NCAA

Roll Henry! Alabama's super-sized running back wins Heisman

usatsi_8993602_141983962_lowres.jpg

Roll Henry! Alabama's super-sized running back wins Heisman

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hand it to Derrick Henry.

Alabama's bulldozer of tailback with the super-sized workload won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night after carrying the Crimson Tide offense for most of the season.

"I'm just so thankful to have this trophy," Henry said. "It's just a blessing and an honor."

The 6-foot-3, 242-pound Henry is the second Alabama player to win the Heisman, joining running back Mark Ingram. Since Ingram won the award in 2009, it had gone to five straight quarterbacks.

Stanford's do-it-all running back Christian McCaffrey, who broke the NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a season, was the runner-up, making it four second-place finishes for Cardinal players in seven years.

Deshaun Watson, quarterback of No. 1 Clemson, finished third.

Henry was considered the favorite going in, though it didn't make it any easier for him.

"I didn't know at all," he said. "Them two guys were great contenders for the trophy. Deshaun, with how consistent and efficient he is at the quarterback position, all the success he had, I was kind of worried. Christian, breaking Barry Sanders' record, doing all the things he does, he's just unbelievable."

The moment right before the winner was announced was the toughest for Henry.

"My heart was about to bust out my chest. I thought I was going to have a heart attack," he said.

It was the closest Heisman voting since Ingram won by the slimmest margin ever, but still a comfortable victory for Henry. He received 1,832 points, 293 more than McCaffrey (1,539). Watson received the third-most points for a third-place finisher with 1,165.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield came in fourth and Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds was fifth, but Henry, McCaffrey and Watson dominated the voting.

Henry broke the Southeastern Conference record with 1,986 yards rushing -- previously held by 1982 Heisman winner Herschel Walker -- and matched a league mark with 23 touchdowns, leading No. 2 Alabama to the College Football Playoff. He also set an Alabama record with 339 carries, including an astounding 90 in the Tide's last two games.

"I know that our entire organization is really happy, happy, happy for Derrick Henry tonight, winning the Heisman Trophy," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.

Henry choked up during his speech, thanking family, coaches and teammates, and mentioning former Alabama teammate Altee Tenpenny, who was killed in a car crash two months ago.

Henry was born to teenage parents and raised with the strong influence of his grandmother, Gladys, in the small north Florida country town of Yulee, just outside of Jacksonville.

Gladys Henry has been hospitalized for weeks in Florida with heart and respiratory problems. Derrick Henry said his grandmother was with him in spirit as his childhood dream of winning the Heisman came true.

"I love you so much," he said during his speech.

Henry came to Alabama as a five-star recruit. Before the Heisman came a dose of humility. For the first time football wasn't easy.

"One day I said something to him and he said, `Coach, all this stuff is new to me. All they did in high school was turn around and toss me the ball and I ran with it,'" Saban said. "I really appreciate his hard work at becoming a complete player."

Henry was a backup on a crowded depth chart as a freshman and thought about transferring, but with the encouragement of his family decided to stay put.

As a sophomore he shared carries with T.J. Yeldon and ran for 990 yards and 11 touchdowns.

This season as a junior, with Alabama breaking in a first-time starting quarterback and inexperienced receivers, the Tide hooked its offense to Henry and let him lead the way. When injuries hit Alabama's other running backs, Henry picked up that slack, too.

He had four 200-yard games in the second half of the season. He went for 210 against LSU to move to the front of the Heisman race, and had 271 yards in the Iron Bowl against Auburn.

Weary defenses got plenty of looks at big No. 5 from behind, his long bundled locks sticking out of the back of his helmet. The Crimson Tide's Predator.

After Ingram won the Heisman in `09, he helped Alabama win the national championship about a month later. Henry will try to do the same. The Tide faces Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31, trying to earn a fourth national championship in nine seasons under Saban.

Henry has not announced his intentions yet, but a jump to the NFL seems likely after this season.

Alabama has placed its championship hopes on Henry's broad shoulders and he has delivered.

"Roll Tide," Henry said as he wrapped up his speech.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Report: Former Virginia head coach hired to Maryland staff

New AP Poll for Top 25: Ohio State drops to No. 11

purdue-ohio-usat.jpg
USA Today

New AP Poll for Top 25: Ohio State drops to No. 11

Clemson is back at No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll behind top-ranked Alabama, moving up to where it started, after a convincing victory and Ohio State's first loss of the season.

The Crimson Tide are a unanimous No. 1, with all 61 first-place votes Sunday, for the first time this season.

The Tigers trailed only Alabama in the preseason rankings, but a couple of close wins in September -- combined with seemingly impressive performances by other highly ranked teams -- dragged Clemson to as low as No. 4.

Coming off a lopsided win against North Carolina State, Clemson rose a spot this week. Notre Dame is No. 3 and LSU is No. 4, setting the stage for a top-five matchup between the Tigers and Crimson Tide in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Nov. 3. Both have an open date this week.

Michigan is No. 5 and Ohio State dropped to No. 11 after being upset by Purdue.

POLL POINTS

No. 25 Appalachian State is ranked in the AP poll for the first time in school history. The Mountaineers (5-1) have not lost since opening the season with an overtime defeat at Penn State.

"It's awesome to be recognized," Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield said Sunday. "We've had a lot of positive things happen to our program the last three to four years. The first time we go bowl eligible, which was awesome. Then we go win our first bowl game. That was really cool. And then to go win our first Sun Belt championship two years ago. That was awesome. So there's been a lot of first for us over the last three years. This is another first."

App State transitioned to the FBS, the highest level of Division I football, in 2014 after years as an FCS power. Under former coach Jerry Moore, the Mountaineers were a regular playoff participant. The program peaked in the mid-2000s, winning three straight FCS (Division I-AA) championships from 2005-07. And App State pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in college football history against Michigan in 2007.

Moore retired after the 2012 season and was replaced by Satterfield, a former App State quarterback and assistant coach. The move up in class and into the Sun Belt has been practically seamless. The Mountaineers are 46-23 under Satterfield, with two Sun Belt titles. The only other Sun Belt team to ever be ranked was Troy on Nov. 13, 2016.

"To be recognized in the FBS level football and for our program to be a team that just went through transition four years ago and now to be ranked is pretty remarkable," Satterfield said. "We have a lot of pride, a lot of tradition in our program."

This season's team was expected to contend for another conference championship. A case could be made it is exceeding even those high expectations after replacing four-year starting quarterback Taylor Lamb, two four-year starting offensive linemen, four defensive players that were four-year starters and veteran defensive coordinator Nate Woody, who left for Georgia Tech.

Satterfield said this is may be his fastest team at App State and credited senior safety Josh Thomas, senior defensive tackle MyQuon Stout and fourth-year junior offensive tackle Victor Johnson with providing leadership for one of the least experienced rosters in the FBS. Running back Jalin Moore, another senior who was lost for the season to a knee injury two weeks ago, has become a de facto assistant coach for App State.

Since falling to Penn State, the Mountaineers have outscored their opponents 231-49. Next up is a key game for first place in the Sun Belt East at Georgia Southern (6-1, 3-0) on Thursday night.

UP

  • No. 14 Washington State was the only big mover to rise in the rankings this week, jumping 11 spots after beating Oregon.

DOWN

  • Ohio State dropped out of the top 10 for the first this season, tumbling nine spots
  • No. 19 Oregon dropped seven spots after taking its second loss
  • No. 22 North Carolina State fell six spots after losing for the first time this season

IN

  • No. 23 Utah is ranked for the first time this season, making it five straight years the Utes started the season unranked but moved into the rankings at some point. From 2014-16, Utah started the season outside the Top 25 but finished it ranked. Utah has won three straight, scoring at least 40 points in each game
  • No. 24 Stanford is back in the rankings after falling out two weeks ago

OUT

  • Michigan State and Mississippi State fell out of the rankings again after losing for the third time this season
  • Cincinnati's first loss of the season, in overtime to Temple, cost the Bearcats their first ranking since 2012

CONFERENCE CALL

  • SEC -- 6 teams (1, 4, 7, 9, 12, 16).
  • Big Ten -- 5 (5, 11, 17, 18, 20).
  • Pac-12 -- 5 (14, 15, 19, 23, 24).
  • Big 12 -- 3 (6, 8, 13).
  • ACC -- 2 (2, 22).
  • American -- 2 (10, 21).
  • Sun Belt -- 1 (25).
  • Independent -- 1 (3).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 9 Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. The first of two games involving the Bulldogs that will decide the SEC East. Georgia faces Kentucky on Nov. 3.

  • No. 14 Washington State at No. 24 Stanford. Cougars try to grab control of the Pac-12 North.
  • No. 18 Iowa at No. 17 Penn State. The Nittany Lions will help decide the Big Ten West with home games against the Hawkeyes and No. 20 Wisconsin.

Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

marcus_derrickson_georgetown_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

Leaving the Georgetown Hoyas a season early is initially paying off for Marcus Derrickson. 

Less than a month before what would have been his senior season at Georgetown, the 6-7 forward has signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors. 

Derrickson nabbed the second two-way position on the Warriors after an outstanding Summer League translated to a solid preseason.

Fitting right into the Warriors deep-ball oriented scheme, Derrickson was 6-16 from three point range during the five-game preseason. He's a versatile stretch-four that continues to develop and improve on his outside game. 

By signing a two-way contract, the former All-Big East Second teamer will have a chance to get called up to the two-time defending NBA champions at any point this season for up to 45 days. The remaining time will be with the Warriors' G-league affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors

This arrangement will earn Derrickson a contract of $75,000 and a prorated amount for however much time he is practicing/ playing with Golden State. 

If he is called up to the NBA for more than the allotted 45 days, then the Warriors are obligated to give him a minimum rookie contract. 

Derrickson continues to prove himself as the list of aspiring players dwindles. As each contract begins to near its end, the Warriors time after time offer another opportunity.

MORE HOYAS NEWS: