NEW YORK: Running back Derrick Henry snapped a five-year streak of quarterback winners when he won the Heisman Trophy — the coveted award given to the top American football college player — late Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
University of Alabama’s Henry received 378 first place votes for a total of 1,832 points, finishing 293 points ahead of runner-up Christian McCaffrey of Stanford University. Clemson University quarterback Deshaun Watson finished third with 1,165 points.
“I am so honored. I almost feel off my chair I was so happy,” Henry said. “Those are two great athletes who were up there with me.”
Henry broke a long run of quarterbacks claiming the award, comprising Cam Newton (2010), Robert Griffin (2011), Johnny Manziel (2012), Jameis Winston (2013) and Marcus Mariota (2014).
Mark Ingram, who is now with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, and Henry are the only University of Alabama players to win the award.
Henry won the closest vote since Ingram edged out Stanford’s Toby Gerhart in 2009.
Henry used his six-foot-three size and 242 pounds to become the country’s top rusher, tallying a school-record 339 carries for a total of 1,986 rushing yards.
A good portion of those yards came down the stretch as Henry gained 732 yards and scored six touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s final four games.
“One of the things that pleases me about Derrick being recognized as being the outstanding player in college football by winning this award is sometimes as a coach you look at what does a particular player do for his team,” Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said.
“Derrick probably did as much for our team this year in terms of how he finished the season, the workload that he carried when we got some other guys injured.”