Notre Dame's Seventh Heisman Trophy: Tim Brown (1987)

In 1987, flanker Tim Brown (‘88) caught 39 passes for 846 yards and three touchdowns, while also earning a reputation as a prolific rusher, punt and kick returner. In a night game against Michigan State, Brown returned back-to-back punts for a touchdown, earning his place in the Heisman Trophy conversation. On Dec. 6 of that season, Brown topped Syracuse quarterback Don McPherson to become the seventh Notre Dame player to win the Heisman Trophy. In a recent interview with Fighting Irish Digital Media, Brown reflected upon his Heisman season and how winning the trophy became a definitive moment in his life. The accompanying images in this ’Strong and True’ moment are courtesy of the University of Notre Dame Archives and Media Relations offices.

1987 Heisman Trophy results
1. Tim Brown, Notre Dame, (1442)
2. Don McPherson, Syracuse, (831)
3. Gordie Lockbaum, Holy Cross, (657)
4. Lorenzo White, Michigan State, (632)
5. Craig Heyward, Pittsburgh, (170)
6. Chris Spielman, Ohio State, (110)
7. Thurman Thomas, Oklahoma State, (99)
8. Gaston Green, UCLA, (73)
9. Emmitt Smith, Florida (70)
10. Bobby Humphrey, Alabama (63)

1987 Heisman presentation

Tim Brown (center) and Notre Dame’s six other Heisman winners (from left) John Lujack, Angelo Bertelli, Leon Hart, Paul Hornung, John Huarte, and John Lattner at the 1987 Heisman Trophy presentation.

1987 Brown Michigan

Brown catches a pass at Michigan in 1987. The Irish won, 26-7.

Brown SI cover

Brown was on the cover of Sports Illustrated on Aug. 31, 1987.

1987 Brown Michigan State

In a night game against Michigan State at Notre Dame Stadium, Brown returned back-to-back punts for a touchdown, cementing his place in the Heisman race.

1986 Brown Michigan

As a senior, Brown totaled 1,847 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns.

Brown pose

Listed as a flanker, Brown was an all-around player – receiving, rushing out of the backfield, and returning punts and kickoffs.

Brown b&w

Often facing double or triple coverage, Brown was one of college football’s most dangerous players.