Class of 2019
Desmond Howard
Gale Sayers Lifetime Achievement Award

Desmond Howard has been a member of the widely popular ESPN College GameDay crew since 2005. As a college football analyst he has covered numerous major bowl games for ESPN/ABC. His television honors include multiple Sports Emmys as a College GameDay cast member. Born in Cleveland, Desmond earned gridiron All-American and All-Ohio honors as a tailback in his senior year at St. Joseph HS. He played football for the University of Michigan from 1989 to 1991 and won the Heisman Trophy in 1991. Howard captured 85 percent of the first-place votes in balloting for the Heisman, the largest margin in history at that time. During his college career at the University of Michigan, Howard set or tied five NCAA and 12 Michigan records. Howard was inducted into the 2011 class of the College Football Hall of Fame. On November 28, 2015, Howard had his #21 officially retired along with Gerald Ford (48), Tom Harmon (98), Ron Kramer (87), Bennie Osterbaan (47) and brothers Albert, Alvin and Whitey Wistert(11) at a ceremony before the Michigan game against Ohio State. Howard commented afterward, “Any time you have your name mentioned along with Gerald Ford, you’ve done something right.” Desmond was selected in the 1st round (4th pick) of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins where he played from 1992–1994. He later played for the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995), Green Bay Packers (1996, 1999), Oakland Raiders (1997–1998) and Detroit Lions (1999–2002). Howard was voted the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots and is the first and currently the only special teams player to win the award. He is one of only four players to win both the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP: Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett and Marcus Allen are the others. In his 11 NFL seasons, Howard caught 123 passes for 1,597 yards, rushed for 68 yards, returned 244 punts for 2,895 yards, and gained 7,595 yards returning 359 kickoffs. He also scored 15 touchdowns (7 receiving, 8 punt returns). Overall, Howard gained 12,155 all-purpose yards in his professional career.

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