Time will tell if the College Football Awards foreshadowed the result of the Heisman Trophy presentation. It certainly seemed that way.
Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Award and the Doak Walker Award during the annual ceremony held at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Thursday evening.
The Doak Walker is awarded to the nation’s best running back. The Maxwell and Walter Camp Award are given to the best overall player in college football. Both are often considered strong predictors of the eventual Heisman Trophy winner, who will be named on Saturday.
Henry beat out two sophomore finalists for the Maxwell Award; Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. The three will be reunited again on Saturday as Heisman finalists.
Henry leads the country with 1,986 rushing yards and 23 rushing touchdowns. That production helped his teammate, Ryan Kelly, win the Rimington Trophy for most outstanding center.
However, Alabama didn’t win all the hardware. Linebacker Reggie Ragland lost the Chuck Bednarik Award for best defensive player to Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich. Alabama defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson also fell short to Stanford’s Joshua Garnett, who won the Outland Trophy for the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman.
There were other SEC players not clad in Crimson that garnered recognition. Arkansas’ Hunter Henry won the John Mackey Award, which is presented to the nation’s most outstanding tight end.
Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III was nominated for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best defensive back. However, Desmond King from Iowa nabbed that award. Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell was nominated for the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s best receiver but lost to Baylor’s Corey Coleman.
Of all the post-season prizes, the most significant is still up for grabs. Henry seems in prime position to secure a final piece of hardware this weekend when the Heisman Trophy is awarded in New York City.