Tonight, the 2015 Heisman Trophy presentation kicks off at 8 p.m. EST/CST on ESPN. The finalists have been paired down to Clemson's Deshaun Watson, Stanford's Christian McCaffrey, and Alabama's Derrick Henry.
The award is particularly media-driven this year, with the news cycle filled with banging the drum slowly for Navy's Keenum Reynolds, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, and the new anointed, McCaffrey. In a fickle business, the talking heads completely abandoned Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliot after their teams' respective losses.
Here's your tale of the tape:
Derrick Henry, RB Alabama (Jr.)
Henry is the SEC's offensive player of the year, a first-team all-SEC performer, and first-team All-American. On Thursday, he picked up the Doak Walker, Walter Camp, and Maxwell awards. Henry has rushed for 1986 yards for 23 touchdowns, averaging 5.9 YPC in shattering nearly every Alabama rushing record, and eclipsing Herschel Walker's 35 year-old single-season SEC rushing record. Henry added 10 catches for another 97 yards. Henry is the unquestioned leader of the Alabama offense that has leaned on him to a 12-1 record and an SEC Championship.
Deshaun Watson, QB Clemson (So.)
Watson is Clemson's first Heisman finalist, and this year netted the Davey O'Brien award for QB play. He is a first-team All-American, all-ACC, the ACC's offensive player of the year, and the ACC's overall player of the year. Coming off of knee surgery, Watson has completed nearly 70% of his passes for 30 TDs and 3512 yards. What makes him a true weapon is his legs, where he has added 887 yards and 11 TDs on the ground.
Christian McCaffrey, RB/KR/PR/WR Stanford (So.)
McCaffrey, the media's sentimental favorite (this week) is the little all-everything for a Stanford offense that would be sucking air without him. Like Henry, no one is as perhaps as valuable to his team. McCaffrey is the winner of the Paul Hornung Award (for versatile athletes,) a first-team all-PAC 12 performer, and was Pac 12's Player of the year. McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders single season record for all-purpose yards (not yards from scrimmage,) with 1847 yards on the ground (8 TDs,) 41 catches for 540 yards (4 TDs.) But, what has bolstered McCaffrey's total yardage into the realm of obscenity are his 36 KORs for an additional 1046 yards. He has also chipped in 67 yards on 14 punt returns as well.
Best of luck to Derrick and Roll Tide