Bruce Smith was the star halfback for Minnesota Gophers and led them to a national championship in 1940 and 1941. Bruce received the Heisman Trophy Award two days after Pearl Harbor and was voted the best college player in the All-Star game that year in Chicago. Bruce Smith was over 200 pounds, but he was still one of the Big 10 Conference's fastest men.
Smith made a habit helping his team to victory with his flashy, long-runs and leading Minnesota to two national titles in 1940 and 1941. In pacing the Gophers to the first of their back-to-back 8-0-0 campaigns, Smith was a sensation in 1940, scoring come-from-behind touchdowns that doused threats by Nebraska, Ohio State and Michigan. A courageous and inspired performer,
Smith saved his best for last. In 1941, as a senior captain of the Minnesota squad, he ran over the competition and won the Heisman Trophy. Smith's post-season play proved to be a continuation of his collegiate excellence. He was the MVP in the 1942 College All Star Game against the NFL's Chicago Bears and, after enlisting as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot, won the Player of the Year honors in Armed Forces competition.
In 1972, Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. His number 54 was the first to be officially retired by the Minnesota Gophers, in 1977.
Bruce Smithís heisman trophy was sold in 2005 during an online sports auction for $400,000 to an unknown online bidder from Los Angeles. It was a family decision and all family members agreed that it was the best thing to do. They even felt Bruce would have wanted it that way.
Tom Harmon | Bruce Smith | Frank Sinkwich | Angelo Bertelli | Les Horvath | Doc Blanchard | Glenn Davis | Johnny Lujack | Doak Walker | Leon Hart
1930ís | 1940ís | 1950ís | 1960ís | 1970ís | 1980ís | 1990ís | 2000ís | 2010ís