Alabama’s Derrick Henry wins Heisman honor
Every year, since 1935, a trophy has been awarded to the most outstanding player in college football. The first award, which was originally called the DAC Trophy, was given to Jay Berwagner, who was known as the legendary “one-man-gang” from the University of Chicago. In 1936, the trophy was renamed the Heisman Trophy after the player and coach John W. Heisman. Since being renamed, the Heisman trophy is more than just an award; it has become the goal at the end of each season that every college football player wants to reach. Not only does the player receive the trophy, but the school representing the player is also awarded a second trophy.
On Dec. 12, the 81st Heisman Trophy was awarded to Alabama University’s Derrick Henry. Alabama’s tailback rushed for 1,986 yards, a SEC record previously held by the 1982 Heisman winner Herschel Walker.
When it came down to choosing this year’s winner, Henry (1,832) won by 293 points against runner-up Christian McCaffrey (1,539), the Stanford running back. This second place finish for McCaffrey made it the fourth second place finish for Stanford in seven seasons. There are six voting categories, and after the voting, it showed that Henry had won five out of the six, with McCaffrey winning the 6th. All season, Henry had showed promise to obtain the Heisman, although that didn’t make the moments leading up to the announcements any easier to handle.
“My heart was about to bust out my chest,” Henry told ESPN. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”
The last time a running back won the Heisman was in 2009, when Alabama’s Mark Ingram won; he was the first Alabama player to win the Heisman. The five years to follow were won by quarterbacks.
Not only did Henry beat McCaffrey for the Heisman, he also won the Doak Walker Award for the country’s top running back. Among his awards, Henry became the first running back since 2002 to win the Maxwell Award. The Maxwell Award is given to the college football player of the year. Henry made history by becoming the first running back to win both the Maxwell Award and the Heisman Trophy since 1999 when University of Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne won both.
The next time Derrick Henry will play will be when the Alabama Crimson Tide faces Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31 at 8:00 p.m. at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX for a chance to play in the national championship.