Earlier this week came the statement and by Saturday, the payoff.
Alabama’s nose tackle Quinnen Williams made his case for non-quarterbacks getting Heisman Trophy consideration talking with reporters Wednesday in Atlanta. At that point, voting was closed and three passers had been invited to New York.
A few votes had also been cast for Williams, too.
The Heisman balloting results released Saturday night revealed the Birmingham product finished eighth in the voting. One ballot had him first while 27 total points had the lineman ahead of running backs Jonathan Taylor (26) of Wisconsin and Darrell Henderson (21) of Memphis.
“I’m going to be happy just to get a vote,” a smiling Williams said Wednesday ahead of the College Football Awards Show in which he won the Outland Trophy.
Williams is actually the second Alabama defensive lineman to land in the top 10 in Heisman voting. Eric Curry finished tied for ninth in the 1992 race with 47 total points and three first-place votes.
Interestingly, the winner that season was Gino Torretta of the Miami Hurricanes team Alabama beat a month later in the Sugar Bowl to win the national title. The Crimson Tide and Williams will meet Heisman winner Kyler Murray and Oklahoma in the Dec. 29 Orange Bowl semifinal in Miami Gardens.
The last defensive lineman to be invited to New York was Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska in 2009. Alabama’s Mark Ingram won it that season as a running back, but other than Derrick Henry in 2015, it’s been a quarterback award in the recent era.
“The Heisman award only goes to a person that touches the ball. Like if I get a whole bunch of sacks, I’m not getting the Heisman award,” Williams said. “I feel like whoever touches the ball the most is the Heisman winner and I feel like that’s not really fair, for real.”