What we heard: Heisman Trophy Press Conference

What we heard: Heisman Trophy Press Conference

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What we heard: Heisman Trophy Press Conference

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NEW YORK — On Friday, the media got to speak with each of the Heisman Trophy Finalist at the Marriott Marquis New York as part of the 2015 Heisman Trophy Ceremonies. The winner will be announced tonight on ESPN as the 2015 Heisman Presentation Show will begin at eight o’clock.

Here is what Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, Alabama running back Derek Henry and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey had to say about being finalist and the experience of being in New York for such a prestigious event.

Clemson’s Deshaun Watson

(On whether the awards process is distracting)

“For me it’s not, because I live in the moment and try not to look too far ahead, to not make something bigger than what it is, to try to enjoy the process. I’m enjoying the talking. It’s a cool moment and cool process.”

(On getting to know Derrick Henry)

“He opened up to me. We’ve been talking when we have the time and chance. We’ve been talking about things besides football. Just life — how he was raised and stuff like that.”

(On what suit he might wear on Saturday)

“I have a couple laid out. I’m not sure what I’m going to wear yet. It just depends on how I feel tomorrow night.”

(On whether his mom will get the final say on his suit selection)

“She might.”

(On what point in the season he thought he could be a finalist)

“I thought I could before the season. I’m just very confident. I just try to control what I control. I knew that if I just took it one game at a time, I’d eventually be here. And now I’m sitting here. Maybe midway through the season I started playing better, the team got more confident. Cam (Newton) told me to keep winning and everything would take care of itself and it did.”

(On whether he has a speech ready in case he wins)

“Not really. I have a lot of people to thank. I’ll probably just be thanking people to help me get through the process.”

Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey

(On what he would say if he wins the Heisman)

“I brought a few notes, but I’ll probably just speak from the heart.”

(On being named a finalist)

“I’m just trying to enjoy the experience. It all happened so fast. It’s so amazing to be here in New York City next to two unbelievable athletes. It’s really a blessing and I’m extremely excited for the weekend. I’m not nervous. It’s all out of my control. I just have to sit back and see what happens.”

(On whether he is surprised there is only three finalists)

“There could’ve been ten this year. Baker Mayfield is one. There’s so many across the country. Trevone Boykin, I think this an extremely talented year, Leonard Fournette  as well. He’s a guy who was locked in for the Heisman for nine weeks straight, it seems like. It was a very talented year so I’m blessed to be here.”

(On how he’ll use the experience to his advantage)

“It’s motivating. It’s motivating to know that a lot of hard work has gone into this and has been done to get here. Now I know what it takes so following up with anything less than that is unacceptable to me. I’m going to use that as motivation and move forward with a chip on my shoulder to work extremely hard in the offseason and try to be a leader for my team.”

(On the text on his sweatshirt that read “Intellectual Brutality”)

“That’s kind of Stanford’s motto. We like the concept of being smart people as well as physical, tough football players.”

(On how he became so versatile)

“Football is so fun and I wanted to play everything growing up. I loved getting the ball and I loved playing running back but I also noticed you get the ball on kick and punt returns so I wanted to do those two. I worked extremely hard on that, playing in the backyard with my brothers. I worked extremely hard at it. I want to try to help my team win and impact the game and the more ways you can do that, the better.  I love playing the game and you’ve got to be in in order to play.”

(On what helped him make such a huge jump in production from his freshman to sophomore years.)

“Keeping focused. Putting my head down and working extremely hard and doing extra. I think anyone who wants to be really really good at what they do, it includes a lot of hard work. During the offseason, I wanted to be the guy, I wanted to get the ball so I knew it was going to take a lot of work in the weight room, on the field, just trying to create those habits for myself to carry on into the season.”

(On how he can improve)

“There’s a lot of things I can do better. One thing Coach Shaw always harps on is to never be satisfied, to always be the best you can be. If you ask all the great backs, they’ll say “I could’ve been better. I could’ve done this or that.” For me, it’s motivating to know there’s still a lot more I could do.”

(On being compared to Barry Sanders)

“That guy was the best whoever did it. To even have my name mentioned in the same question as his is truly an honor.”

(On how it felt to be named a finalist)

“When they announced my name a couple days ago is when it hit me and kind of just made me realize that I’m in an unbelievable situation that a lot of people want to be in. It was such a blessing and such an emotional moment for me. I was extremely happy.”

Alabama’s Derrick Henry

(On being in New York as a finalist)

“It’s a blessing to me. I’m just happy to be here. I’m just taking it all in and enjoying the moment. I’m just very thankful. God has blessed me tremendously. I thank him and my coaches for putting me in this situation. I’m happy to be here and taking it one day at a time, enjoying the moment.”

(On comparing himself to Herschel Walker, whose SEC rushign record he broke)

“I’m not the type of person who’s going to compare myself to him. Herschel’s a great back. I’ve still got a lot of things to get better at and work at to be in that same conversation. I still have to get better.”

(On the reaction of people in his hometown to him being a Heisman finalist)

“Everybody’s really happy for me. Everybody’s been texting me and everyone’s really excited. I just want to make everyone proud back in my hometown. There’s a lot of kids who look up to me and who want to see me do well, so I want to make them proud.”

(On preparing for a game vs. a live awards telecast like the Heisman ceremony)

“It’s different with a game because you have to make sure you prepare the right way and work hard throughout the week and make sure you get ready for the opponent but this is just a blessing. This comes from the hard work that you did, day in and day out throughout the year. You have to just enjoy this and take it all in.”

(On being a finalist)

“It’s my dream come true. It’s the Heisman. It means a lot. These two players are great players and I’m sure they’re thankful and feel blessed to be here, too.  I haven’t prepared a speech yet. When that time comes, we will.”

(On carrying the ball so much this season)

“People make a big deal about these carries. I want the ball. I want to make plays, so it’s not a big deal to me. It’s rare (to get that many carries), but I want the ball. I told coach I want the ball. I want to help the team win. There wasn’t a plan before the season. Everyone knows that’s what Alabama is all about: Running the ball and being physical. I just want to make plays.”

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