11-14-2015  MFB vs MSU Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) Photo by Kent Gidley

11-14-2015 MFB vs MSU
Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2)
Photo by Kent Gidley

Henry is one of 11 semifinalists for the award which recognizes college football’s top running back

DALLAS – Alabama running back Derrick Henry was selected as one of 11 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced Wednesday morning. The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation’s top running back.

In his first season as the team’s starting running back, Henry has compiled 1,458 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns on 240 carries for a 6.1 yards per carry average. He leads the nation in rushing touchdowns and ranks second overall in rushing yards. The junior tailback has been at his best against the toughest competition, amassing an FBS-leading 1,072 yards and 12 touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s six games against ranked opponents this season.

Henry has put together one of the top seasons in school history. His 1,458 yards through the Tide’s 10 games is the most by a Crimson Tide player over that stretch and already ranks as the third highest single-season total in Alabama annals. He ranks second all-time for rushing touchdowns in a season and currently sits just two scores behind Trent Richardson’s mark of 21 set in 2011. He has also recorded at least one rushing touchdown in 15 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the country and the longest streak by an SEC player in the last 20 seasons.

In three of the past four games, Henry has put together 200-plus yard performances including each of his last two outings, with each coming against top-20 teams. He is the first Alabama player to register three 200-yard performances in a four-game stretch, and has compiled a program record for rushing yards (792) over that same stretch.

The Doak Walker Award was created in 1989 to recognize the nation’s premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. The Award is named after three-time All-American running back and 1948 Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker. Three finalists for the award will be announced Nov. 24, wherein the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast a second vote to determine the 2015 recipient.

Richardson won the Award in 2011 to become the first player in Alabama history to be selected as the nation’s top running back. In that season, the junior tailback rushed for 1,679 yards on 283 carries (5.9 ypc) and added 21 rushing touchdowns while catching 29 passes for 338 yards and three scores.