Alabama’s Derrick Henry may have already clinched the Heisman
Finishing off a Heisman campaign runs eerily similar to making a case for the College Football Playoff: To garner serious consideration for the honor, it helps to be playing on the first Saturday of December.
Within that scope, Henry won’t have to fight his final Heisman battle on numerous fronts. In essence, only Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (ACC title game) and Stanford tailback Christian McCaffrey (Pac-12 championship) possess one last chance to usurp Henry, the likely Heisman front-runner.
But even that’s a long shot for the duo, considering how Henry crushed the Auburn defense for 271 yards and one touchdown on 46 carries — a robust average of 5.9 yards per rush.
It was the junior’s signature performance in a year of stellar outings, with Henry posting four games of 200-plus yards rushing (joining an exclusive SEC club with Herschel Walker and Bo Jackson), extending his touchdown streak to 17 consecutive games (an SEC record) and breaking Alabama’s season records for rushing yards (1,797) and rushing touchdowns (22).
The only tangible worry regarding Henry’s campaign: Heisman voters tend to carry regional biases; and LSU tailback Leonard Fournette (159 rushing yards, one TD vs. Texas A&M) has enjoyed an amazing sophomore campaign with 1,741 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Of course, that’s kind of a moot point, given how Henry has supplanted Fournette as the nation’s leading rusher.
Jay Clemons, the 2015 national winner for “Sports Blog Of The Year” (Cynopsis Media), has previously written for SI.com, The National Football Post, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports.