The U. S. Military Academy has produced 3 Heisman Trophy winners
While the United States Military Academy has slipped from its lofty status as one of college football’s
top programs, there’s no denying the successful past of Army football that produced national
championship football teams and players that were recognized as college football’s best.
USMA Heisman Winners
DOC BLANCHARD 1945,
GLENN DAVIS 1946,
PETE DAWKINS 1958.
Throughout the college football landscape there is
traditionally a long list of programs that have produced
waves of great teams and All-Americans. While many might
hesitate to put Army in that category, only four schools, Notre
Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC, have produced
more Heisman Trophy winners than the Black Knights.
The lethal rushing combination of Felix “Doc” Blanchard and
Glenn Davis first brought Heisman glory to West Point
following the 1945 and 1946 seasons. Not only did the
backfield duo both gain the nation’s top individual award and
earn All-American status three years; they helped lead the
Cadets to three consecutive (1944-46) national
Blanchard, who became the first junior to win the award,
was known as “Mr. Inside” because of his punishing running
style delivered by six-foot, 200-pound plus frame. Oddly
enough Blanchard only entered West Point after being
rejected from the Navy’s V-12 program because he was
considered overweight and because he had a vision
Whatever vision problems Blanchard had, Army Legendary
Coach Earl Red Blaik never lost sight of how the South
Carolina native struck fear into Army opponents. “Doc
Blanchard was the best built athlete I ever saw: 6 feet and
208 pounds at his peak, not a suspicion of fat on him, with
slim waist, atlas shoulders, colossal legs,” Blaik wrote in
his book “You Have to Pay the Price.” For a big man, ‘Doc’
was the quickest starter I ever saw, and in the open he ran
with the niftiness as well as the speed of a great halfback….”
The perfect compliment to Blanchard’s power running style was Glenn Davis who was dubbed “Mr. Outside”
for his ability to shed tacklers with his blazing speed. In his first year as a varsity regular, the California native
led the nation in scoring in 1944 while averaging an amazing 11.1 yards-per-carry. “He was emphatically the
greatest halfback I ever knew,” Coach Blaik wrote. “He was not so much a dodger and side-stepper as a
blazing runner who had a fourth, even fifth gear in reserve, could change direction at top speed and fly away
from tacklers as if jet-propelled.”
When the dust had settled after their final year at Army in 1946, both players had combined to score an NCAA
record 97 touchdowns and 585 points while leading the Black Knights to a 27-0-1 record.
When considering their Heisman impact, Blanchard and Davis still rank as the most dominating backfield
tandem of all time. The pair ranked an amazing 2-3 in 1944, 1-2 in 1945 and 1-4 in the 1946 Heisman
While Davis had much in common with his running mate Blanchard, it paled in comparison to a bond he
would later develop with another Heisman winner. Davis married Yvonne Ameche, the widow of Wisconsin’s
Alan Ameche who won the award in 1954. Another love interest of Glen Davis was Hollywood starlet Elizabeth
Taylor, who he dated prior to marrying actress Terry Moore.
Another similar comparison to Blanchard is the fact that both Heisman winners donated their trophies to their
high schools. Davis’ resides at Bonita High in Laverne, CA., while Blanchard’s spent many years at St.
Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis, Miss. The trophy resided at Davis’ high school until it was washed
away by Hurricane Katrina. Davis is buried at West Point near his former Army head coach, Red Blaik.
Not only did the 1958 season produce Army Heisman winner Pete Dawkins, but it was also the Black Knights last
undefeated season. Dawkins totaled 12 touchdowns during the season as he combined his rushing, receiving
and kick returning skills to account for 1,216 total yards.
Dawkins’ tackling of the Heisman Trophy was just one of his many accomplishments as the rambling Cadet
ranked 10th in his 1959 graduating class of 499.
Following his career at West Point, Dawkins snubbed the NFL’s Baltimore Colts and studied at Oxford University
as a Rhodes Scholar instead. Displaying the same leadership that he did on the field and in the classroom,
Dawkins became the youngest Brigadier General on active duty in the U.S. Army at the age of 43.Pete
Dawkins was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford and later earned a Phd. from Princeton. He was awarded two bronze
stars for valor in Vietnam and retired as a Brigadier general. Today, he’s a high-ranking executive with Citibank in