Roll Henry! Alabama's super-sized running back wins Heisman

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 13, 2015 01:30 PM
Roll Henry! Alabama's super-sized running back wins Heisman
Heisman Trophy finalists, from left, Alabama's Derrick Henry, Stanford's Christian McCaffrey and Clemson's Deshaun Watson pose for a photo with the Heisman Trophy before the start of the award presentation show, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer


NEW YORK (AP) — Alabama's super-sized running back Derrick Henry was awarded the Heisman Trophy on Saturday for college football's player of the season.

The 1.89-meter (6-foot-3), 110-kilogram (242-pound) Henry is the second Alabama player to win the Heisman, joining Mark Ingram. Since Ingram won the award in 2009, it had gone to five straight quarterbacks.

Stanford tailback Christian McCaffrey was the runner-up, making it four second-place finishes for Cardinal players in seven seasons.

Deshaun Watson, quarterback for Clemson, finished third.

It was the closest Heisman voting since Ingram won by the slimmest margin ever, but still a comfortable victory for Henry. He received 1,832 points, 293 more than McCaffrey (1,539). Watson received the third-most points for a third-place finisher with 1,165.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield came in fourth and Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds was fifth, but Henry, McCaffrey and Watson dominated the voting.

Henry broke the Southeastern Conference record with 1,986 yards rushing — previously held by 1982 Heisman winner Herschel Walker — and matched a league mark with 23 touchdowns, leading the Crimson Tide to the four-team College Football Playoff.

He choked up during his speech, thanking his family, coaches and teammates, and mentioning former Alabama teammate Altee Tenpenny, who was killed in a car crash two months ago.

Henry was born to teenage parents and raised with the strong influence of his grandmother, Gladys, in the small north Florida town of Yulee, which is just outside Jacksonville, but very much country living.

Gladys Henry has been hospitalized for weeks in Florida with heart and respiratory problems.

Henry came to Alabama as a five-star recruit but being bigger, stronger and faster wasn't enough in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

He was a backup as a freshman and thought about transferring, but with the encouragement of his family decided to stay put.

As a second-year player he shared carries with T.J. Yeldon and ran for 990 yards and 11 touchdowns, showing signs of big things to come.

This season, with Alabama breaking in a first-time starting quarterback and inexperienced receivers, coach Nick Saban and the Tide decided to hook the offense to Henry and let him lead the way.

After Ingram won the Heisman in '09, he helped Alabama win the national championship about a month later. Henry will try to do the same. The Tide faces Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31, trying to earn a fourth national championship in nine seasons under Saban.

Henry has not announced his intentions yet, but a jump to the NFL seems likely after this season.

 

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