Former Ohio State RB and Heisman winner Howard Cassady dies

Former Heisman Trophy winner Howard “Hopalong” Cassady died Friday morning according to multiple reports. He was 85.

Cassady was a running back at Ohio State from 1952-55. He won the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 1955 as the Buckeyes went 7-2 under Woody Hayes and 6-0 in the Big Ten.

Cassady ran for 958 yards and 14 touchdowns in that Heisman-winning season. He got his nickname from local sportswriters as a freshman in homage to the Hopalong Cassidy cowboy character created by Clarence Mulford.

The season before Cassady won the Heisman he finished third in the voting to Wisconsin’s Alan Ameche and Oklahoma’s Kurt Burris as a junior.

Cassady was Ohio State’s third Heisman Trophy winner. He was preceded by Les Horvath in 1944 and Vic Janowicz in 1950.

Heisman Trophy Winners Past
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Heisman Trophy Winners Past

Glenn Davis played for the United States Military Academy - West Point, and while some of the records he set in college have been broken, he still holds the all-time record for most yards averaged per carry in one season, 11.5 yards in 1945. He is ranked by ESPN as one of the "25 Greatest Players in College Football."

O.J. Simpson was a running back for USC when he won the Heisman in 1968.  Nicknamed "The Juice" he went on to play for the Buffalo Bills and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.  He is most infamously known for the murder trial of 1994 when he was accused of killing his ex wife and her friend.

Earl Campbell running back out of Texas, is one of a select few who were first pick in the NFL draft and a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. He went on to play for Houston, and led the league in rushing during his first 3 seasons. He made the Pro Bowl five times.

Marcus Allen, #33 fullback of the University of Southern California went on to play for the Los Angeles Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. He is considered one of the best short-yard and goal line runners of all time, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Herschel Walker, running back for the University of Georgia, is ranked #3 by ESPN on the list of 25 Greatest Players in College Football, and is widely regarded as the best college RB of all time. 
Bo Jackson, running back out of Auburn University, is the only athlete to be an All Star in two major American professional sports: Football and Baseball. ESPN calls him the greatest athlete of all time.

Charles Woodson was the first, and is still the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman. He played for Michigan, and beat out favorite Peyton Manning!

Though Reggie Bush had to give up his Heisman trophy due to allegations that he'd received extra benefits for playing and sanctions against USC, he is one of the more successful players to win in the latest years.  He now plays for the Detroit Lions, but in 2010 won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints.

Quarterback Tim Tebow of the University of Florida was the first sophomore to win the Heisman. He was garnered a lot of attention when he first entered the NFL, but it seems the hype has died down. Though he was the starting QB for the Broncos in 2011, he is now a free agent.
Cam Newton of the Auburn University Tigers is now the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers.  He almost lost out on the Heisman and his college career when it was reported that his father solicited Mississippi State over $120,000 for Cam to play there, but as Cam didn't know of his father's illegal actions, he was reinstated. In his rookie year of the NFL, Newton broke countless records and continues to have huge success.
RG III won the Heisman as QB for Baylor.  He is currently the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins (and is the first NFL QB to be born in the '90s!) earning the title of NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. 
FILE - In this Dec. 14, 1959, file photo, Detroit Lions back Howard Cassady (40) shoots toward a big hole in the Chicago Bears defense during the third quarter of a football game Chicago, Ill. Cassady, a Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL running back, died early Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Tampa, Fla., Jerry Emig, the Ohio State associate athletic director said. He was 85. Cassady played both football and baseball at Ohio State in the early 1950s, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1955. He also played 10 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Detroit, and got the nickname "Hopalong" from local sports writers after the black-hatted Western star of the 1950s. (AP Photo/Ed Maloney, File0

Drafted by the Detroit Lions

Cassady was taken with the No. 3 pick in the 1956 NFL draft by the Lions behind Gary Glick and Earl Morrall.

Cassady played eight seasons in the NFL; seven of them were with the Lions. His best season came as a rookie when he carried the ball 97 times for 413 yards. He scored six touchdowns in his career including three in his second season in the league.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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