NEW YORK — Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
The three players invited to attend the presentation ceremony in New York were announced Monday on ESPN.
Manziel is the favorite to win college football’s most famous player of the year award on Saturday night in Manhattan. He would be the first freshman to win the Heisman and the first Texas A&M player since halfback John David Crow won the school’s only Heisman in 1957.
The closest a freshman has come to winning the Heisman was Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma in 2004, when he finished second to Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart. Peterson was a true freshman. Manziel is a redshirt freshman.
Te’o is trying to become the first defense-only player to win the Heisman. The Fighting Irish have seven Heisman winners, tied for the most with Ohio State and Southern California, but none since Tim Brown in 1987.
Klein would be the first player from Kansas State to win the Heisman. He seemed to be the front-runner for several weeks until Manziel’s late push. When Klein threw three interceptions in the Wildcats’ late-season loss to Baylor, Manziel moved to the front of the race.
— The Associated Press