When Alabama running back Derrick Henry was named the winner of the 2015 Heisman Trophy Saturday night in New York City, the Crimson Tide star joined the exclusive fraternity of Heisman Trophy winners. This is often referred to as the most exclusive fraternity in sports, as only one player per year is inducted into the club every season since 1935. But Henry joined an even more exclusive club in college football history with his Heisman Trophy win by becoming the 22nd player to win each of the three major individual awards in college football; the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year.
USC’s O.J. Simpson was the first player to win all three major awards in the same season, doing so in 1968. Simpson actually prevented UCLA’s Gary Beban from being the first triple crown award winner in college football when he was named the inaugural Walter Camp Award winner in 1967. Beban won the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award that season. Stanford’s Jim Plunkett became the second player to sweep the three individual honors in 1970, and Penn State’s John Cappelletti swept the awards in 1973.
Henry is the fourth player from the SEC to win all three major awards, joining Georgia’s Herschel Walker, Florida’s Danny Wuerffel and Auburn’s Cam Newton. Henry is also the first running back to pull off the feat since Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne took all three honors in 1999. Ricky Williams of Texas did it the previous season in 1998 as well. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota won all three individual awards last season as well. Alabama’s A.J. McCarron prevented Florida State’s Jameis Winston from winning all three awards by being named the Maxwell Award winner in 2013. Alabama’s last Heisman Trophy winner before Henry, Mark Ingram in 2009, actually prevented Texas quarterback Colt McCoy from pulling off the triple award feat. McCoy won the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year awards in that 2009 season.
Players to win Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year in Same Season
- O.J. Simpson, USC (1968)
- Jim Plunkett, Stanford (1970)
- John Cappelletti, Penn State (1973)
- Archie Griffin, Ohio State (1975)
- Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh (1976)
- Charles White, USC (1979)
- Marcus Allen, USC (1981)
- Herschel Walker, Georgia (1982)
- Mike Rozier, Nebraska (1983)
- Doug Flutie, Boston College (1984)
- Vinny Testaverde, Miami (1986)
- Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State (1988)
- Desmond Howard, Michigan (1991)
- Gino Torretta, Miami (1992)
- Charlie Ward, Florida State (1993)
- Eddie Georgia, Ohio State (1995)
- Danny Wuerffel, Florida (1996)
- Ricky Williams, Texas (1998)
- Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (1999)
- Cam Newton, Auburn (2010)
- Marcus Mariota, Oregon (2014)
- Derrick Henry, Alabama (2015)
Fresh off being named most valuable player of the Big Ten Championship Game after leading his team to victory, Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook set Twitter ablaze with an apparent show of disrespect for the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and Ohio State and Big Ten legend Archie Griffin. Griffin was on stage to hand the game’s MVP trophy to the Spartans quarterback, and Cook grabbed the trophy from Griffin’s hand and gave a weak hand shake as he prepared to answer questions from FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt on stage.
After the game and on-field celebration, Cook checked Twitter for reaction and congratulations from friends and followers, but instead he was buried in criticism for his apparent snub of Griffin. During on on-set postgame interview on Big Ten Network, Cook offered his apology and explanation for the bizarre moment, claiming to have just been caught in the moment and not realizing what he did or how it looked.
Cook also took to his Twitter account to address the criticism.
Cook and Michigan State will now prepare for the College Football Playoff, as it is all but official the victory in the Big Ten championship game Saturday night has locked the Spartans into the four-team field, whihc will be confirmed today. Cook completed 16 of 32 pass attempts for 191 yards and an interception against Iowa in the defensively gritty Big Ten championship game victory.
Everybody seems to have some sort of opinion on the push for a college football players union unfolding before our eyes. That includes college football’s only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, Archie Griffin. The president and CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association was on hand for a recent Buckeyes spring practice, and he took some time to answer some questions about the news this week regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that Northwestern football players should be classified as employees of the university, a ruling that helps the College Athletes Players Association move another step closer to formal unionization.
“It doesn’t surprise me, I’ll say that,” said Griffin according to The Columbus Dispatch. “We should have seen it coming with college football the way it is today, with the dollars being made, the prices being charged for tickets, and the salaries of coaches and administrators.”
While the idea of actually paying the players is not at the top of the agenda for the CAPA, having a seat to represent players at the NCAA table and addressing other concerns is. As the sport has grown over the years, so to has the business operations behind the scenes. With student-athletes not receiving a slice of the pie, Northwestern players, led by Kain Colter, formed a group seeking to unionize at some point in the future. It is no surprise to Griffin to see how this group of players has come together and started to have some impact.
“The players are not blind,” Griffin said. “They see the dollars being made in the game. It’s obvious. That’s kind of why they are where they are. They feel the term amateur is keeping them from getting what they deserve.”
The union talk has led to reactions from many coaches, including South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Clemson’s Dabo Swinny. Both coaches are in favor of stipends, but had slightly different reactions to the news out of Chicago this week. Asked how his former coach, Woody Hayes, would have reacted to the news, Griffin said Hayes would have supported the players.
“I honestly think Coach would have been for what’s best for the players,” said Griffin.