Hello again, Reddit! This is Kellye from Nissan’s social media team, and I’m hanging out on-set again today with 12 Heisman Trophy winners for Day 2 of this year’s Nissan Heisman House commercial shoot for the 2013-14 college football season (see the full list below). During their down time in between takes, the Heismans will be stopping by to answer your questions. Some of the guys may type their answers themselves, others may choose to dictate them to me. Either way, we’ll sign each comment so you know who it’s from. If you missed yesterday’s AMA, check it out here: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1e2q98/we_are_12_heisman_trophy_winners_hanging_out/

Who’s in the Heisman House this weekend?

  • Sam Bradford – 2008 Winner
  • Troy Smith – 2006
  • Matt Leinart – 2004
  • Carson Palmer – 2002
  • Ron Dayne – 1999
  • Desmond Howard – 1991
  • Ty Detmer – 1990
  • Barry Sanders – 1988
  • Tim Brown – 1987
  • Mike Rozier – 1983
  • Earl Campbell – 1977
  • Tony Dorsett – 1976
  • Robert Griffin III – 2011 (Limited time on set, so he won’t be able to join the AMA, sorry guys!)

A little background: Nissan has been a sponsor of the Heisman Trophy since 2005 (they even give us one vote, which we let the fans decide), and this is the third year we’ve worked with ESPN to produce the Heisman House spots. Here are a few of our favorites from last season:

Alright, with that out of the way, let’s get started! Barry Sanders Desmond Howard will be the first to join us today in about 30 minutes. The schedule of today’s shoot is fluid, so I’ll be grabbing the Heismans whenever they’re free. If your question is specifically for one of the guys, go ahead and mention that. If it’s a general question, we may have a few of them respond.

Edit #1 (9:00am CST): Barry Sanders got pulled into one more scene, but we're kicking off todays AMA with Desmond Howard! Submit your questions now! PROOF: http://imgur.com/JCJ9hBl

Edit #2 (9:30am CST): Barry Sanders is back on with us! Thanks everyone for your patience! PROOF: http://imgur.com/zigA5wA

Edit #3 (10:25am CST): And now we have the one and only Carson Palmer! PROOF: http://imgur.com/qWAkAaY

Edit #4 (11:40am CST): Did everyone know it's Matt Leinart's 30th Birthday today?! We're singing him Happy Birthday and eating some cake but we'll be back shortly. Stay tuned!

Edit #5 (12:20pm CST): And here's the Birthday man himself, Matt Leinart PROOF: http://imgur.com/4ikY44y

Edit #6 (1:00pm CST): Surprise everyone! We were able to snag a few minutes of RGIII's time! PROOF: http://imgur.com/WkcKECz

Edit #7 (1:30pm CST): It's that time for lunch again. We'll be back in a few once these hungry Heismans have eaten.

Edit #8 (2:30pm CST): We're back from lunch. Matt's time with us got cut a little short earlier so he's back to answer a few more of your questions now!

Edit #9 (3:20pm CST): Mike Rozier is now here with us! PROOF: http://imgur.com/DrvYGRz

Edit #10 (4:15pm CST): That's a wrap! Thanks to everyone who submitted questions yesterday and today. The players were super stoked to be participating, I've even turned a few of them on to Reddit! Until next time!

Comments: 1176 • Responses: 76  • Date: 

jstew3111350 karma

To all, Do you still look at Reggie Bush as a heisman winner even though the award has been stripped from him?

NissanHeismanHouse296 karma

Hi all, we realize that this is the question everyone wants answered most. We promise we're not skipping it or filtering it. In the end, it comes down to the players choice on which questions they want to answer. Thanks everyone! -Kellye

flippityfloppityfloo398 karma

Barry - You are a hero to the NFL and athletes everywhere. Your play was exemplified by your character. Thank you.

My question is: What do you believe is/will be your legacy in the NFL?

EDIT: For all of those who don't know Barry's story, please watch this. He is sportsmanship.

EDIT2: Oh my. Two people each giving Reddit Gold for my comment? Thank you, kind strangers!

NissanHeismanHouse404 karma

Well, I think I have a pretty secure reputation and legacy. I'll leave that up for others to decide. I think what I did on the field speaks for itself, really just fortunate to be a part of the game and to have left a mark. - Barry

Honestly_211 karma

General Question:

What was your "Welcome to the NFL" moment?

NissanHeismanHouse748 karma

I think I got a nice hit from Ray Lewis that first year and I still have pain in my shoulder from where he put his helmet in it. - Carson

NissanHeismanHouse353 karma

It took me to the facility after I got drafted, they were walking me around and took me to the training room and the cold tub room, and they showed me these grey tins. I thought they were joking, the cold tanks they had in the league were the ones that we had in high school. It was my welcome to the NFL moment - you might not all have the best equipment but you have to make it work. - RGIII

NissanHeismanHouse282 karma

It was the punt return against the Atlanta Falcons during my rookie year. -Desmond

NissanHeismanHouse223 karma

I probably started off in a peculiar situation since I missed the training camp and I signed just a few days before the first game. I actually wasn't suppose to play in the game since I didn't know any of the plays but I actually ended up going in at the end of the game. It was against the Cardinals, it was my first game. But my second game was probably my "Welcome to the NFL moment" when we played against the Bears. -Barry

NissanHeismanHouse68 karma

Well since I played USFL football, there wasn't a huge shock. I just wanted to get it over with. -Mike

Honestly_192 karma

NissanHeismanHouse341 karma

EA Sports was kind enough to send me a box of them and I'm hanging on to them for my kids. -Carson

RhEEziE165 karma

This is for Matt Leinart and Carson--Between the two of you, who was the cooler kid on campus?

NissanHeismanHouse281 karma

I don't know. I would have to say I might have been a little cooler. But I always looked up to Carson, I thought he was the coolest guy in the world. -Matt

NissanHeismanHouse152 karma

jstew311151 karma

Barry, Always enjoyed watching you run except when you were making my Saints look like fools. My question is do you have any regrets over retiring when you did? Ever think of coming back?

NissanHeismanHouse310 karma

I don't have any regrets, it was the right time for me. By year 7 or 8 I felt like I was running out of steam. There was never any temptation to come back, and over the years I've definitely felt secure in my decision. -Barry

thedzer139 karma

Dez- What are your thoughts on the new College Football playoff system. Do you think 4 teams is enough or do you see a further expansion down the road to 8 teams, etc?

edit: Go Noles

NissanHeismanHouse178 karma

I think 4 teams are good, they're still working out the kinks. So it's a work in progress. But I believe the first obstacle that they're going to have to overcome is the selection process which was a major obstacle with the BCS. -Desmond

SundayRed127 karma

Addressed to anyone...

Do you think college players should receive some kind of financial compensation for their work, or is the lure of a multi-million dollar contract when they leave school enough?

NissanHeismanHouse428 karma

I don't think so. I think it's too difficult to change and find a happy medium. It should stay the same. The college education is rewarding of compensation enough. -Carson

NissanHeismanHouse314 karma

That's a whole issue on it's own. Not every sport makes money for their school, football definitely does but you can't pay one athlete and not another. But there's always going to be a problem - if they get paid, it's not enough. And if they don't, they should be paid. -RGIII

NissanHeismanHouse142 karma

I definitely see the argument for it and against it, because if you compensate football players you have to really compensate all student athletes which is hard. I definitely think it could happen and I'm not against it at all, but it's a challenge. -Matt

NissanHeismanHouse41 karma

I think they should be paid. No doubt. You have to pay your electric bill, your telephone bill, your rent. If they pay athletes, they won't get in trouble much either. -Mike

thedzer108 karma

Hey Dez. Which award was more special to you. The Heisman or the SuperBowl MVP?

NissanHeismanHouse263 karma

The Heisman is probably one of the most recognizable awards in all of sports, yet in football it gets no better than playing in the Super Bowl and winning the MVP of that game. It's the ultimate. -Desmond

dota2brewmaster88 karma

General question:

1) What's your favorite video game?

2) If you weren't a football player, what would you be doing?

NissanHeismanHouse707 karma

Acting. I don't necessarily need to be the lead actor, but I can be the guy in the cafe sitting at a table having tea as Iron Man breaks in. -Desmond

NissanHeismanHouse423 karma

My favorite video game is Assassins Creed and NCAA and Madden. Truthfull if I wasn't a football player, I'd be in law school. Fictionally, I'd be a professional ping pong player. -RGIII

NissanHeismanHouse228 karma

My favorite video game is Halo. And if I wasn't a player, I'd be in some sort of real estate - either residential or commercial. I've always been intrigued by the real estate market. -Carson

NissanHeismanHouse176 karma

I grew up working with my dad doing small home improvements. So I would probably be doing something like that. Had I not been a player or been to play as long as I did, I could also see myself going into teaching or coaching. -Barry

NissanHeismanHouse150 karma

1) Call of Duty, 2) Musician, even though I'm terrible. I try. -Matt

NissanHeismanHouse118 karma

I don't play video games, my son does and I take him to video stop all the time. But I don't. Question 2 is a good question. Honestly, I wanted to be a trash man. - Mike

islanders88876 karma

Carson- I am a huge raider fan. I enjoyed watching you for almost two seasons. My question is: did you see the raiders as distraught and disorganized as they seemed to be? and how do you like the cardinals so far?

NissanHeismanHouse163 karma

I think the Raiders are getting close to figuring things out and will be a real contender in the future. I love being a Cardinal and I can't wait for the season to get going. - Carson

Bitch_and_moan65 karma

My son is 10 and is forming a real love for participating in sports. Any suggestions on how to keep his going without being pushy?

NissanHeismanHouse236 karma

Just not forcing him in to practicing or playing catch or whatever it may be. As soon as he says he's tired and wants to do something else, stop right there. -Carson

Im_Offensive56 karma

General question: Who is the one current player (collegiate or professional) that you would not want to line up against?

NissanHeismanHouse194 karma

Probably Jared Allen. -Carson

NissanHeismanHouse98 karma

If it was just me and another guy on the field by ourselves, probably Mario Williams. - RGIII

NissanHeismanHouse53 karma

I've pretty much lined up against lots of great guys. There was one game my freshman year when I was playing against Brain E. that was one of those moments though. - Matt

meantforamazing54 karma

What are you guys having for lunch?

NissanHeismanHouse137 karma

I don't know yet but lunch yesterday was phenomenal. I had an ahi tuna sandwich and steamed vegetables. -Carson

dkreak49 karma

To any: When growing up, did you all have a certain school you wanted to play football at? Did you get to go there? Who did you watch growing up that inspired you? And to Troy: Go bucks!!

NissanHeismanHouse108 karma

In my house we were huge Oklahoma fans. My dad was a season ticket holder in the late 60s and growing up that was my favorite college team. I guess it's pretty clear, I didn't go there. -Barry

NissanHeismanHouse68 karma

I think I always wanted to go to USC since it was close to home and you always grow up hearing about it. I was a Cowboys fan growing up too. - Carson

NissanHeismanHouse67 karma

No, when I was growing up I wasn't really a college football fan. I was an NFL fan, specifically a Dallas Cowboys fan. Tony Dorsett was my favorite player as a kid. -Desmond

Honestly_44 karma

Fight On to the two Trojans represented:

  • Carson Palmer: You had three different head coaches at 'SC and I remember watching you develop into an incredible season your final year after some seasons that were difficult (watching you break your collar bone at Oregon in '99 was brutal...that whole 3OT game was brutal...)--tell us more about how the changing coaches influenced your play (if at all).

  • Matt Leinart: In 2003 you really jumped into the spotlight after leading the team to a shut-out of Auburn a split title. I remember a pivotal game was the Arizona State game after the 3OT loss to Cal, where did you find your motivation to lead the team through to the end?

NissanHeismanHouse46 karma

I had the opportunity to learn different systems and had the opportunity to learn from different leaders. But finishing with the opportunity to play with Pete Carroll was one of the best opportunities for me. -Carson

NissanHeismanHouse34 karma

I think the year before I followed Carson Palmer his Heisman year. For me to step in and fill his shoes, it was easy motivation since I didn't want to let the Trojan nation down. - Matt

rgrBigSam38 karma

General Question: What was the most difficult stadium/environment you ever had to play in?

NissanHeismanHouse113 karma

I think pro, Seattle is always the hardest and the loudest. In college, Oregon was pretty hard. The one that always sticks out was also VT's stadium. - Matt

Saints4Life36 karma

To anybody- Who was the player you looked up to as a role model as a child?

EDIT: Thanks for answering me! :D

NissanHeismanHouse105 karma

Michael Jordan. - RGIII

NissanHeismanHouse88 karma

Troy Aikman. -Carson

NissanHeismanHouse62 karma

I wasn't a huge football fan growing up, but my favorite player was Joe Montana. He was the best to play ever in my opinion. I'm a huge football fan now and to be in this house and hang out with the best football players ever. It really puts things into perspective. -Matt

NissanHeismanHouse43 karma

OJ Simpson, and lots more guys when I was younger. - Mike

Delta001033 karma

RG3, what socks are you wearing?

NissanHeismanHouse75 karma

I''m wearing some bright neon socks with a nice design on the back. -RGIII

sousaman32 karma

Apart from events like these, do former Heisman winners get together and hang out, like a sort of highly excellent fraternity of football players?

NissanHeismanHouse49 karma

It's so hard since everyone lives all over the country. That's the cool thing about this commercial shoot since 10-15 guys can come back each year. You get to catch up and hang out. As Heismans, you'll always have such a common bond and even if you meet them for the first time, it feels like you've known them for a while. It's a great experience and memories that you'll have for a while. -Matt

sgtpepper9531 karma

  • Des which was more memorable: the TD in the SUPERBOWL or the punt return bs OSU

  • Carson how excited are you to play with Fitz? Also, was it satisfying beating Iowa after they said that you guys didn't even deserve to be on the same field as them?

  • Matt You guys got robbed in 2003. Are you happy they got a playoff or upset it took them so long? Also, my dad and I went to the National Championship game where you clobbered OU. Was that your favorite game to play in?

  • Barry which player reminds you of yourself (excluding your son)

  • Earl what's your opinion on the UT TAMU situation?

  • Thank you all so so so much!

Edit: Desmond answered his question in another thread. His answer was that "They're both special in context. If football was a father, those two plays would be twin sons."

NissanHeismanHouse59 karma

I see different aspect of myself in different players. A lot of running backs have their own identity but you similarity of skill across different runners. Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson.. I see similarities in. -Barry

[Troy interjecting] - Ray Rice! -Troy

NissanHeismanHouse41 karma

I'm fired up to play with Larry and a number of other very talented players, and I was unaware of any comments Iowa actually made. But I think we should them who the better team was. -Carson

NissanHeismanHouse24 karma

There's a few but proabably the national title game against Oklahoma in '04 mainly cause we won and got to hold the crystal ball up. That game always stands out. -Matt

Honestly_31 karma

General Question:

We all know Nissan is compensating you for your time, but what's your dream car and what's your actual daily driver?

NissanHeismanHouse174 karma

My dream car is a Bentley, my daily driver is an Escalade which is actually my six year old sons truck, I'm just their chauffeur. -Desmond

iWinAtMarioKart29 karma

Carson - Are you excited to play for the Cardinals this year?

How do you feel about having one of the most electrifying wide receivers in the game to throw to?

NissanHeismanHouse44 karma

Yes, very excited. It's a great opportunity, it's a great team. The city is hungry for a win and I'm excited to be apart of it. And I'm very comforted and excited about the opportunity to play with a true pro and competitor like Larry. -Carson

Raps_Like_Drake26 karma

General question: What was the atmosphere like during the heisman award ceremony? What were the other finalists like?

NissanHeismanHouse34 karma

It was just exciting. There was no clear cut winner. Everybody was just excited and just professional and respectful of everyone's accomplishments. -Carson

Buckeye21024 karma

General question: Did any of you prepare your acceptance speech before you won the Heisman, or did what you just make it up as you went along?

NissanHeismanHouse39 karma

I prepared it, I had some things written down. After I read what I prepared, I finished up by just going off the cuff. Thanking people as I went. -Carson

NissanHeismanHouse30 karma

I just kind of made it up. I thought about it some, it was a little bit of improv and some that I worked on. -Barry

NissanHeismanHouse10 karma

It just came from the heart and I just said what was on my mind. - Mike

chickennooble21 karma

What was the transition like going from playing professional ball to being retired? Do you ever miss football, either at the collegiate or pro level?

NissanHeismanHouse45 karma

The transition went pretty seamlessly for me. I prepared myself mentally. There's some times I really miss the game, in particular when you're on the field and the teams bouncing up and down in the tunnel about the sprint out. I miss that feeling. -Desmond

NissanHeismanHouse37 karma

For me, there was a part of it that was difficult. But there was a part of it that I was looking forward to it - the freedom and flexibility. I enjoyed the fact that I had a great career and were now moving on to other things. -Barry

admiralgringo21 karma

General Question

What is your most memorable game? Either NFL or College.

NissanHeismanHouse67 karma

Probably in college USC vs Notre Dame, we were both ranked #1 and #2 and we beat them. - Carson

mavsman2219 karma

To all: Favorite NFL stadium to play in? Least favorite?

NissanHeismanHouse67 karma

Favorite: Tampa because no matter when you go there the weather's always perfect. The grass is short, manicured. Other places, the grass is usually frozen over by November. Least: Philadelphia. - Barry

NissanHeismanHouse56 karma

Favorite: Fedex Field, Least: Don't have one. -RGIII

Mighty_Midgets18 karma

To Matt Leinart-I just want to say that you are one of my favorite players. Little 8 year old me would watch you at USC every chance I got. Just one question, what current college player right now do you see as the best fit to win the heisman next year?

NissanHeismanHouse25 karma

I'd have to say Johnny M. coming back has a great shot. Since he was a freshman last year, he has a great shot. There's always a great guy who comes out late in the season that makes a great push. - Matt

PawnShop80417 karma

I miss watching Barry Sanders play :(

General question to all:

Who was your role model growing up?

NissanHeismanHouse32 karma

I was a huge football fan, definitely watched a lot of Tony Dorsett and OJ Simpson. Basically any running back in the NFL, or even college. -Barry

meowdy16 karma

General Question:

What is it like being featured on the cover of a video game, such as Madden or NCAA football? Do you get any special perks out of it?

NissanHeismanHouse30 karma

The designers have always been very generous to me. People are always commenting about my ratings, and this year now that I'm on the cover. I'm very surprised. It was pretty special. - Barry

homerpalooza10115 karma

Who are currently your favorite players in either the NCAA or NFL? It could be for any reason: athletically, sportsmanship, or just fun to be around.

NissanHeismanHouse58 karma

I think Marques Lee is the best player in college football and is a blast to watch. - Carson

angrygopher14 karma

Where there players that you particularly looked up to while you were in college, and what was it like playing them once you made the NFL?

NissanHeismanHouse42 karma

I looked up to Troy Polamalu and Charlie Landrgin and Malaefou Mackenzie who were roommates, great teammates and friends. - Carson

digitalmofo13 karma

What do you like more now, NFL or NCAA football?

NissanHeismanHouse19 karma

NFL. But I love watching college football and college sports in general. - Matt

BlizWizz12 karma

Question - What's the most frustrating thing about playing football professionally; interpret that however you would like.

NissanHeismanHouse86 karma

You're provided with a stage to help people and inspire people, but at the same time you're criticized for whatever you say. -RGIII

NissanHeismanHouse16 karma

I played for Houston for several years and made a lot of good friends and teammates. And then to watch them get cut, that's hard for me. - Mike

Anne_Thrax10 karma

Earl Campbell: The last all-white team to win the National Championship was Texas in 1969 against Arkansas. Seeing as you were playing in the immediate following decade when integration was occurring in collegiate football, did you have any misgivings at all about playing at UT? Were there ever times where discrimination proved to be too much and you considered quitting? Conversely, do you have any memories of others reaching out to actively striving to break down racial barriers?

Tim Brown: Not a question exactly but just wanted to say I'm a Woodrow grad and my favorite hat is a Woodrow Wilson hat signed by you. Did you have any notion while playing at Woodrow that you would someday be a Heisman trophy winner? If not, when did that first "it" feeling of "I am one of the best in college football right now" occur for you?

To all: To what or whom do you contribute helped you the most to win the Heisman? Yourself? Parents? Inspirational coaches?

Thank you to you all for taking the time to answer our questions.

NissanHeismanHouse4 karma

It was my teammates and coaches that made me a better player. Without them I wouldn't have been able to accomplish the things that I did and become a Heisman. -Matt

10122901389010 karma

Do you think Johnny Manziel will be able to live up to the hype being the first Heisman winner to win as a (redshirt) freshman?

NissanHeismanHouse10 karma

Yeah, I think the sky's the limit for him. He can only improve. He's a hard worker and he definitely knows the areas he needs to improve in. He's a fun player, one of the funniest I've watched in a while. He definitely has the potential to repeat, he's only going to be a sophomore. -Matt

eternalrider9 karma

What other sport would you want to play if it wasn't football?

NissanHeismanHouse19 karma

Basketball, I thought about it. It was my first love. I started on varsity as a freshman and I had numerous offers to play college basketball. -RGIII

NissanHeismanHouse8 karma

Baseball, it was my favorite sport growing up. -Matt

NissanHeismanHouse8 karma

I ran track in high school and college. I also played basketball in high school which I loved. - Mike

guttermanster9 karma

How frequently do you find yourself breaking out the Heisman pose?

NissanHeismanHouse14 karma

I've maybe done the Heisman pose twice since I won. It's usually at football camps. Very rarely to be honest with you. -Matt

NissanHeismanHouse8 karma

Haha, no. Johnny Rogers does that for me. I don't understand it, I'll only do it if he asks me. - Mike

icameforthecookies7 karma

Kellye how you doin?

NissanHeismanHouse9 karma

I'm doing great! Hanging out with 12 Heismans, what's not to like? I can attest, they're really excited to be answering your questions. -Kellye

AthleteGamer7 karma

To all- What is your favorite memory from your high school football days?

NissanHeismanHouse10 karma

Growing up with the guys that you played with, you're with these guys for almost 12 years of your life. That's the memorable part for me. -RGIII

NissanHeismanHouse7 karma

My senior year in '79, there was a big shoot out. Two motorcycles gangs came to my last game, that's got to be the most memorable. - Mike

breisnshine6 karma

General Question:

What was it like to shake the hands of all the previous winners when you won the Heisman trophy? Any memorable remaks from the former winners?

NissanHeismanHouse9 karma

They all told me welcome to the family. It's a moment that not everyone gets to participate it. I really take it to the heart and will never forget it. -RGIII

clarkbarniner5 karma

After accomplishing so much on the field in college and the NFL, what do guys like you do after retiring? Obviously some of you we see all the time, but do you take up new hobbies? Coach high school ball? Crochet?

NissanHeismanHouse7 karma

I definitely think that high school ball would be fun one day, coaching my son. I can see myself getting into the broadcast stuff. I'll definitely take up new hobbies and try to get into golf. -Matt