Auburn unveiled the bronze statues honoring its three Heisman Trophy winners today a year and one day after announcing it had commissioned them.
The statues were unveiled at a ceremony held outside Jordan-Hare Stadium before Auburn’s annual A-Day game. Each is one-half times life size and weighs approximately 1,900 pounds.
“It’s a special day in Auburn,” Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said, “but every day is a special day in Auburn.”
Quoting former Auburn athletics director David Housel, Auburn president Dr. Jay Gogue described the day as “one in which we honor the past, define the present, and inspire the future.”
“Think about the young kids that come to this campus and will see these beautiful statues and wonder what could be.”
Each former player spoke and unveiled his individual statue, which Montana lawyer-turned-sculptor Ken Bjorge designed in action poses. Sullivan’s statue has him in a passing stance. Jackson and Newton are both running with the football.
Sullivan closed his remarks the same way he closed his 1971 Heisman Trophy acceptance speech. Jackson spoke of the Auburn Family. Newton read a poem he wrote about his time at Auburn from his iPad, which included the line “And oh yeah, we beat that team, 27-28.”
Auburn coach Gene Chizik also spoke.
“I’m just blessed to be able to stand up here today at a ceremony that celebrates not just three great football players, but three great men,” Chizik said.
“They’re great, great individuals that had a huge, huge impact at Auburn University.”
Jacobs closed the ceremony by hinting at holding another in the future: “As you can tell by the way we’ve laid out these Heismans, we’ve left room to grow.”
For video of each statue’s unveiling, go here.
Photos via AUHD’s streaming broadcast of the unveiling.
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