10 December 2015

Derrick Henry and Football Physics

Rain greeted me this morning on my way to the gym, but as I wrote yesterday, that is nothing new.  Back in the US, college football fans are gearing up for bowl season.  But before those games will be played a certain famous trophy must be presented.  One talented young man will have his life forever changed when he accepts the Heisman Trophy this Saturday night.  I'll try to stay up for the announcement, but it will be early Sunday morning for me when the winner's name is called.

Three deserving finalists will be in New York for the Heisman ceremony.  Strong and convincing cases can easily be made for Christian McCaffrey of Stanford and Deshaun Watson of Clemson.  But my money is on Derrick Henry of Alabama to become the Crimson Tide's second Heisman winner.  I could certainly be wrong, but as someone who did his undergraduate work in the Southeastern Conference, my rooting interest is with the Alabama running back.

I recently got to study game film of Derrick Henry in preparation for a story the Alabama Media Group was putting together on the science behind Henry's dominance.  At 6' 3" (1.905 m), Henry is quite tall for a running back.  Usually the guys who run the ball have a center of gravity that isn't so far off the ground.  But I learned a few things watching Henry in action.  Click here for the article that contains some of my physics analysis of Henry's running.  That guy will be playing on Sundays someday!

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