In one of the closest votes in the award’s history, Alabama running back Derrick Henry has been selected as the 81st winner of the Heisman Trophy over fellow finalists Christian McCaffrey (running back, Stanford) and Deshaun Watson (quarterback, Clemson). Henry is the second Tide player so honored, joining fellow running back Mark Ingram back in 2009.
Henry is also the first running back since Ingram to win the award, and just the second back since 1999 (excluding Reggie Bush‘s vacated Heisman). Additionally, he’s the first sophomore since Ingram to win, with the ‘Bama back serving as the last of three consecutive wins for that class.
Henry’s 1,986 rushing yards are the most by a Heisman-winning back since Ricky Williams won with 2,124 yards in 1998, while his 23 touchdowns are the most since Williams’ 27 in 1998. Interestingly, he’s just the third player from the state of Florida to win it.
Then there’s this nugget from our old pal Chris Huston:
[Henry is] the fourth-heaviest-listed Heisman winner overall at 242 pounds and the second-heaviest-listed running back behind Ron Dayne (252 lbs).
Clemson remains one of nine ACC teams to never have won the Heisman. Stanford’s last — and only — Heisman came courtesy of Jim Plunkett way back in 1970.
The SEC now has 14 Heisman Trophy winners in its history (total of all current members), second only to the Big Ten’s 18. The Big 12 has 12, while the Pac-12 has 11. The ACC, with nine, is the only Power Five conference not in double digits.
In 2013, Florida State’s Jameis Winston nearly tripled the vote totals of the runner-up, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. Last year, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota more than doubled Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon‘s votes. In 2015, less than 300 votes separated the winner from the runner-up.
Below are the final vote totals for the Top 10 in this year’s voting for the Heisman Trophy, with Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds finishing a surprising fifth and Florida State running back Dalvin Cook finishing an inexplicable seventh.
Also of note? Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook and TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin received the most votes for a senior outside of Reynolds — and they were tied for ninth behind four sophomores and three juniors.