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Ron Dayne

What Ron Dayne accomplished at the University of Wisconsin was simply remarkable. In essence, he defined the Badger football program during his four-year career (1996-99) with his physical play, no-nonsense approach and blue collar work ethic for a program which averaged 9.3 wins per season during his illustrious career.

Here's a final look at #33:

  • college football’s most-decorated player after winning the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell and Doak Walker Awards.
  • national player of the year by the Associated Press, Football News, The Sporting News and Walter Camp.
  • first player in college history to run for more than 7,000 career yards (post-season play included).
  • college football’s all-time leading rusher with 6,397 yards (no bowls) ... bettered the old mark of 6,279 set by Ricky Williams (Texas) on a 31-yard run in the season finale vs. Iowa.
  • three-time bowl game MVP (1996 Copper, 1999 Rose and 2000 Rose).
  • first three-time Big Ten rushing champion in history.
  • finished second nationally in rushing (by 16 yards) despite sitting out six full quarters in blowout victories.
  • tied NCAA record for career 200-yard games (bowls not included) when he gained 216 yards vs. Iowa. Dayne along with Marcus Allen (USC) and Ricky Williams (Texas) had 12 games of at least 200 yards rushing in their careers.
  • Big Ten Conference career leader in rushing and scoring.
  • an average of 148.8 yards rushing per game (career) ranks fifth all-time.
  • Big Ten offensive P.O.W. four times in ‘99 (equaled the conference record set by Indiana’s Anthony Thompson and Michigan’s Desmond Howard).
  • only player to lead the Big Ten in three categories (rushing, all-purpose yardage and scoring) in 1999.
  • recorded five games of at least 200 yards rushing in 1999, a national-best figure. That includes 200-yard efforts in four of his last five college outings.
  • had his name and number unveiled on the facade of Camp Randall Stadium after the Iowa game on Nov. 13.
  • personally outrushed the opposing team 29 times in 43 career starts.
  • recorded 2,000-yard seasons as both a freshman and senior (counting bowl games).
  • gained just over 50 percent of his career yardage after contact.
  • landslide winner in the Heisman Trophy balloting. His 2,042 votes were the 10th-most of all time in 1999.
  • Inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame 2009
  • Inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame 2011

Dayne's Individual NCAA Records

  • Yards rushing, career: 6,397 by Ron Dayne, 1996-99
  • Games of 200-yards rushing, career: 11 by Ron Dayne, 1996-99 (tied with Marcus Allen, USC, 1978-81 and Ricky Williams, Texas, 1995-98)
  • 1,000-yard seasons, career: 4 by Ron Dayne, 1996-99 (tied with Amos Lawrence, North Carolina, 1977-80; Tony Dorsett, Pitt, 1973-76; Denvis Manns, New Mexico State, 1995-98; Cedric Benson, Texas, 2002-05; DonTrell Moore, New Mexico, 2002-05; Tyrell Fenroy, La-Lafayette, 2005-08; Damion Fletcher, Southern Miss., 2006-09)

Big Ten Records (as of 2010)

  • Rushing attempts, career: 1,220 by Ron Dayne, 1996-99
  • Rushing yards, season: 2,109 by Ron Dayne, 1996
  • Rushing yards, career: 7,125 by Ron Dayne, 1996-99
  • Rushing touchdowns, career: 71 by Ron Dayne, 1996-99
  • Scoring, career: 426 by Ron Dayne, 1996-99
  • Touchdowns, career: 71 by Ron Dayne, 1996-99

Career Honors and Statistics

YearRushing Att.Yds.Avg.TD


  • 1999 Heisman Trophy winner
  • 1999 Maxwell Award winner
  • 1999 Doak Walker Award winner
  • 1999 Associated Press Player of the Year
  • 1999 Walter Camp Player of the Year
  • 1999 Football News Player of the Year
  • 1999 The Sporting News Player of the Year
  • 1999 Chicago Tribune Silver Football winner (given to the Big Ten Most Valuable Player)
  • 1999 first-team all-American by Associated Press, Walter Camp Football Foundation, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association, The Sporting News, Football News, CNN/ and CBS Sportsline
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1999 Heisman Trophy Winner Ron Dayne

TB, 5-10, 252, Berlin, N.J. (Overbrook High School)

Opponent (A.P. Rank)Att.YardsAvg.TDsLg
Murray State201356.8326
Ball State311585.1119
@ Cincinnati282318.3129
Michigan (4)22884.0134
@ Ohio State (12)321615.0446
@ Minnesota (25)25803.2116
Michigan State (11)342146.3251
@ Northwestern351624.6224
@ Purdue (17)322226.9141
Standford (22)342005.9164
Senior Season (1999)3372,0346.02069
Career Totals1,2207,1255.87180

1999 Heisman Trophy voting

  1. Ron Dayne, Wisconsin 2,042
  2. Joe Hamilton, Georgia Tech 994
  3. Michael Vick, Virginia Tech 319
  4. Drew Brees, Purdue 308
  5. Chad Pennington, Marshall 247
  6. Peter Warrick, Florida State 203
  7. Shaun Alexander, Alabama 171
  8. Thomas Jones, Virginia 140
  9. LaVar Arrington, Penn State 54
  10. Tim Rattay, Louisiana Tech 29

What they said

Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin Head Coach:
“Ron really exemplified our program. I don’t think there’s a player that has ever meant more to a program. He’s what our program is all about ... blue-collar, tough, hard-nosed. He doesn’t do it the easy way, but he does what you have to do for wins.”

ABC’s Tim Brandt (on Dayne’s carry when he became college football’s career rushing leader):
“Open up the record books for Ron Dayne. He is the man of few words and many yards.”

Voted as a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2011
Ron Dayne was inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 4th 2009