Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, becoming the second Alabama player to receive college football’s most prestigious player of the year award.
The Crimson Tide’s super-sized tailback is just the third running back to take the Heisman in the past 16 years. The only other Alabama player to win the Heisman was Mark Ingram, who was also the last running back to win the trophy, in 2009.
Stanford’s do-it-all running back Christian McCaffrey was the runner-up. Deshaun Watson, quarterback of No. 1 Clemson, finished third.
The 242-pound Henry broke Herschel Walker’s Southeastern Conference record with 1,986 yards rushing and matched an SEC mark with 23 touchdowns, leading No. 2 Alabama to the College Football Playoff.
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The Tide (12-1) plays Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31.
Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield was fourth and TCU’s Trevone Boykin tied for ninth.
Henry choked up during his speech, thanking his family, coaches and teammates, and mentioning former Alabama teammate Altee Tenpenny, who was killed in a car crash two months ago.
Henry was born to teenage parents and raised with the strong influence of his grandmother, Gladys, in the small north Florida town of Yulee, which is just outside of Jacksonville, but very much country living.
Gladys Henry has been hospitalized for weeks in Florida with heart and respiratory problems. Derrick Henry said his grandmother was with him in spirit as his childhood dream of winning the Heisman came true.
“I love you so much,” he said.
Henry came to Alabama as a five-star recruit. Before the Heisman came a dose of humility. For the first time football wasn’t easy. Being bigger, stronger and faster wasn’t enough in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
He was a backup on a crowded depth chart as a freshman and thought about transferring, but with the encouragement of his family decided to stay put.
As a sophomore he shared carries with T.J. Yeldon and ran for 990 yards and 11 touchdowns, showing signs of big things to come.
This season as a junior, with Alabama breaking in a first-time starting quarterback and inexperienced receivers, coach Nick Saban and the Tide decided to hook the offense to Henry and let him lead the way.
The Tide hammered away with Henry and he set a school record for carries with 339, including an astounding 90 in Alabama’s last two games vs. Auburn and Florida.
2015–Derrick Henry, Alabama, RB
2014–Marcus Mariota, Oregon, QB
2013–Jameis Winston, Florida State, QB
2012–Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, QB
2011–Robert Griffin III, Baylor, QB
2010–Cam Newton, Auburn, QB
2009–Mark Ingram, Alabama, RB
2008–Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB
2007–Tim Tebow, Florida, QB
2006–Troy Smith, Ohio State, QB
2005–x-Reggie Bush, Southern Cal, RB
2004–Matt Leinart, Southern Cal, QB
2003–Jason White, Oklahoma, QB
2002–Carson Palmer, Southern Cal, QB
2001–Eric Crouch, Nebraska, QB
2000–Chris Weinke, Florida St., QB
1999–Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, RB
1998–Ricky Williams, Texas, RB
1997–Charles Woodson, Michigan, CB
1996–Danny Wuerffel, Florida, QB
1995–Eddie George, Ohio State, TB
1994–Rashaan Salaam, Colorado, RB
1993–Charlie Ward, Florida State, QB
1992–Gino Torretta, Miami, QB
1991–Desmond Howard, Michigan, WR
1990–Ty Detmer, Brigham Young, QB
1989–Andre Ware, Houston, QB
1988–Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, RB
1987–Tim Brown, Notre Dame, WR
1986–Vinny Testaverde, Miami, QB
1985–Bo Jackson, Auburn, TB
1984–Doug Flutie, Boston College, QB
1983–Mike Rozier, Nebraska, TB
1982–Herschel Walker, Georgia, HB
1981–Marcus Allen, Southern Cal, TB
1980–George Rogers, South Carolina, HB
1979–Charles White, Southern Cal, TB
1978–Billy Sims, Oklahoma, HB
1977–Earl Campbell, Texas, FB
1976–Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh, HB
1975–Archie Griffin, Ohio State, HB
1974–Archie Griffin, Ohio State, HB
1973–John Cappelletti, Penn State, HB
1972–Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska, FL
1971–Pat Sullivan, Auburn, QB
1970–Jim Plunkett, Stanford, QB
1969–Steve Owens, Oklahoma, HB
1968–O.J. Simpson, Southern Cal, TB
1967–Gary Beban, UCLA, QB
1966–Steve Spurrier, Florida, QB
1965–Mike Garrett, Southern Cal, TB
1964–John Huarte, Notre Dame, QB
1963–Roger Staubach, Navy, QB
1962–Terry Baker, Oregon State, QB
1961–Ernie Davis, Syracuse, HB
1960–Joe Bellino, Navy, HB
1959–Billy Cannon, LSU, HB
1958–Pete Dawkins, Army, HB
1957–John David Crow, Texas A&M, HB
1956–Paul Hornung, Notre Dame, QB
1955–Howard Cassady, Ohio State, HB
1954–Alan Ameche, Wisconsin, FB
1953–John Lattner, Notre Dame, HB
1952–Billy Vessels, Oklahoma, HB
1951–Dick Kazmaier, Princeton, HB
1950–Vic Janowicz, Ohio State, HB
1949–Leon Hart, Notre Dame, E
1948–Doak Walker, SMU, HB
1947–John Lujack, Notre Dame, QB
1946–Glenn Davis, Army, HB
1945–Doc Blanchard, Army, HB
1944–Les Horvath, Ohio State, QB
1943–Angelo Bertelli, Notre Dame, QB
1942–Frank Sinkwich, Georgia, HB
1941–Bruce Smith, Minnesota, HB
1940–Tom Harmon, Michigan, HB
1939–Nile Kinnick, Iowa, HB
1938–Davey O'Brien, Texas Christian, QB
1937–Clint Frank, Yale, HB
1936–Larry Kelley, Yale, E
1935–Jay Berwanger, Chicago, HB