December 16, 1953 - Lattner wins Heisman

Johnny LattnerJohn Joseph "Johnny" Lattner of Chicago, Illinois played halfback for the Fighting Irish and became the fourth player to win the Heisman Trophy in the closest results since the Heisman began (and third closest overall). Other awards included the Maxwell Award in 1952 and 1953 along with being an All-American those same years.

An all around player, Lattner was a fantastic runner, receiver, punter, kick returner and defensive back. He recorded a combined 3,095 yards rushing, receiving, returning kicks, and intercepting passes. This included 20 touchdowns on 1,724 yards rushing (4.9 ypc), 613 yards receiving (15.7 ypc), 366 yards returning kickoffs with 2 TDs, and 307 yards returning punts. These statistics would be capped off by 13 interceptions. Lattner's record number of all-purpose yards would be a Notre Dame record until 1979 when it was broken by Vagas Ferguson.

Lattner would go on to be the 7th Pick in the 1st Round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. A knee injury in his first season cut his playing career short, so Lattner joined the Air Force for two years. Following his service he became a coach at St. Joseph High School and Denver University.

Keywords: football, johnny lattner, heisman, maxwell award, all american, vagas ferguson, air force, st joseph high school, denver university

Posted On: 2011-12-16 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


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