Vinny Testaverde Wins Heisman Trophy
Vinny Testaverde, the incomparable quarterback of the University of Miami, is the 52nd winner of college football's premier individual award, The Heisman Trophy.
Vinny, in common with all great quarterbacks, knows that his offensive line makes or breaks the day for him, and no one has been more generous in praise of his blockers than the 6'5", 220-pound aerial wizard from Elmont, Long Island, New York. Let that most successful of college football coaches, in terms of winning percentage, Oklahoma's Barry Switzer, tell you how good Vinny is as a quarterback. "In 21 years," Switzer said, after Vinny had thrown four touchdown passes to beat his number-one-ranked Sooners earlier in the season, "I have never seen a better quarterback." To add some statistical weight to Switzer's appraisal, consider that through the first nine games of the 1986 season, Vinny had completed 154 passes in 242 attempts for but what was perhaps even more impressive was the fact that he threw only eight interceptions. He is, in addition, Miami's all-time leader in career touchdown passes, with 46. Vinny was the number one selection for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now plays for the New York Jets. He and his wife Mitzi have one daughter, Alicia Marie, and one son, Vincent, Junior.
Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde's 1,541-point margin of victory over Temple running back Paul Palmer is the fifth highest in Heisman history. Testaverde equaled Doug Flutie's 678 first place votes, with the second highest amount going to Holy Cross two-day star Gordon Lockbaum, who had 32 and finished fifth overall.
Vincent Frank Testaverde (born November 13, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York) is a former American football quarterback who last played for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. Testaverde has previously played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, and the New England Patriots. He has twice appeared in an AFC Championship game. (1998 with the Jets, and 2006 with the Patriots) Testaverde holds the NFL records having thrown a touchdown pass in 21 consecutive seasons and an interception in 19 consecutive seasons. In addition, he holds the NFL record for throwing touchdown passes to 70 different players. Also, he holds the second highest completion percentage in a single game (at least 20 attempts) at 91.3% (21/23), in 1993 vs. the LA Rams (Kurt Warner is the first, with 24/26 for 92.3%). As a University of Miami quarterback, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1986.
While growing up in Elmont, New York, on Long Island, Testaverde attended Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, and then Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia for a post graduate year and then accepted a football scholarship to University of Miami, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1986 on his way to becoming the Hurricanes' all-time leader in career touchdown passes with 48. He played in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl against Penn State for the 1986 national championship, a game in which the Miami Hurricanes were heavily favored. However, Penn State intercepted Testaverde five times in a 14-10 defeat of top-ranked Miami, and he failed to throw a touchdown pass. Testaverde played an important part in the University of Miami's ascendance as one of the top collegiate football programs of the 1980s and 1990s. Along with Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar, Testaverde is considered part of the University of Miami's quarterback dynasty.