California 1st in States with Most Heisman Winners

California 1st in States with Most Heisman Winners
Fact Checked by Editorial Staff

California does not produce football talent like it used to, but the state still reigns supreme when it comes to Heisman Trophy winners.  Thirteen players born in the Golden State, including luminaries like Glenn Davis, Jim Plunkett and Marcus Allen, have taken home college football’s most prestigious individual award and that does not even include Spring Valley native Reggie Bush, whose 2005 honor was vacated. 

With the college football season upon us, we looked at the trend of where Heisman winners were born in the United States to see if it shows who might have an outside chance at taking the 2022 Heisman Trophy. used to take every winner from the first in 1935 until present day. We then found their birth state to come to our final totals on the chart below.

Top 10 States Where Heisman Winners Were Born

Rank StateHeisman Winners
T-8.New Jersey3

Top Heisman Contenders from California

Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young spent much of his youth in California, starring for the legendary Orange County program Mater Dei as a high schooler, but was born in Pennsylvania. That means 2004 winner and fellow Mater Dei alum Matt Leinart is technically the last Californian to claim the Heisman.  Could that change this year? Oddsmakers certainly think so, and California sports betting fans might want to take note. Here are the top Heisman contenders from California (odds courtesy of BetMGM California):

Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud (+200)

After finishing fourth in last year’s voting as a redshirt freshman, Stroud has usurped Young as this year’s preseason favorite heading into his sophomore season. Stroud completed more than 70 percent of his passes and threw for 3862 yards and 38 touchdowns in the regular season last year before his taking his game to the next level in the Rose Bowl. He put up a bowl record 573 yards and tossed 6 touchdowns that afternoon as the Buckeyes defeated Utah by three. 

Stroud hopes to carry that momentum into this year as he leads an explosive Ohio State team that is currently ranked second nationally and hoping for a return to the College Football Playoff. 

Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei (+2000)

The former St. John Bosco standout had a rocky season in 2021, but these odds reflect the immense amount of untapped potential Uiagalelei has waiting to be unlocked. Per the 247Sports Composite he was the country’s second-ranked quarterback in the Class of 2020, behind only Young, and his physical gifts remain rare.

If he can improve his accuracy, Uiagalelei could be in line for a massive breakout year. However, he will have to hold off a challenge from 5-star freshman Cade Klubnik, as the Tigers could easily switch to him at quarterback if Uiagalelei struggles again out of the gate.

Utah QB Cameron Rising (+6600)

Fresh off its first Pac-12 conference title, Utah comes into 2022 looking for a repeat.  Rising emerged as the Utes' unquestioned leader last year and is looking to capitalize on their standing as the number 7 team in the AP poll.

He will have to make the jump from efficient, above-average quarterback to bona fide superstar though if he wants to have a serious chance at the Heisman.  A repeat of last year’s 2,493-yard, 20-touchdown, 5-interception performance would likely win Utah plenty of games, but no one has won the award with numbers that low in years. 

Other Potential Heisman Candidates of Note From California

USC RB Travis Dye (+5000), LSU QB Jayden Daniels (+6600), West Virginia QB JT Daniels (+10000). 

Leading 2022 Heisman Contenders

USC's new quarterback Caleb Williams is one of the leading contenders for the award this year, but he's a transfer from Oklahoma and is originally from Washington, D.C. Caleb Williams Heisman odds are set at +600. Here are the rest of the top contenders for the hardware:

⭐️ CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State+200
⭐️ Bryce Young, QB, Alabama+375
⭐️Caleb Williams, QB, USC+600
⭐️Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas+1600
⭐️Will Anderson, LB, Alabama+1600
⭐️Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas+2000
⭐️ DJ Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson+2000
⭐️ Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida+2000
⭐️ Dillon Gabriel, QB, Oklahoma+2000
⭐️ TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State+2000
⭐️ Kedon Slovis, QB, Pitt+2500
⭐️ Jaxson Dart, QB, Mississippi+2500
⭐️ Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (Fl.)+2500

Odds courtesy of BetMGM California. Sports betting in California has not been legalized.



Josh Markowitz

Josh Markowitz is a freelance writer for He is a lifelong sports fan with an emphasis on basketball, football, baseball and the scouting/evaluation process. A graduate of Elon University's School of Communications, Josh also has experience in television production.

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