ORLANDO, Fla. -- At the so-called "Happiest Place on Earth," it may sound cliché but Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel and tackle Luke Joeckel truly are just happy to be here.
Manziel is up against Kansas State's Collin Klein and Notre Dame's Manti Te'o for the Maxwell Award for the college football player of the year and up against Klein and Ohio State's Braxton Miller for the Davey O'Brien award, which goes to the nation's best quarterback.
Joeckel faces stiff competition against Alabama's Barrett Jones and North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper for the Outland Award, given to the nation's top interior lineman.
Manziel said, "To get to come to Orlando and hang out with all these guys and really get a chance to meet them more, it's surreal. All these guys are people I've looked up to the last few years and seen what they've done on the college football field and to be here with them my first year, it's surreal for me. Being here right now is a dream. That's kind of how I have to describe everything because I never pictured myself being here."
Joeckel feels the same about being a finalist. "You know this really is a dream come true. Growing up in an offensive line family you watch it and you look out for the Outland Trophy winner every single year and being a part of it is definitely an honor and just representing A&M. The Outland Trophy is just hard to give because it's a five-man group and you're only as good as your group is and being part of one of the best lines in the country at A&M and all four of those guys deserve it also."
Manziel and Joeckel will find out if they are award winners during the College Football Awards on Thursday night.