This year's Heisman Trophy will be awarded on Saturday night in New York City. Two running backs from Stanford and Alabama, Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry, respectively, along with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, are vying for college football's prestigious statue.
McCaffrey and Henry will be looking to put an end on the five-year streak of quarterbacks winning the top honor as it is presented Saturday night in Midtown Manhattan.
Early statistics suggest that the Alabama Crimson Tide RB is a favorite to win the award. Henry led the Heisman projections after his team defeated the LSU Tigers in a game where he also outplayed the another trophy favorite, running back Leonard Fournette.
What makes Henry an even more deserving nominee is that fact that he broke Herschel Walker's previous SEC rushing record, finishing with 1,986 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns--the highest in the country. He has also been specifically dominant at the end of the season, delivering at least 143 yards against every FBS opponent since mid-October.
Henry is in New York in time for the awarding and answered several questions from reporters. When asked about how he would feel if he is named as the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, he said "If that were to happen, that would be an extremely emotional moment for me, that's for sure."
One reporter probed about how he makes of his fellow finalists. "Chris is very versatile, he can do a lot of things with the ball. Deshaun is a great quarterback, so consistent and efficient throwing the ball," Henry calmly replied. Another asked him about what advice did his coach give him about this weekend's upcoming ceremony. "Just take it all in. Enjoy. [He said that] I worked hard for it."
While the Alabama contender is the prototypical power-runner, Stanford's Christian McCaffrey is more about versatility and elusiveness. The running back and return specialist recently broke Barry Sanders' NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a season with 3,496. He also managed to score 13 touchdowns and throw two TD passes.
McCaffrey finished second only to Henry with 1,847 yards rushing. However, it is in the all-around game where the former truly excels, SacBee.com noted. Due to his skill in pattern running and exceptional hands out of the backfield or from the slot, McCaffrey was able to add 41 catches for 540 yards which gave him the most yards from scrimmage with 2,387. Furthermore, he had the second most kick return yards in the country with 1,042.
In an interview, McCaffrey was asked about fellow finalists Henry and Watson. "It's so fun to see how they approach the game; how they approach life in general... It's just cool being around other good players," he replied.
He is also asked about how he is different from Derrick Henry; "I'd say he's a lot bigger than I am. I'd say he's more of a downhill runner but he's so good at everything. I think people take for granted that he can be too speedy and quick," the Stanford Cardinal player said.
Should McCaffrey win, it would only be Stanford's second after Jim Plunkett received the honor back in 1970. For Alabama, Henry's possible victory would mark the fifth time in the last seven seasons that the school has had a Heisman finalist. On Saturday, he may join 2009 winner Mark Ingram in college football's coveted list of trophy winners.