The 78th Annual Heisman Trophy ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 8th in New York City at 8PM. The event is a two person race with Johnny Manziel and Manti Te’o leading the field.
Johnny Manziel, better knows as Johnny Football in Texas, led the Texas A&M Aggies to an impressive 10-1 season in their inaugural SEC season. He also made quick work of Cam Newton’s record for total offense and took home the SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award. He will lead the Aggies against Oklahoma in the AR&T Cotton Bowl on January 4.
Manti Te’o was the heart and sole of the Notre Dame defense that was the best in the nation. The senior linebacker put up impressive stats and has been a model of consistency. He recorder 101 tackles, 2 sacks, and his seven interceptions are tied for second in the nation. His other awards include the Butkus Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Lombardi Award. The senior will lead the Fighting Irish back to the National Championship for the first time in over 20 years when they battle Alabama.
Te’o’s seven interceptions are tied for second in the country and he recorded more than 100 tackles for the third straight season. He’s been the heart and soul of Notre Dame’s defense — the stingiest unit in the country — and he’ll finish his Notre Dame career in Miami in the Discover BCS National Championship Game.Te’o has been taking home a bunch of awards already leading up to the Heisman. He is the first defensive player to win the Maxwell award since 1980, he also took home the Bednarik Award for top defensive player and Walter Camp Foundation player of the year award.
As for the Heisman trophy. Te’o would be the first defensive player to claim the honor since Charles Woodson took home the prize in 1997 as a top-tier cornerback and playmaker. Since that award the Heisman has belonged to either a running back or a quarterback. As much as I think Te’o deserves the award due to the simple fact that no one expected much out of the Irish this season and he seemed to will the entire team to go above and beyond. Manziel had an amazing season and the fact that he accomplished it as a freshman in a tough conference is even more impressive. Te’o would get my vote for being the model of consistency for 4 season, being a top-level player on a team for his entire career, and demonstrating everything you want out of a collegiate athlete. Unfortunately, voters like the quarterback and that will probably get Manziel more first place votes and the 2012 Heisman Trophy.