The answer to the will he/won’t he question when it comes to the Heisman Trophy won’t come for another month, so Johnny Manziel will have to settle, for now, for the recognition of one of the most prestigious awards in the game.
In its weekly press release, the Walter Camp Foundation announced that the Texas A&M quarterback has been named as its National Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Aggies’ stunning upset of then-No. 1 Alabama.
The redshirt freshman totaled 345 yards of offense (253 passing, 92 rushing) and two touchdowns against what was statistically one of the top defenses in college football. Manziel completed 24 of his 31 passes and, most importantly, didn’t turn the ball over via either an interception or a fumble.
This is the second time this season Manziel has taken home Camp honors, the first coming in Week 7.
Defensively, South Carolina defensive back D.J. Swearinger earned Camp honors for his role in the Gamecocks’ win over Arkansas. The senior safety set a career-high with 13 tackles (10 solo), one tackle for loss and an interception return for a touchdown.
Below is the year-to-date list of weekly 2012 Camp honorees:
Week 1: West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner
Week 2: Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones
Week 3: Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o
Week 4: Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson, Western Michigan linebacker Desmond Bozeman
Week 5: West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti
Week 6: Florida running back Mike Gillislee, Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer
Week 7: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene
Week 8: Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, LSU linebacker Kevin Minter
Week 9: Arizona quarterback Matt Scott, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones
Week 10: Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, Kansas State cornerback Allen Chapman
Week 11: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger
In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”
Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.
At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August. The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.
“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to GoVols247.com‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”
Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.
Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5. The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.
De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland. Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.
“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”
Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.
Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).
In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well. The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury