A&M’s Manziel Named Heisman Trophy Finalist

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NEW YORK CITY, NY -- Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was named one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy on Monday, which is given annually to college football’s most outstanding player.

Named the Southeastern Conference’s Offensive Player and Freshman of the Year by the Associated Press on Monday, Manziel will be joined in New York City by fellow finalists Collin Klein of Kansas State and Manti Te’o of Notre Dame.

“I’m overwhelmed by this tremendous honor of representing Texas A&M, the 12th Man and all my teammates in New York,” Manziel said. “This is a dream come true for me, and I know it’s a credit to all my coaches and teammates. I definitely wouldn’t be a Heisman finalist without my teammates and coaches.”

Manziel, from Kerrville, Texas, will be seeking to become Texas A&M’s second Heisman Trophy winner, and its first since John David Crow took college football’s top honor in 1957. Manziel is projected to win the award by the Heisman Pundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw poll, the USA Today and the Scripps Howard Heisman poll.

With Manziel being named a finalist, Texas A&M is guaranteed of having its highest Heisman Trophy finisher since Crow. Four Aggies have previously finished in the top 10 of the Heisman balloting: John Kimbrough was fifth in 1939 and second in 1940, Crow in 1957, Darren Lewis tied for eighth in 1990 and Bucky Richardson was 10th in 1991.

A redshirt freshman, Manziel took the college football world by storm with a record-setting first season of action. He broke the SEC record for total offense in a game originally set by Archie Manning of Ole Miss in 1969 with 557 yards against Arkansas and then re-broke his own record with 576 total yards against Louisiana Tech. He went on to break 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton’s SEC’s season total offense record with 4,600 yards through Texas A&M’s first 12 games.

For the season, Manziel passed for 3,419 yards and rushed for 1,181 yards, becoming just the fifth NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision player and first freshman to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. He had three games with 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in 2012, which had never been done by a FBS player in a career, let alone a single season. He also had six games with two-plus rushing touchdowns and two-plus passing touchdowns, which hadn’t been done since Tim Tebow’s Heisman season in 2007.

Manziel earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week three times and was named Freshman of the Week a record nine times. He also was a three-time AT&T All-America Player of the Week and a two-time Walter Camp National Player of the Week honoree. A unanimous pick as the Associated Press All-SEC quarterback, Manziel is Texas A&M’s first first-team all-conference selection at quarterback since Richardson in 1991.