College Sports

Striking a pose: How Derrick Henry compares to other running backs who won the Heisman

Alabama running back Derrick Henry kisses the Heisman Trophy after winning the award as the country’s top college football player Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in New York.
Alabama running back Derrick Henry kisses the Heisman Trophy after winning the award as the country’s top college football player Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in New York. The Associated Press

Derrick Henry bulldozed defenses while carrying Alabama’s offense this season, and then walked away with a Heisman Trophy.

The Crimson Tide’s super-sized tailback won college football’s most famous player of the year award Saturday night, becoming just the third running back to take the Heisman in the last 16 years.

Henry has run for 1,986 and 23 touchdowns this season. The junior is slated to play in at least one more game, when the second-ranked Crimson Tide meets Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31.

Here’s how the most recent running backs fared when they won the Heisman.

Mark Ingram, Alabama, 2009: The sophomore had 1,992 yards from scrimmage (1,658 rushing) and scored 20 touchdowns (17 rushing) for the Crimson Tide, who went 14-0 and beat Texas in the BCS National Championship Game.

Reggie Bush, USC, 2005: The junior amassed 2,218 yards from scrimmage (1,740 rushing) and scored 19 touchdowns (16 rushing, two receiving, one on special teams) for the Trojans, who lost to Texas in the BCS National Championship Game. Bush’s award and the Trojans’ wins were vacated because Bush accepted gifts while at USC, a violation of NCAA rules.

Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, 1999: The senior ran for 2,034 yards and 20 scores for the Badgers, who finished 10-2 with a 17-9 loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

Ricky Williams, Texas, 1998: The senior finished with 2,386 yards from scrimmage (2,124 rushing) and 28 touchdowns (one receiving) for the Longhorns, who finished 9-3, including a Cotton Bowl victory over Mississippi State.

Eddie George, Ohio State, 1995: The senior amassed 2,344 yards from scrimmage (1,927 rushing) and scored 25 touchdowns, including one receiving, for the Buckeyes, who went 11-2 with a Citrus Bowl loss to Tennessee.

Rashaan Salaam, Colorado, 1994: The junior ended the season with 2,349 yards from scrimmage (2,055 rushing) and ran for 24 scores for the Buffaloes, who beat Notre Dame 41-24 in the Fiesta Bowl to finish 11-1.

Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, 1988: The junior amassed 2,734 yards from scrimmage and ran for 37 touchdowns for the Cowboys, who went 5-6. Sanders’ record for total yardage (rushing, receiving, special teams) stood until this season and was broken by Stanford sophomore Christian McCaffrey, who finished second in this year’s Heisman voting.

Bo Jackson, Auburn, 1985: The senior had 1,859 yards from scrimmage (1,786 rushing) and scored 17 times on the ground for the Tigers, who went 8-4, including a loss to Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.

Herschel Walker, Georgia, 1982: The junior finished with 1,841 yards from scrimmage (1,752 rushing) and had 17 total TDs for the Bulldogs, who entered the Sugar Bowl 11-0 but lost 27-23 to Penn State.

Sources: The Associated Press, sports-reference.com

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