Wednesday afternoon, the Walter Camp Football Foundation announced the five finalists for the 2015 version of its Player of the Year award. In addition to the Alabama running back, Iowa defensive back Desmond King, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson were named finalists for the award.
Four of the five finalists play on teams currently ranked in the College Football Playoff top four, the lone exception being McCaffrey. Even then, though, McCaffrey’s Cardinal is at No. 7.
Last year’s winner of the Camp Award, which is voted on by FBS head coaches and sports information directors, was Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. This year’s winner will be announced Dec. 10.
Below are some quick biographical sketches provided by the Camp foundation:
DERRICK HENRY – ALABAMA – Junior – Running Back – The nation’s rushing leader (1,797 yards), Derrick Henry has rushed for 200+ yards in a game four times, including a season-high 271 in a win over Auburn. Henry’s 22 touchdowns also lead the nation. The second-ranked Crimson Tide (11-1) will face Florida on Dec. 5 in the Southeastern Conference title game.
DESMOND KING – IOWA – Junior – Defensive Back – The Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year, Desmond King leads the nation with eight interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He has added 61 tackles and 11 pass breakups for the Hawkeyes, who have won a school-record 12 games, and play Michigan State on Dec. 5 in the Big Ten Conference title game
BAKER MAYFIELD – OKLAHOMA – Junior – Quarterback – The leader of the Big 12 champion Sooners (12-0), Baker Mayfield has passed for 3,389 yards and 35 touchdowns this season. His 178.9 passing efficiency rating is ranked third in the nation. Mayfield has also rushed for 420 yards and scored seven touchdowns.
CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY – STANFORD – Sophomore – Running Back/Kick Returner – The nation’s leader in all-purpose yardage (3,305 – 252.9 yards per game), Christian McCaffrey is among the nation’s leaders in rushing (1,640 yards) for the 10-2 Cardinal, who will face USC on Dec. 5 in the Pac-12 championship game.
DESHAUN WATSON – CLEMSON – Sophomore – Quarterback – The leader of the top-ranked Tigers offense, Deshaun Watson has accumulated 3,979 yards of total offense and 36 total touchdowns, both of which rank first in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Watson’s 161.9 passing efficiency rating also leads the ACC. Clemson (12-0) will play North Carolina on Dec. 5 in the ACC Championship Game.