Heisman Top 10, Week 1: Derrick Henry Rolls In



No. 12 in your playbooks, No. 1 on the Ohio State depth chart.

Teammate J.T. Barrett, Ohio State’s 2014 starter before the Big Ten Championship Game, appeared on the CFB Huddle Heisman Top 10 preseason projections. It took Cardale Jones all of one drive to not only supplant Barrett, but become the first-ever single-possession September Heisman.

I mean, I can see why.

Jones stumbled through a brutal second quarter, but regrouped to finish his night with 186 yards passing on all of nine completions. Two went for touchdowns. 12-Gauge ran for another 99 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown.

Given the interest the Ohio State quarterback competition garnered throughout the offseason, Jones already had plenty of eyes on him. He delivered in arguably the most anticipated game of Week 1. Rest assured, barring a surprise switch back to Barrett, Jones will be a fixture in the Heisman Top 10 throughout the fall.


Few running backs around college football are as explosive as Derrick Henry, but he flew surprisingly low on the Heisman radar during the offseason.

That’s not without cause. Alabama’s bevy of running backs mean distribution of the rock. In 2014, Henry rushed a modest 172 times for 990 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Further, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has never been the type to ride a strong, No. 1 back. Aside from Reggie Bush and LenDale White in 2005, Curtis McNeal was Kiffin’s sole 1,000-yard rusher. He reached that milestone in 2011, and was summarily replaced by Penn State transfer Silas Redd in 2012.

Kiffin didn’t exactly implement an old-school, ground-and-pound philosophy in the offseason. Henry carried all of 13 times Saturday against Wisconsin, but that’s all he needed to beat the Badger defense into submission.

He averaged a staggering 11.5 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns in Saturday’s prime-time showcase. For his efforts, Henry was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week — not a bad place to start a Heisman campaign.