2012 Heisman Trophy: Manziel should win award

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel should become the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy when it is awarded Saturday night.

Johnny Manziel has led Texas A&M to a 10-2 mark and set a single-season SEC record for total offense. (John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE)

Manziel, a redshirt freshman who was named as one of three Heisman finalists Monday night, set a SEC single-season mark with 4,600 yards of total offense. He broke the record set by Auburn QB Cam Newton in 2010, who in turn had broken the record set by Florida QB Tim Tebow in 2007. Tebow and Newton both won the Heisman – and both put up those numbers in more than 12 games (Newton in 14, Tebow in 13).

Manziel finished the regular season with 1,181 yards and 19 TDs on the ground and 3,419 yards and 214 TDs through the air.

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The other finalists are Kansas State senior QB Collin Klein and Notre Dame senior LB Manti Te’o. Klein has 890 yards and 22 TDs on the ground and 2,490 yards and 15 TDs through the air. Te’o has 103 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, a fumble recovery and four pass breakups for the top-ranked Irish.

While the Heisman will be handed out Saturday night, most of the other key awards will be given out Thursday night. Here are our “rankings” of the top three candidates for some key postseason awards:

Heisman (most outstanding player)
1. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
2. QB Collin Klein, Kansas State
3. LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame

Biletnikoff (most outstanding WR)
1. Marqise Lee, USC
2. Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
3. Terrance Williams, Baylor

Doak Walker (best running back)
1. Montee Ball, Wisconsin
2. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
3. Kenjon Barner, Oregon

Mackey (top tight end)
1. Zach Ertz, Stanford
2. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Washington
3. Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame

Davey O’Brien (top quarterback)
1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
2. Collin Klein, Kansas State
3. Braxton Miller, Ohio State

Outland (top interior lineman)
1. T Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
2. C Barrett Jones, Alabama
3. G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

Butkus (most outstanding LB)
1. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia
3. Kevin Minter, LSU

Thorpe (most outstanding DB)
1. CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
2. S Phillip Thomas, Fresno State
3. CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State

Lou Groza (top kicker)
1. Cairo Santos, Tulane
2. Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
3. Caleb Sturgis, Florida

Ray Guy (top punter)
1. Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech
2. Kyle Christy, Florida
3. Scott Kovanda, Ball State

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