Derrick Henry

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Jameis Winston and Derrick Henry named honorary captains for Alabama-FSU clash

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As if having no. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Florida State in a season-opening contest was not enough to highlight the first full weekend of college football, the game will also welcome a pair of Heisman Trophy winners to serve as honorary team captains.

Jameis Winston will be an honorary captain for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff representing Florida State. On the other side of the field with Alabama will be another former Heisman Trophy winner, Derrick Henry.

Winston, a native of Alabama, played a signature role in leading Florida State to its most recent national championship. The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner guided Florida State to the last of the BCS national championships and led the Noles to the inaugural College Football Playoff, where they were eliminated by Oregon. Winston went on to become the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he currently is the franchise quarterback heading into the new season.

Henry, a native of Florida, was a member of Alabama’s College Football Playoff national championship team in 2015 and a two-time SEC champion. Henry became Alabama’s second all-time Heisman Trophy winner in 2015, and he took home a number of other awards including the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and Doak Walker Award. Henry currently plays in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans, with another former Heisman Trophy winner (Marcus Mariota).

Derrick Henry and Keenan Reynolds are finalists for Sullivan Award

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Alabama running back Derrick Henry added a truckload of awards last season while powering Alabama to a national championship run. Henry won the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award and the Walter Camp Award in addition to being named a unanimous All-American and taking home SEC Offensive Player of the Year and SEC Championship Game MVP honors. Henry may be focusing on the NFL now, but he may not be done collecting hardware for his most recent season with the Crimson Tide.

Henry is one of seven finalists for the Sullivan Award, awarded to the top amateur athlete across all amateur sports. Navy’s Keenan Reynolds was also named a finalist. Henry and Reynolds are the only two college football players left standing.Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey were semifinalists for the award.

A college football player has won the award three out of the last four years. Last year saw Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott win the award. The year before that it was Penn State offensive lineman John Urschel. Army’s Andrew Rodriguez won the award two years prior to that, with Olympic star Missy Franklin taking home the award in 2013 following her dominant showing in the 2012 summer Olympics (four gold medals, one bronze). Other past winners from the college football gridiron include Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning.

Fans can cast their vote for their Sullivan Award pick online until Wednesday, March 23 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Clemson’s Charone Peake: I felt like we dominated Alabama

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The Clemson Tigers fell five points shy against Alabama in the national championship game earlier this month. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson put on a performance reminiscent of Vince Young in the Rose Bowl, although Watson and the Tigers let a fourth quarter lead slip away as Alabama took the upper hand and brought home another national championship under Nick Saban. Though Clemson lost the game, there was absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in the performance. Wide receiver Charone Peake certainly didn’t feel any shame in his team’s performance.

We felt like we dominated the game,” Peake said following a Senior Bowl practice on Thursday, per Al.com. “Those couple two or three plays took over and kinda overshadowed our play. The scoreboard didn’t show it but I felt like we dominated the game.”

The plays Peake was likely referring to were an onside kick called by Alabama following a touchdown, a 95-yard kickoff return by Kenyan Drake and a long touchdown run by Alabama’s Heisman Trophy-winning running back, Derrick Henry, and a long touchdown pass to seldom-used O.J. Howard. To support Peake’s case, Clemson’s offense did a fantastic job against a defense that was heralded as one of the best in the nation, anchored by the top defensive line and defensive front in the game. Clemson rolled up 550 yards of offense and scored 40 points on Alabama, so in a sense, yes, Clemson’s offense was dominant. Peake was responsible for 99 receiving yards on six receptions as well. Clemson defensive tackle D.J. Reader agreed.

“They capitalize. If you’re going to beat them, you really have to beat them,” Reader said. “You can’t go out there and have a fluke game and just win against them. You have to beat them straight up. That’s what I respect about them as a team. They’re going to do the things that matter. They’re going the little tackles, even if it doesn’t count, they’re going to make them. They just do things the right way.”

It must be open season on the newly crowned national champions down at the Senior Bowl. This week also saw Ohio State players suggest they would have given Alabama a better fight than their Big Ten division foes from Michigan State. Who will be next to suggest they could take Alabama?

AP names Christian McCaffrey player of the year

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A late-developing Heisman Trophy push for Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey may have gotten started too late in the season, but the Associated Press did not allow McCaffrey’s tremendous season go unrewarded. McCaffrey was named AP Player of the Year on Tuesday. McCaffrey is the first non-Heisman Trophy winner to win the AP’s Player of the Year Award in six seasons.

McCaffrey received 29 of 60 votes from the AP voters for the Player of the Year award, staying ahead of Alabama running back and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. Henry received 16 votes and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson received 11 votes. Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield each received two votes from the AP voters.

The last non-Heisman Trophy winner to win the AP honor was Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh in 2009. Alabama’s Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy. Maybe the AP just doesn’t buy into Alabama Heisman Trophy winners?

McCaffrey rushed for 1,847 yards and eight touchdowns, racked up 540 receiving yards and four more touchdowns and tossed two more on offense. McCaffrey also added 1,042 kickoff return yards and a touchdown, proving to be quite the threat in multiple areas of the game.

Sporting News All-American Team headlined by Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey

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Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and runner-up Christan McCaffrey were named First Team All-Americans by Sporting News on Tuesday. The Crimson Tide and Cardinal running backs nudged out Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and LSU’s Leonard Fournette for the first-team honors, while both Cook and Fournette filled the running back slots on the second team. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, landed on the second team from Sporting News, with Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield winning first team honors.

The full Sporting News All-American teams are listed below. The Sporting News All-American team is the fourth All-American team to be revealed that is used to make up the NCAA’s consensus All-American team. The previous three are the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Associated Press and the Football Writers Association of America. Tomorrow, the American Football Coaches Association will release the fifth and final All-American list recognized by the NCAA for its consensus list.

FIRST TEAM

Offense

QB – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
RB – Derrick Henry, Alabama; Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
WR – Corey Coleman, Baylor; Josh Doctson, TCU
TE – Hunter Henry, Arkansas
OL – Joshua Garnett, Stanford; Spencer Drango Baylor; Ryan Kelly, Alabama; Jack Conklin, Michigan State; Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
K – Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
KR – Evan Berry, Tennessee

Defense

DE – Carl Nassib, Penn State; Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
DT – A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama; Adolphus Washington, Ohio State
LB – Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame; Reggie Ragland, Alabama; Eric Striker, Oklahoma
CB – Desmond King, Iowa; Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
S – Jeremy Cash, Duke; Vonn Bell, Ohio State
P – Tom Hackett, Utah
PR – Cam Sutton, Tennessee

SECOND TEAM

Offense

QB – Deshaun Watson, Clemson
RB – Dalvin Cook, Florida State; Leonard Fournette, LSU
WR – Will Fuller, Notre Dame; JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC
TE – Jake Butt, Michigan
OL – Vadal Alexander, LSU; Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas; Taylor Decker, Ohio State; Jason Spriggs, Indiana; Roderick Johnson, Florida State
K – Ka’lmi Fairbairn, UCLA
KR – Morgan Burns, Kansas State

Defense

DE – Joey Bosa, Ohio State; Shaq Lawson, Clemson
DT- Jonathan Bullard, Florida; Andrew Billings, Baylor
LB – Kentrell Brothers, Missouri;Tyler Matakevich, Temple; Joe Schobert, Wisconsin
CB – Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma; Jalen Tabor, Florida
S – Jabrill Peppers, Michigan; Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
P – Drew Kasar, Texas A&M
PR – Dante Pettis, Washington