards have won the Naismith Award 20 times, the most of any position.

Here is a positional breakdown of Heisman Trophy winners.

Position Number of Winners
Running back 43
Quarterback 34
Wide receiver 2
End 2
Defensive back 1

Here is a positional breakdown of Naismith Award winners.

Position Number of Winners
Forward 20
Guard 16
Center 13

Where are the best of the best born?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that football-heavy states, especially at the youth and high school ranks, have produced their fair share of Heisman winners. California leads the way with 12, followed by Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania. Five of the last six Heisman winners were born in Alabama, Florida or Texas.

Birth State/Country Number of Winners
California 12
Ohio 9
Texas 8
Pennsylvania 6
Florida 4
Georgia 4
Oklahoma 4
Alabama 3
Minnesota 3
New Jersey 3
Indiana 2
Iowa 2
Massachusetts 2
Missouri 2
Nebraska 2
Colorado 1
Hawaii 1
Illinois 1
Japan 1
Kansas 1
Kentucky 1
Louisiana 1
Maryland 1
Michigan 1
Mississippi 1
New York 1
Phillipines 1
South Carolina 1
Wisconsin 1
Yugoslavia 1

Imagine a five-man lineup of Jimmer Fredette, Michael Jordan, Elton Brand, Christian Laettner and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Those five players were all born in New York, which has produced more Naismith Award winners than any other state. The Midwest and mid-Atlantic portions of the U.S. are responsible for a bulk of the award’s winners.

Birth State/Territory/Country Number of Winners
New York 5
Illinois 4
Indiana 3
Pennsylvania 3
Virginia 3
Washington D.C. 3
Louisiana 2
Michigan 2
Ohio 2
Texas 2
Australia 1
Bahamas 1
California 1
Connecticut 1
Florida 1
Iowa 1
Jamaica 1
Maryland 1
Mississippi 1
Missouri 1
New Jersey 1
North Carolina 1
Oklahoma 1
Puerto Rico 1
Tennessee 1
U.S. Virgin Islands 1

Andy Wittry has written for SI.com, Sporting News, the Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier-Journal and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCAA or its member institutions.


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