ATLANTA (Sept. 1, 2017) – In keeping with its tradition of recognizing notable team alumni prior to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, officials today announced that Derrick Henry and Jameis Winston will be honorary captains for their respective alma maters at the first of two Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games slated for Labor Day Weekend between (1) Alabama and (3) Florida State in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The duo will join the team captains at midfield for the pregame coin toss prior to the 8 p.m. ET kickoff on Sept. 2.
Former Alabama standout running back and 2015 Heisman Trophy Winner Derrick Henry will serve as honorary captain for the Crimson Tide. Few players ever shaped an Alabama team – and an entire college football season – as Henry did in 2015. A junior in 2015, Henry had arrived in Tuscaloosa as the national high school record holder for career rushing yards. A dominant runner combining size, strength, endurance durability and breakaway speed, Henry’s abilities powered the Crimson Tide offense on the way to its national title run in 2015. Henry earned every major honor there is along the way, including consensus All-American recognition, the Heisman Trophy, the Doak Walker Award and numerous other accolades in a season in which he broke the SEC single-season rushing yards record by gaining 2,219 yards on 395 carries. He rushed for 28 touchdowns in 2015 and had four 200-yard rushing performances on the season. Henry was a second round selection (45th pick) in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans.
Serving as the honorary captain for the Seminoles will be the 2013 Heisman Trophy Winner and the 2015 first overall draft pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jameis Winston. Winston authored the greatest freshman season by a quarterback in college football history by leading Florida State to a 14-0 record and the 2013 VIZIO BCS National Championship. In addition to the Heisman Trophy, Winston captured the Davey O’Brien Award, the Manning Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award while earning Consensus All-America accolades. The Bessemer, Ala., native became the first freshman to collect the ACC Player of the Year honor in the 61-year history of the conference and also nabbed the league’s ACC Offensive Player of the Year and ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year trophies. Winston shattered the ACC record, Florida State record and national freshman record for touchdown passes (40) and broke the national freshman record for passing yards (4,057), while leading the nation and setting the ACC record for pass efficiency rating (184.8). Over his two-year career, Winston passed for 7,964 yards and 65 touchdowns, while compiling a 26-1 record.
The Florida State-Alabama game is the Greatest Opener of All Time, featuring the highest two ranked teams to ever play on the season’s opening weekend (No.1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Florida State). The matchup represents five of college football’s last eight national champions and the two winningest programs in college football since 2010: Florida State (78 wins) and Alabama (86 wins).
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between Alabama and Florida State will be played Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. ET in the first college football game ever played at the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The game will be nationally televised on ABC.
For more information, visit www.Chick-fil-AKickoffGame.com.
About the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game
Created in 2008 by Peach Bowl, Inc., the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is the preeminent bowl-style, neutral-site game featuring two elite football programs and has been nationally televised on the first Saturday of the college football season since its inception. The game has hosted teams with national rankings of No. 1 (twice), 2, 3, 5 (twice), 6, 7, 9, 14, 16, 18 (twice), 19, 22, 24 (twice) and 25 (three times). The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game boasts an average attendance of 67,645, has been watched on television by 47.4 million viewers, and has distributed $51.9 million in total team payouts. Since its inception in 2008, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game has featured seven national coaches of the year, 19 players who were recipients of national awards during their collegiate careers and a total of 48 first-round NFL Draft picks. For more information, visit WWW.CHICK-FIL-AKICKOFFGAME.COM.