“Johnny Football” Takes the Hardware

Collin Klein(Left)  Johnny Manziel(Middle)  Manti Te'o(Right)

Collin Klein(Left) Johnny Manziel(Middle) Manti Te’o(Right)

Joe Genova, Staff Writer

Every year at the end of the NCAA Football regular season, the most outstanding player throughout the year is recognized by given the Heisman Trophy. The trophy represents the most elite group of student athletes to play football at the collegiate level. It is more than an honor to be recognized among this fraternity of college stars. This year three players were recognized to be contenders for this award, and all three had the chance to make history. Johnny Manziel, the Freshmen from Texas A&M took the trophy this year over Kansas State QB Collin Klein and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.

Johnny Manziel, or “Johnny Football” as named by ESPN earlier this season, took home the hardware as the most outstanding player in college football. Manziel became the first freshmen to ever win the trophy and proved that he deserved it after giving Alabama, ranked number 1 in top 25 polls at the time, their only loss of the season. Though his team at Texas A&M aren’t competing for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship game, he still led the Aggies to a 10-2 season in their first year in the SEC, the toughest football conference in the NCAA. Johnny Football will be competing against former Big 12 conference rival, Oklahoma, in the AT&T Cotton Bowl on January 4th.

Two other notable contenders of this award were Manti Te’o and Collin Klein. Te’o, the linebacker for the only undefeated FBS team Notre Dame, led the NCAA in tackles all season and led all linebackers in takeaways with five interceptions. Manti Te’o took the nation by storm by taking the Irish to the National Championship game his senior season, especially after the tragedy of losing his girlfriend and grandmother just weeks apart during the early going of the season. An inspirational season was not enough for the Hawaiian rising star as he fell short of the chance to be the first ever defensive player to win the ultimate award.

Collin Klein was the other quarterback in the race. Klein came into college as a basketball recruit for Kansas State, but found his niche on the gridiron as he was just one win away from carrying his Kansas State team to the perfect season, and attempted to be the first player out of K-State to win the trophy. It was a long shot for Klein to win the Heisman but he qualified for third place and that is an accomplishment in itself.