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Heisman 1985 Bo Jackson
Malcolm Emmons-US Presswire

Auburn's Greatest Athlete

1985 Heisman winner Bo Jackson

When Bo Jackson peaked as a two-sport athlete and Nike uberpitchman two decades ago, the Heisman Trophy that he won in 1985 as an Auburn tailback sat well down the list of his athletic achievements. Jackson hit three home runs for the Kansas City Royals on Opening Day, 1988. He became the first player in NFL history with two touchdown runs of more than 90 yards. Nike built an entire campaign around the slogan "Bo Knows." Flash forward to present day. Jackson has withdrawn from the public eye, although he is often seen at Auburn football games. And that Heisman Trophy has moved back up the list. Jackson's remains the greatest football player in Auburn history. For four years, he punished SEC defenses with his speed and his brawn. Yet he would later say that his "most exciting moment" of his Auburn career came upon his return from New York with the Heisman Trophy: "band playing, thousands of people cheering, standing on cars, waving banners, demanding that I give a speech." And if there's any more doubt about what the Heisman Trophy means, know this: When Jackson played for the Royals, his teammate, future Hall of Famer George Brett, asked him for a photo of Jackson standing with the trophy. Brett hung it over his locker. For three years.
-- Ivan Maisel


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