Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams announced that the finalists for the 81st annual Heisman Memorial Trophy are Alabama running back Derrick Henry, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The three finalists will be invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy announcement on Saturday, December 12, which will broadcast live on ESPN at 8:00 PM EST, presented by Nissan North America.
Henry is Alabama's fifth Heisman finalist in the last seven years and the school's seventh overall. The true junior from Yulee, Fla., rumbled his way to an SEC single-season-record 1,986 rushing yards, while tying the conference mark for rushing touchdowns with 23. His rushing yardage total led the nation, as did his number of rushing attempts (339). The 6-3, 242-pounder was just the third running back in SEC history (Herschel Walker and Bo Jackson being the others) to have four 200-yard games in a single season. He would be the second Alabama player (and second Crimson Tide running back) to win the Heisman, joining 2009 winner Mark Ingram. He'd also be the second Heisman winner under Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
McCaffrey is Stanford's fourth Heisman finalist in the last seven years and the school's fifth overall. The true sophomore running back from Castle Rock, Colo., set the FBS record for single-season all-purpose yardage with 3,496 yards, surpassing the previous standard of 3,250 yards set by Barry Sanders in 1988. McCaffrey showed his versatility by finishing fifth in the nation in rushing with 1,847 yards while also adding 540 yards on 41 receptions and 1,109 yards on kick and punt returns. He scored 12 touchdowns and passed for two more. The 6-0, 201-pounder would be the second Cardinal player to capture the Heisman, joining 1970 winner Jim Plunkett.
Watson is Clemson's first Heisman finalist and thus would be the school's first Heisman winner. The true sophomore from Gainesville, Ga., passed for 3,512 yards and 30 touchdowns while also rushing for 887 yards and 11 scores. His 4,399 yards of total offense was fourth-best nationally while his combined 41 touchdowns running and passing was second-best among Power 5 conferences. He was the only player in the nation with more than 750 rushing yards and over 3,000 passing yards. The 6-2, 210-pounder was named the ACC Player of the Year as No. 1 Clemson -- the nation's only undefeated team -- recorded its best season since 1981.