From left, Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey and Deshaun Watson are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy. (Source: Alabama Athletics)
(RNN) - The most prestigious award of the college football season belongs to Alabama running back Derrick Henry.
Henry beat out Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey to be named the nation's most outstanding player.
Along with McCaffrey, Henry was trying to become the first running back to win the award since fellow Alabama's Mark Ingram in 2009. Since then, five quarterbacks had taken home the trophy.
Henry entered the presentation ceremony as the prohibitive favorite, having led the nation with an SEC-record 1,896 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. He had four games with more than 200 yards rushing and helped No. 2 Alabama earn a berth in the College Football Playoff.
He was Alabama's third consecutive Heisman finalist and fifth in the last seven seasons. Quarterback AJ McCarron finished second in 2013, wide receiver Amari Cooper finished third in 2014 and running back Trent Richardson finished third in 2011
McCaffrey's resume was as impressive. He rushed for 1,847 yards, caught 540 yards worth of passes and gained 1,109 yards on kickoff and punt returns to set the all-time NCAA record for all-purpose yards. His 3,496 surpassed the mark of 3,250 set by Barry Sanders's Heisman-winning in 1988.
Stanford has had three other Heisman finalists in the last seven years - all of whom were runners-up. Quarterback Andrew Luck finished second in 2010 and 2011 to Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III, respectively and running back Toby Gerhart came in second to Ingram in 2009.
Stanford's only previous Heisman winner was Jim Plunkett in 1970.
For the only quarterback along this year's finalists, Watson was trying to continue legacy and start another one. He is the only Heisman finalist in Clemson football history, but came in riding a wave of quarterback popularity.
Watson guided the nation's only undefeated team in No. 1 Clemson and will try to bring home the school's second national championship. The only other championship the Tigers have came in 1981.
Watson averaged 331 yards of offense a game for the Tigers and passed for 3,512 yards and 30 touchdowns on the year. He also rushed for 887 yards and 11 more touchdowns.
Dual-threat QBs have been a favorite among the 928 Heisman voters in recent years with the trophy being awarded to other similar players such as Newton, Griffin III, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston.
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