A running back has not won the Heisman Trophy since Alabama’s Mark Ingram in 2009. But if ESPN’s Week 2 Heisman Watch is any indication, we might see that six-year drought snapped in December.
Alabama’s Derrick Henry and Georgia’s Nick Chubb sit one-two on the Worldwide Leader’s current poll, which was voted on by several college football aficionados. Ohio State represents the next two spots, with quarterback-turned-wideout Braxton Miller at No. 3 and running back Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4.
Quarterbacks have won the Heisman in 13 of the past 15 years, but the poll does not list a signal caller until the No. 5 spot, which TCU’s Trevone Boykin occupies.
That being said, the list of 13 players includes eight QBs, including Arkansas’ Brandon Allen (No. 11). Texas A&M lineman Myles Garrett checks in as the lone defensive player (No. 13).
Henry made waves against Wisconsin on Saturday by collecting 147 yards and three touchdowns on just 13 carries. The junior will be featured when ‘Bama takes on Middle Tennessee State this Saturday.
“He’s got great size and speed,” Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said in Wednesday’s SEC teleconference. “He’s one of the hardest-working, best-attitude guys on our team, and he’s improved dramatically in a lot of areas.”
Chubb also had an outstanding season debut. The sophomore racked up 120 yards on 16 carries against Louisiana-Monroe this past Saturday, and has been giving Vanderbilt fits as the Commodores prepare for their Week 2 matchup.
“He’s got great size, he’s powerful, he runs with great vision, and more than anything else, he breaks tackles,” Vandy coach Derek Mason said on Tuesday. “I like what he is: He’s a true tailback. He can do it all. He can run between the tackles. He can get on the perimeter, he can catch the ball out of the backfield. I like what he is.”
ESPN’s pollers apparently like what they see, too. It appears as if the SEC can count on having a few horses in this season’s Heisman race.