Johnny "Football" Manziel favorite for Heisman

Wed Dec 5, 2012 7:40pm EST
 
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By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is in line to become the first 'freshman' winner of the Heisman Trophy when the annual award for the top player in college football is made on Saturday.

Manziel, nicknamed "Johnny Football", is one of three players to be invited to Saturday's ceremony, along with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.

Wednesday's final installment of the Scripps Heisman Poll, which has accurately indicated the winner for 21 off the past 25 years, placed Manziel in the top spot.

The trophy was won last year by Robert Griffin III, who went on to be taken as the number two pick in the 2012 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins.

The previous year's winner Cam Newton, another quarterback, was taken as the number one overall pick by the Carolina Panthers and enjoyed a hugely successful rookie year in the NFL.

Up until Florida quarterback Tim Tebow won the Heisman in 2007, no sophomore had won the award but Manziel could go one better if he wins after his first season.

The Texan finished the regular season with 3,419 passing yards and 1,181 rushing yards to set a new total offense record for the Southeastern Conference (SEC) of 4,600 yards in 12 games.

Manziel also broke the record for total offense in a game, originally set by Archie Mannning, father of Peyton and Eli, back in 1969, when he accumulated 557 yards against Arkansas and he then bettered it with 567 yards against Louisiana Tech.   Continued...