NCAA Football

Tim Tebow and 15 QB Heisman Trophy Winners Who Flopped in the NFL

15 QBs Who Won the Heisman and Then Failed in the NFL

Tim Tebow
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The Heisman Trophy is a bizarre award. It's college football's MVP award, but it far from guarantees success on the next level. Here we'll take a look at several quarterbacks who won the coveted award and then failed in the NFL.

Danny Wuerffel

Florida Gators v Georgia Bulldogs
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Danny Wuerffel

Florida Gators v Georgia Bulldogs
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Wuerffel won the Heisman back in 1996, but failed to make ever make an impact in the NFL. He was selected in the fourth round of the 1997 draft by the Saints and also played for three other teams. In total over his six-year NFL career, Wuerffel compiled a record of 4-6.

Eric Crouch

Eric Crouch #7
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Eric Crouch

Eric Crouch #7
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Crouch was a big-time college star at Nebraska. The NFL? Not so much. After winning the Heisman in 2001, Crouch was selected in the third round of the 2002 draft by the Rams. However, they drafted him to play wide receiver. It wasn't meant to be, and after failed stints in the NFL, NFL Europe and CFL, Crouch's career basically came to an end in 2007.

Chris Weinke

Chris Weinke #16
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Chris Weinke

Chris Weinke #16
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Another FSU alum, Weinke did manage to stay in the NFL for five years. In his time with Carolina and San Francisco, the former Heisman winner compiled a record of 2-18.

Troy Smith

Cincinnati Bearcats v Ohio State Buckeyes
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Troy Smith

Cincinnati Bearcats v Ohio State Buckeyes
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Smith won the 2006 Heisman by a landslide. But in the years that followed, he failed to make an impact in the NFL. Unlike some QBs on this list, he was drafted (fifth round), but from 2007-2010 he only started eight games.

Matt Leinart

USC v UCLA
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Matt Leinart

USC v UCLA
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Leinart took home college football's most prestigious award back in 2004. He entered the NFL in 2006 as the 10th overall pick, but his career never really got on track. Technically, Leinart is still an active player, but he hasn't started a game since 2011.

Jason White

Texas Tech v Oklahoma
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Jason White

Texas Tech v Oklahoma
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White won the Heisman in 2003, but was not drafted in 2005. Even after the draft was in the books, it was weeks before he even received a tryout. Eventually, bad knees led the QB to retirement. He never played a down in the NFL.

Steve Spurrier

Steve Spurrier Florida Gators QB Heisman 1966
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Steve Spurrier

Steve Spurrier Florida Gators QB Heisman 1966
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That's right, the Ol' Ball Coach won the Heisman back in 1966. But just like his coaching stint in the NFL, his playing stint wasn't successful either. Over 10 years, Spurrier compiled a 13-24-1 record as a starting QB.

Andre Ware

Andre Ware
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Andre Ware

Andre Ware
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Ware took home the Heisman back in 1989, but would only go on to compile a 3-3 record over four seasons in the NFL with the Lions.

Charlie Ward

Clemson Tigers v Florida State Seminoles
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Charlie Ward

Clemson Tigers v Florida State Seminoles
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This former Heisman winner never attempted a pass in the NFL. He declared that he wouldn't play in the NFL if he wasn't a first-round draft pick and that he would take his talents to the NBA to play point guard. Ward was not drafted by an NFL team in 1995, but he was a first-round selection of the New York Knicks. Therefore, Ward played in the NBA for 12 seasons and never took a pro football snap.

Gino Torretta

Gino Torretta
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Gino Torretta

Gino Torretta
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Torretta had a great college career at Miami, going 26-1 and winning the Heisman Trophy in 1992. However, NFL scouts didn't see much in him. Torretta was a seventh-round draft pick in 1993 and only played a couple of seasons in the NFL as a backup.

Ty Detmer

Ty Detmer
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Ty Detmer

Ty Detmer
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Detmer won the Heisman back in 1991, but like many other former winners, NFL scouts didn't like what they saw. Detmer went in the ninth round (doesn't even exist anymore) of the 1992 draft to the Packers. Eventually he found his way to the Eagles and in 1996 he actually posted a winning record of 7-4. From that point on, however, it was all down hill. Detmer only won four games from 1997 on, before retiring after the 2005 season.

Gary Beban

Gary Beban
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Gary Beban

Gary Beban
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Beban won the Heisman in 1967 as the QB for UCLA, but he only attempted one pass in the NFL.

John Huarte

Notre Dame quarterback John Huarte in an undated photo (SN Archive).
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John Huarte

Notre Dame quarterback John Huarte in an undated photo (SN Archive).
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Huarte is a popular Heisman QB winner because he played at Notre Dame, but he only threw for one touchdown during his six-year pro football career.

Terry Baker

Terry Baker
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Terry Baker

Terry Baker
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Way back in 1962, Baker became the first and only player from Oregon State to ever win the Heisman. His NFL career, however, was short and sweet. In total, Baker played three seasons and attempted 21 passes.

Pat Sullivan

Pat Sullivan
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Pat Sullivan

Pat Sullivan
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Sullivan is one of three Auburn Tigers to take home college football's highest individual honor, but his NFL career was a big-time flop. He played four seasons for the Atlanta Falcons and went 0-5 as a starting QB.