Heisman Trophy: Derrick Henry of Alabama wins college football's most prestigious trophy
Derrick Henry capped off an impressive junior season at Alabama with college football’s most prestigious award: the Heisman Trophy.
Henry became the first Alabama player and running back to win the Heisman since Mark Ingram won the trophy in 2009.
Henry beat out Stanford's Christian McCaffrey and Clemson's Deshaun Watson with 1,832 total points, including 378 first place votes. McCaffrey finished second in the voting with 1,539 points (290 first place votes), while Watson finished third with 1,165 points (148 first place votes). With a 293-point advantage, Henry's win was the closest for the Heisman since Baylor's Robert Griffin III beat Stanford's Andrew Luck by 280 points in 2011.
Although not a finalist, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield finished fourth in balloting with 334 points, while Navy's Keenan Reynolds finished fifth and garnered 180 points.
From accolades and adjectives to records and respect, Henry garnered as much as any college player could hope to receive during his time in Tuscaloosa.
In his first season as a full-time starter, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Henry helped lead the Crimson Tide to an 12-1 record, an SEC title and a second trip to the College Football Playoff as the No. 2 seed. Not only did Henry score in every game he played this year, he leads the nation in rushing yards (1,986), rushing touchdowns (23), and is second in average rushing yards per game with 152.8. Henry’s rushing total was also good enough to break Georgia legend Herschel Walker’s 34-year-old SEC record, along with several Alabama records including most 200-yard games (four).
After dominating on the field, Henry won three major awards before the Heisman, including the Maxwell Award (for college player of the year), the Doak Walker Award (for best running back) and the Walter Camp award (for player of the year).
Henry shined in some of the biggest games of the year for Alabama and didn’t disappoint when the Crimson Tide needed him most. Henry scored six touchdowns in the first two games of the season to get his Heisman bid started early and recorded five more multi-touchdown games.
Henry’s early season dominance didn’t dwindle down the stretch. In a pivotal match-up with LSU late in the season, Henry pounded the rock 38 times for 210 yards and three scores to help Alabama cruise to a 30-16 victory. Against Auburn in Iron Bowl, Henry rushed for 271 yards on 46 carries and added another score in a 29-13 win. And in the SEC championship, Henry led the Crimson Tide to a 29-15 win over Florida with 189 yards on the ground on 44 carries with one touchdown.
Between his consistency, award-winning play and statistical achievements, Henry joins the ranks of many other college footbal legends as the 78th winner of the Heisman Trophy.