Titans’ Henry wins ASWA pro athlete of year honor again

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Derrick Henry continues to win awards in the state where he captured both the Heisman Trophy and a national championship.

For the second straight year, the former Alabama star and current Tennessee Titans running back is the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Professional Athlete of the Year. The group announced him as the winner on Tuesday.

Henry won his second straight rushing title and became just the eighth player in NFL history to total 2,000 yards in a single season.

Henry finished the 2020 regular season with 2,027 rushing yards, the fifth-most in a single season in NFL history and more than 23 teams managed to tally. He’s the first player to defend his rushing title since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006-07.

The NFL offensive player of the year also led the league in attempts (378) and touchdowns (17). His 250 yards in the regular-season finale marked his third 200-yard game of the season, topped only in NFL history by Earl Campbell’s four in 1980.

In the process, the former Crimson Tide standout helped lead the Titans to their first division title since 2008.

Henry is just the third athlete to win the award in consecutive years, joining former baseball standouts Frank Thomas (1993-94) and Tim Hudson (1999-2000). He’s also just the third NFL player to win the honor more than once, joining Shaun Alexander and Cam Newton.

Here is a list of ASWA Professional Athlete of the Year winners:

2020 Derrick Henry

2019 Derrick Henry

2018 Philip Rivers

2017 Justin Thomas

2016 Julio Jones

2015 Cam Newton

2014 Deontay Wilder

2013 Jason Dufner

2012 Craig Kimbrel

2011 Cam Newton

2010 Graeme McDowell

2009 Stewart Cink

2008 Mo Williams

2007 Jake Peavy

2006 DeMeco Ryans

2005 Shaun Alexander

2004 Ben Wallace

2003 Shaun Alexander

2002 Ben Wallace

2001 Shaun Alexander

2000 Tim Hudson

1999 Tim Hudson

1998 Ronald McKinnon

1997 Frank Thomas

1996 Kevin Greene

1995 Robert Horry

1994 Frank Thomas

1993 Frank Thomas

1992 Davey Allison

1991 Frank Thomas

1990 Charles Barkley

1989 Bo Jackson

1988 Cornelius Bennett

1987 Jimmy Key

1986 Charles Barkley

1985 John Hannah

1984 Ozzie Newsome

1983 Bobby Allison

1982 Andrew Toney

1981 Dieter Brock

1980 William Andrews

1979 John Stallworth

1978 Bobby Allison

1977 Hubert Green

1976 Jerry Pate

1975 Kenny Stabler

1974 Henry Aaron