Philly Sports Live

The 2012 Heisman Finalists

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On Saturday Decemeber 8th, the 78th Heisman Trophy will be awarded to the best college football player in the nation.  The question is, which of the three young men selected as finalists will actually win the award?  The three finalists invited to New York are  Texas A&M quarterback Johnny “Football” Manziel, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, and undefeated Notre dame linebacker Manti Te’o.  While all three are formidable representatives, only one can be named the 2012 Heisman winner.

Johnny “Football” has had an amazing year as the quarterback for the Aggies in a tough SEC conference.  Manziel is only a freshman. With the season he just had I can’t wait to see what he can do with the rest of his college career.  Manziel had solid numbers, throwing for 3,419 yards, 24 touchdowns, and a solid 68.3 completion percentage.  Johnny “Football” also is one hell of an athlete; he ran in 19 touchdowns and rushed for 1,181 yards.  Manziel played an amazing game in Alabama and led the Aggies to a huge upset win.  He was efficient and very smart with his distribution of the ball against one of the best defenses in the nation.  Manziel does have a couple of drawbacks that could prevent him from winning the trophy.  He did struggle against a top opponent at home against LSU, throwing three interceptions in what would result in the teams second and final loss of the season.  He also is a freshman, and the voters have never given a freshman the award.  With all that said, he was only one of three finalists selected and stands a good chance.

At one point this season, I was pretty sure that Collin Klein was going to be the hands down Heisman winner.  While I am definitely second guessing that, Klein still has a very good chance of bringing the trophy home for the Wildcats.  Klein’s numbers are average, throwing for only 2,490 yards and 15 touchdowns.  Klein, like Manziel, was able to show some athleticism, rushing for 890 yards and 22 touchdowns.  Collin had an incredible game against West Virginia; he threw for 323 yards and rushed for another 41.  Klein also compiled seven touchdowns, three through the air and four with his feet.  However, Klein looked really bad against Baylor in the teams only loss and is the reason they are not playing in the national title game.  Klein also did not really impress me this past weekend against Texas.  He played in a very mediocre conference that plays absolutely no defense.  I have no problem with Klein being a finalist or being invited, but feel he is bringing up the rear in this race.

The last nominee is middle linebacker of the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Manti Te’o.  Te’o had an amazing senior season.  He was the leader of one of the top defenses in the country and oh yeah, his team was undefeated.  Te’o had solid stats, totaling 101 tackles and 7 interceptions.  Manti had huge games against Michigan, Stanford, and Oklahoma.  He has already started racking up the hardware as he was named the Dick Butkus Award winner and Bronko Nagurski Award winner.  Te’o was the leader of the Irish defense and just an overall inspiration.  He has overcome amazing adversity, losing both his girlfriend and his grandmother on the same day.  The kid never missed a game, leaving it all on the field every day.  Te’o would be the first non-running back or quarterback since 1997 to win the Heisman, when Charles Woodson won the award.

Honestly, I feel this truly is a two man race.  Manziel and Te’o are without a doubt the front runners.  Manziel would make history, being the first ever freshman to win the Heisman Award.  Unfortunately, I just do not see it happening.  Manziel will get his chance next year and his junior season to bring home the trophy for the Aggies.  This year the Heisman will be heading to Notre Dame and linebacker Manti Te’o.  He just embodies a Heisman winner.  He had an amazing season on the only undefeated team in the country, played one of the toughest schedules in college football, and once again overcame all that hardship. While I wouldn’t be disappointed with Manziel winning it, I just feel that Te’o is the more deserving player.

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