Heisman Trophy: Who wins tonight?

Movie Quote of the Day:

“You’re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder!”

– Mickey, Rocky (1976)

The Heisman Trophy.
The Heisman Trophy.

Tonight is the presentation of the Heisman Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in college football. The finalists for this year are: Alabama running back Derrick Henry, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.

This is the first time in a few years that I’ve felt that the Heisman is a toss up. The previous three seasons, there was a clear-cut favorite to win the award. I think everyone and their mother knew that Johnny Manziel (2012), Jameis Winston (2013), and Marcus Mariota (2014) were going to take home the Heisman. I think the voting this season is going to be very close between the three finalists. You can make an argument for all three to win. Let’s take a look at the candidates’ resumes:

Alabama RB Derrick Henry.
Alabama RB Derrick Henry.

I don’t know how Derrick Henry isn’t projected to be a first-round draft pick. The Florida native is 6’3 and 245 pounds. He’s an absolute bulldozer behind a fierce Alabama offensive line. Henry has had 339 rushing attempts for 1,986 yards and has 23 touchdowns. He averages six yards per attempt in a conference that is known for great defenses. He won the Maxwell Trophy the other night, and that’s sometimes a sign of things to come. However, in five of the last seven years, the player that has won the Maxwell did not win the Heisman.

Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey.
Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey.

I think that Christian McCaffrey is the best athlete of the finalists. McCaffrey just broke Barry Sanders’ single-season record for all-purpose yards last week in the PAC-12 Championship with 3,496. McCaffrey leads Stanford in both rushing (1,847) and receiving yards (540). On top of that, McCaffrey also returns kicks and punts for Stanford. The thing that I think is holding McCaffrey back is that he only has 12 total touchdowns this season. Also, I’m not sure many people have had the chance to watch him play since some PAC-12 games are played very late on Saturdays. I’ve seen McCaffrey play a few times this season and I think he’s the best overall player amongst the Heisman finalists.

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.
Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.

Deshaun Watson has had a spectacular season for Clemson. Watson has had a 69.5 completion percentage, and thrown for 3,512 yards and 30 touchdowns. Watson has also rushed for 887 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. You would think Watson would be more of a favorite to win the Heisman since the trophy has gone to a quarterback every season since 2009. If the running backs hadn’t been so good this season in college football (like I predicted), Watson would win this award. I also think the fact that Watson plays in a weak ACC and has thrown 11 interceptions this season is holding him back from winning. I’m not taking anything away from Watson. He’s a fantastic player and he’s only a sophomore. I don’t think he’ll win tonight, but he’ll be an early favorite for next season.

Who deserves to win: Christian McCaffrey
Who will win: Derrick Henry

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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