Week 10 Heisman Top 10: Here Comes Deshaun Watson


Leonard Fournette floundered in Week 10, but Derrick Henry produced at the kind of clip his counterpart rode to front-runner status for the better part of two months. Henry saved his best performance in a Crimson Tide uniform for one of the most prominent stages, going for 210 yards and three touchdowns.

Saturday was his third three-touchdown game of the season, and third straight in which he scored multiple times.

Henry’s output this season compared to recent, previous Alabama running backs invited to the Heisman presentation stands out. Trent Richardson rushed for just 89 yards in Alabama’s 2011 meeting with LSU, which, much like this year, was the most hyped game on the Tide’s docket. And, with 17 rushing touchdowns on the year, Henry’s matched 2009 Heisman winner Ingram’s total including bowl game.


Deshaun Watson is the starting quarterback of the nation’s undefeated, No. 1-ranked team. I could pretty much conclude this week’s Top 10 with that statement, but there’s more to Watson’s candidacy than that.

Watson’s overall statistics are impressive, though not necessarily staggering. He’s thrown for 21 touchdowns and 2,233 yards on a 69.7 percent completion clip, but he’s also been intercepted seven times. Watson’s also rushed for nearly 500 yards and scored four touchdowns — solid, but not like Johnny Manziel Heisman numbers.

But when the stakes are highest for the Clemson Tigers, Deshaun Watson’s come to play. He led Clemson in victories over a pair of Top 20 opponents, Notre Dame and Florida State, while overcoming adversity. A downpour against Notre Dame made passing a challenge, so Watson turned to the ground with 93 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Similarly, in the early going against a stout Florida State defense, Watson relied on his play-making ability out of the pocket, rushing for a career-high 107 yards, to open up the passing attack. Once it did, Watson made all the difference for the Tigers.