Ricky Williams' Heisman Trophy is sold for record amount

Ricky Williams' 1998 Heisman Trophy was sold on Friday for a record amount. (Photo credit should read ADAM NADEL/AFP/Getty Images)

A Florida sports memorabilia collector is richer by more than half a million dollars this morning after former Texas running back Ricky Williams’ 1998 Heisman Trophy was sold for $504,000 on Friday — a record amount.

Williams, who sold his trophy to Brian Hobbs in 2014, was the last Heisman winner to be able to profit off the trophy. After Williams’ year, awardees had to sign an agreement that kept them from selling the Heisman.

There is no word on the new owner or how much Hobbs profited off the sale, but there had to be some value in selling it now. Hobbs told the Associated Press that the fact that Texas football is having a good season factored into the decision.

“I’ve had it in my collection a long time and I can’t keep everything, so I thought this was good timing for the trophy,” Hobbs said. ”(Texas’) football program is doing well, and it’s a very highly sought-after trophy. ... The timing seemed like the right time for the next collector to have it.”

RELATED: Heisman Trophy winners throughout history

Heisman Trophy winners through history
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Heisman Trophy winners through history

1935: Jay Berwanger, Chicago

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1936: Larry Kelley, Yale

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1937: Clint Frank, Yale

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1938: Davey O'Brien, TCU

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1939: Nile Kinnick, Iowa

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1940: Tom Harmon, Michigan

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1941: Bruce Smith, Minnesota

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1942: Frank Sinkwich, Georgia

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1943: Angelo Bertelli, Notre Dame

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1944: Les Horvath, Ohio State

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1945: Doc Blanchard, Army

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1946: Glenn Davis, Army

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1947: Johnny Lujack, Notre Dame

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1948: Doak Walker, SMU

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1949: Leon Hart, Notre Dame

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1950: Vic Janowicz, Ohio State

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1951: Dick Kazmaier, Princeton

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1952: Billy Vessels, Oklahoma

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1953: Johnny Lattner, Notre Dame

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1954: Alan Ameche, Wisconsin

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1955: Howard Cassady, Ohio State

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1956: Paul Hornung, Notre Dame

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1957: John David Crow, Texas A&M

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1958: Pete Dawkins, Army

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1959: Billy Cannon, LSU

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1960: Joe Bellino, Navy

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1961: Ernie Davis, Syracuse

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1962: Terry Baker, Oregon State

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1963: Roger Staubach, Navy

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1964: John Huarte, Notre Dame

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1965: Mike Garrett, USC

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1966: Steve Spurrier, Florida

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1967: Gary Beban, UCLA

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1968: OJ Simpson, USC

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1969: Steve Owens, Oklahoma

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1970: Jim Plunkett, Stanford

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1971: Pat Sullivan, Auburn

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1972: Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska

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1973: John Cappelletti, Penn State

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1974 and 1975: Archie Griffin, Ohio State

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1976: Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh

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1977: Earl Campbell, Texas

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1978: Billy Sims, Oklahoma

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1979: Charles White, USC

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1980: George Rogers, South Carolina

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1981: Marcus Allen, USC

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1982: Herschel Walker, Georgia

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1983: Mike Rozier, Nebraska

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1984: Doug Flutie, Boston College

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1985: Bo Jackson, Auburn

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1986: Vinny Testaverde, Miami

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1987: Tim Brown, Notre Dame

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1988: Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State

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1989: Andre Ware, Houston

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1990: Ty Detmer, BYU

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1991: Desmond Howard, Michigan

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1992: Gino Torretta, Miami

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1993: Charlie Ward, Florida State

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1994: Rashaan Salaam, Colorado

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1995: Eddie George, Ohio State

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1996: Danny Wuerffel, Florida

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1997: Charles Woodson, Michigan

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1998: Ricky Williams, Texas

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1999: Ron Dayne, Wisconsin

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2000: Chris Weinke, Florida State

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2001: Eric Crouch, Nebraska

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2002: Carson Palmer, USC

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2003: Jason White, Oklahoma

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2004: Matt Leinart, USC

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2005: Reggie Bush, USC (later vacated)

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2006: Troy Smith, Ohio State

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2007: Tim Tebow, Florida

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2008: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

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2009: Mark Ingram Jr., Alabama

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2010: Cam Newton, Auburn

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2011: Robert Griffin III, Baylor

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2012: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

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2013: Jameis Winston, Florida State

(Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images for the Heisman Trust)

2014: Marcus Mariota, Oregon

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2015: Derrick Henry, Alabama

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2016: Lamar Jackson, Louisville

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Ripe time to sell the trophy

When the auction was announced a few weeks ago, projections were that the trophy would sell for around $500,000. It did, indeed, hit that mark.

The sale broke the record set by Tim Brown’s 1987 Heisman Trophy that was auctioned off for $435,763 last December. Rashaan Salaam’s trophy had been the previous record sale at $399,608 earlier in 2018.

Given that two have decades have passed since Heisman winners were permitted to sell their trophies, it’s no surprise that the value of trophies on the market are increasing. Williams’ trophy seems particularly valuable given the various circumstances. He had a prolific 1998 season for Texas, when he rushed for 2,327 yards and set what was then the all-time NCAA rushing record at 6,279 yards. Additionally, after some recent struggles, Texas football is back on the national radar, entering Saturday ranked 15th in the AP Poll.

The Heisman is one of the most recognizable individual trophies in sports, and if another trophy changes hands down the line, there is a new benchmark for how much it will sell for.

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