Will Heisman Trophy History Be Made This Year?
With the college football season coming to an end it is time to start the debate of who deserves to win this years Heisman Trophy. With the three finalists being announced yesterday, the two front-runners this year, Johnny Manziel, and Manti Te’o are trying to make Heisman trophy history.
Manziel could become the first freshman to win the award while Te’o is looking to become the first linebacker to win. Lets take a look at the seasons of the two.
Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M (6-1 200lbs)
Known by the nickname “Johnny Football”, Manziel has passed for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,181 yards and an SEC leading 19 rushing touchdowns.
Johnny Football accounted for the most total touchdowns and second most total yards in college football this year and also led Texas A&M to a major up set of #2 Alabama.
Manziel was named the SEC offensive player of the year and despite all of his success and fame the 19-year-old freshman remains humble and loyal to his coaches and teammates.
Upon receiving SEC player of the year award:
“This season has been incredibly surreal,” Manziel said. “It’s beyond my wildest imagination. It’s a true testament to how this team has grown every week, because without these guys none of my individual success would be anything.”
The one knock on Manziel’s stats is that he was un-able to produce big numbers against top teams. Manziel had a 2-2 record against top 25 opponents while scoring only 5 of his 43 touchdowns in those games
Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame (6-2 255lbs)
The anchor of the defense of the undefeated Fighting Irish, Manti Te’o has been phenomenal with 103 tackles and 7 interceptions (2nd most in college).
His efforts have propelled the Irish to their first BCS National Championship game ever, and even won him the Butkus award, which is given to the nations best line backer. Te’o and the Irish had the number one scoring defense, as well as allowing the fewest touchdowns all year (10).
While Manti’s numbers are impressive his heartbreaking story might be even more noteworthy. After losing both his grandmother and his girlfriend in a 6 hour span, Te’o took the field four days later to face off against #10 Michigan State where he recorded 12 tackles en route to a 20-3 victory.
Unfortunately for Te’o the Heisman is almost always rewarded to offensive players, in fact no linebacker has ever won the award and the last defensive player to win this award was DB Charles Woodson back in 1997.
Another debate with Te’o is that while his numbers are impressive, there have been linebackers who have put up far better numbers and have not even been mentioned for the Heisman.
Not saying Te’o doesn’t deserve the award but history is most certainly on Manziel’s side as 10 of the last 11 Heisman winners have been QBs. The Heisman Trophy winner will be announced on Saturday in New York City.
Mike Block | Elite.