Alabama Running Back Derrick Henry Wins 2015 Heisman Trophy Award

College Football: In a close vote, Alabama’s Derrick Henry edges out Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey to win 2015 Heisman Trophy:

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Via NY Times:

Derrick Henry, the workhorse Alabama running back, caught his breath at the podium Saturday night after winning the Heisman Trophy as he began to thank his mother, whom he would awaken with late-night calls when he struggled; his father, “my No. 1 fan”; and his grandmother, “who made me what I am today.”

He added: “If you have dreams, chase them. If you believe it, you can achieve it.” He was the second player from Alabama to win the Heisman, joining Mark Ingram, who received the trophy in 2009.

During the season, Henry gained 1,986 yards on 339 carries, breaking Herschel Walker’s Southeastern Conference record. Later, at a news conference, he said, “I was hoping to meet him tonight, but he wasn’t here tonight,” he said of Walker, the 1982 Heisman winner from Georgia. “I hope to meet him sometime.”

Henry, a junior who accounted for more than a third of Alabama’s total yardage, will lead the Crimson Tide into its matchup against Michigan State in the College Football Playoff semifinals on New Year’s Eve at the Cotton Bowl. As his stature grew through the season, Henry supplanted an early Heisman favorite, Leonard Fournette of Louisiana State, who finished sixth in the voting, and seemed to improve as games wore on. In the last two games, he carried the ball 90 times for 460 yards, a workload that is antithetical to Coach Nick Saban’s philosophy.

“Usually we have two running backs, usually three, who make huge contributions, and we try to leave a little tread on their tires,” he said at the news conference. He added that an injury to running back Kenyan Drake caused plans to be changed.

Saban said of Henry: “He’s been a great ambassador for the University of Alabama. I know that our entire organization is happy, happy for Derrick Henry tonight.”

Saban’s effusive praise contrasted sharply with Henry’s penchant for extreme modesty. Asked how he got stronger late in games, he said simply: “Just work. It’s all about team, team, team.”

When asked to comment on a prediction on Twitter in 2012 that he would win the Heisman, he said, “If you have God on your side, all things are possible.”

It was the 20th-closest Heisman race ever. Henry’s 1,832 points beat Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey’s 1,539 points and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson’s 1,165. Below the top three was a huge gap down to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (334) and Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds (180).

Reynolds, who rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another earlier in the day in Navy’s 21-17 win over Army, finished higher in the voting than any service-academy player since Navy’s Roger Staubach won in 1963.

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Posted on December 14, 2015, in College Football, Sports Media World and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Alabama Running Back Derrick Henry Wins 2015 Heisman Trophy Award.

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