Parkland High School graduate Andre Williams got a little closer to the Heisman Trophy on Monday night as he was named one of six finalists for the award, which will be handed out this weekend in New York.
The Boston College running back was the nation’s leading rusher, with 2,102 yards rushing on 329 carries—a 6.4 per carry average. He also scored 17 touchdowns and accounted 51 percent of the Eagles total offense, which was ranked 21st in the nation.
Only seven players in the history of college football ever rushed for more yards through 11 games than Williams did this year. The list includes Heisman Trophy winners Barry Sanders (2,628), Marcus Allen (2,342), Mike Rozier (2,148) and Ricky Williams (2,124).
Some pundits said Williams weakened his candidacy with a sub-par 29-yard performance in Boston College’s final game against Syracuse. Williams was hurt and left the game after the first play of the second half.
However, he had rushed for more than 250 yards in each of the three preceding games, prompting a Sports Illustrated profile that also detailed his impressive off-the-field exploits as a student.
The senior is majoring in applied psychology and human development, serves as a teaching assistant for a seminar titled Courage to Know (a freshman seminar providing students with an introduction to college life) and is scheduled to graduate this month—one semester early.
The other finalists for the award are Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois, last year’s trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, Tre Mason of Auburn, A.J. McCarron of Alabama and Jameis Winston of Florida State.
Williams and Mason are the only running backs among the finalists. The rest are quarterbacks.
The trophy will be handed out Saturday night in New York and televised live on ESPN at 8 p.m.