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Nick Florence joins illustrious line of Heisman replacements

By Chris Huston | College Football Writer
Nick Florence has some Heisman-sized shoes to fill. How well will he? (Getty Images)

The Heisman fraternity is an elite club filled with some of the most memorable names in college football history.

Just as elite, but far less memorable in some cases, are those players who had to replace those Heisman winners the following season.

Baylor's Nick Florence is about to become a new inductee into that group.

The senior from Garland, Texas, has the unenviable task of taking over for Robert Griffin III at quarterback for the Bears. Consequently, he is destined to be judged against the incredible standard set by the greatest player in Baylor history. His first bad throw will no doubt elicit "RG3 wouldn't have done that" comments from the Bears faithful.

Florence has certainly shown flashes of brilliance, including a 9-for-11 half (with three total touchdowns) in relief of an injured Griffin III against Texas Tech last season. He'll benefit from Art Briles' quarterback-friendly, wide-open offense that allows him to distribute the ball to athletes in space. The guess here is that the statistical dropoff won't be huge for Baylor at the quarterback position, but that it's going to be hard to replicate the leadership and clutch play RG3 brought to the table.

It will be up to Florence to help ensure that, years from now, RG3's accomplishments aren't viewed as anomalies. But, in the end, perhaps Florence shouldn't be measured against what Griffin III did, but against what other Heisman replacements have done. Here's a look at the last 30 players who replaced a Heisman winner as starter and what they did in those seasons.

Some handled the pressure better than others.

Player/YearHeisman ReplacedResult

Barett Trotter/2011

Trent Richardson/2011

Cam Newton

Mark Ingram

1,184 yds, 11 TDs

1,679 yds, 21 TDs, 3rd in Heisman vote, led team to BCS title

John Brantley/2010Tim Tebow2,061 yds, 9 TDs
Landry Jones/2009Sam Bradford3,198 yds, 26 TDs
Todd Boeckman/2007Troy Smith2,372 yds, 25 TDs, led Buckeyes to BCS title game

Chaunce Washington/2006

J.D. Booty/2006

Reggie Bush

Matt Leinart

744 yds, 9 TDs

3,347 yds, 29 TDs

Rhett Bomar/2005Jason White2,018 yds, 10 TDs
Matt Leinart/2003Carson Palmer3,556 yds, 38 TDs, 6th in Heisman, led USC to national title
Jamaal Lord/2002Eric Crouch1,412 rush yds, 1,362 pass yds
Chris Rix/2001Chris Weinke2,734 yds, 24 TDs
Mike Bennett/2000Ron Dayne1,598 yds, 10 TDs
Hodges Mitchell/1999Ricky Williams1,343 yds, 9 TDs
James Whitley/1998Charles Woodson3 INTs, 8.9 PR avg.
Doug Johnson/1997Danny Weurffel2,023 yds, 21 TDs
Pepe Pearson/1996Eddie George1,484 yds, 17 TDs
Herchell Troutman/1995Rashaan Salaam826 yds, 5 TDs
Danny Kanell/1994Charlie Ward2,781 yds, 17 TDs
Frank Costa/1993Gino Torretta1,325 yds, 5 TDs

Derrick Alexander/1992

Ryan Hancock/1992

Des Howard

Ty Detmer

50 rec, 740 yds, 11 TDs

2,735 yds, 17 TDs

David Klingler/1990Andre Ware5,140 yds, 54 TDs, 5th in Heisman vote
Gerald Hudson/1989Barry Sanders910 rush yds
Raghib Ismail/1988Tim Brown12 rec, 331 yds, 2 TDs
Steve Walsh/1987Vinny Testaverde2,249 yds, 19 TDs, led team to national title
Brent Fullwood/1986Bo Jackson1,391 yds, 10 TDs. 6th in Heisman vote
Shawn Halloran/1985Doug Flutie2,935 yds, 12 TDs
Jeff Smith/1984Mike Rozier935 yds, 7 TDs
Kevin Montgomery/1983Herschel Walker559 yds, 7 TDs
Todd Spencer/1982Marcus Allen596 yds, 8 TDs
 
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