Alabama running back Derrick Henry has had an explosive junior season, rushing for 1,986 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns. He was announced as a Heisman Trophy finalist earlier this week, and the winner will be announced on Saturday in New York.
Henry has the chance to break a five-year drought for running backs winning the Heisman. He can also bring the trophy back to Alabama for the first time since 2009, when Mark Ingram won it for the Tide. All of the hype surrounding Henry could be distracting during the season, but he says he stayed focused on his team and playing a great game to get through. Based on his stats and his domination of opposing defenses, he did more than just get through.
In Alabama’s rivalry game against Auburn, Henry earned a season high in both rushing and carries. He pounded down for 271 yards on 46 carries. In the SEC Championship game Henry rushed for 189 yards on 44 carries, and scored one touchdown. With his performance, he tied the SEC record for most touchdowns in a season and surpassed Herschel Walker’s 34 year-old record for rushing yards in a year.
When asked about what it means to win the Heisman and be named the best player in the country, Henry doesn’t focus on all of his stats and figures, he says it’s about being a team leader and working hard each and every day to play the best for the team.
He does let the hype get to him a little bit when he thinks about winning it, which would be the realization of a lifelong dream, and looking at his performance in every game this season, probably isn’t too far off.