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Derrick Henry Wins Heisman Trophy 2015
Christian McCaffrey's Charge Comes up Short
Derrick Henry capped a terrific junior campaign in which he rushed for an SEC-record 1,986 yards on 339 carries and a conference-record-tying 23 TDs with the coveted Heisman Trophy award. Henry beat out runner Christian McCaffrey and QB Deshaun Watson while winning five of the six voting regions. Henry has lead Alabama to the College Football Playoffs on December 31st in the semi finals vs Michigan St.
Photo - RB Derrick Henry - Alabama
"I'm just so thankful to have this trophy," Henry said. "It's just a blessing and an honor."
The Heisman Trophy has been a QB award for almost all of the last decade and a half, but Derrick Henry's season was too good for voters to ignore. The SEC rushing mark was previously held by 1982 Heisman winner Herschel Walker.
Henry finished with 1,832 points in the voting, followed by Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (1,539), making it four second-place finishes for Cardinal players in seven seasons. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (1,165) finished third. Henry won five of six voting regions, with McCaffrey winning only the Far West. Henry was considered a strong favorite going in, though McCaffrey had a huge final month that made the voting closer.
"I didn't know at all," he said. "Those two guys were great contenders for the trophy. Deshaun, with how consistent and efficient he is at the quarterback position, all the success he had, I was kind of worried. Christian, breaking Barry Sanders' record, doing all the things he does, he's just unbelievable."
"My heart was about to bust out my chest. I thought I was going to have a heart attack," he said.
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who some thought should have been among the finalists sent to New York, finished 4th with 334 points. Navy QB Keenan Reynolds finished 5th with 180 points, the highest service academy finisher since Roger Staubach won it in 1963.
Henry is the first running back to claim the Heisman since 2009, when Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram became the first Alabama player ever to win the award. In 2009, Ingram edged runner-up Toby Gerhart -- a Stanford running back -- by a single percentage point, the narrowest margin of victory in the history of the award. The Heisman went to quarterbacks in the five years that followed.
Derrick Henry was the most productive FBS back this year, not only leading the nation in carries, yards and TDs but also setting several SEC records along the way.
Derrick Henry 2015 Season
Rushes 339 1st
Rush yds 1,986* 1st
Rush TDs 23* 1st
* Set or tied SEC single-season record
"I know that our entire organization is really happy, happy, happy for Derrick Henry tonight, winning the Heisman Trophy," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
Henry became the first Power 5 player to win the Heisman after leading the FBS in carries, rushing yards and rushing TDs. Each of the previous three finalists since 1982 (the first year multiple players were invited to attend the ceremony) to lead in all three categories came up just short in the Heisman race.
On Thursday night, Henry also beat McCaffrey for the Doak Walker Award as the country's top running back, and became the first running back since 2002 to win the Maxwell Award, which is given to college football's player of the year. He is the first running back to win the Maxwell Award and Heisman Trophy since Ron Dayne in 1999
Led FBS in rush attempts, yards, TDs
Power 5 players since 1982
2015 Derrick Henry 1st
2009 Toby Gerhart 2nd
1989 Anthony Thompson 2nd
1984 Keith Byars 2nd
2015 Heisman Trophy voting
1st Place / Total / Points
1. Derrick Henry, Alabama 378 1,832
2. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford 290 1,539
3. Deshaun Watson, Clemson 148 1,165
4. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma 34 334
5. Keenan Reynolds, Navy 20 180
6. Leonard Fournette, LSU 10 110
7. Dalvin Cook, Florida State 7 79
8. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State 5 57
T-9. Connor Cook, Michigan State 2 13
T-9. Trevone Boykin, TCU 1 13
Frank Coyle is a long time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.