Hart and Larry Kelley of Yale (the '36 winner) rank as the only linemen ever to win the Heisman Trophy. Joining Irish teammate and tackle Jim Martin as the last of the two-way players with the advent of two-platoon football, Hart gained a reputation as an outstanding blocker and superb rusher on defense in addition to his estimable pass-catching skills. A four-time letter-winner, Hart never played on the losing side during his years in a Notre Dame uniform as the Irish went 36-0-2 and claimed three national championships. He became a three-time first-team All-American and a consensus choice as a junior and senior. In 1949 he was voted the Associated Press male athlete of the year, outpointing such famous names as Jackie Robinson and Sam Snead. He also received the Maxwell Award as top collegiate player in 1949. A mechanical engineering major, Hart called defensive signals and often played fullback as a senior to confuse defenses. He went on to play eight seasons with the Detroit Lions, helping the team to three NFL titles and earning all-pro honors on both offense and defense in 1951. Now living in Birmingham, Mich., Hart heads up a variety of business enterprises, including the manufacture of tire-balancing equipment. He was elected to the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame in 1973.
1949 Heisman Voting