Missouri v Texas A&M

Johnny Manziel speaks to media for the first time this season


Texas A&M, per coach Kevin Sumlin‘s policy with freshmen, has kept quarterback Johnny Manziel out of the spotlight and press conferences this season. But the attention to Johnny Football, the emerging Heisman favorite, has been  impossible to ignore. So, A&M decided to break code and allow Manziel to speak with reporters via teleconference.

Unfortunately for anyone interested, there wasn’t much to chew on.

I don’t know if there’s anything I’ve been dying to say,” Manziel said.

He doesn’t see himself as Johnny Football and he doesn’t know if he’s the Heisman frontrunner. “There are other priorities in your life that take over reading about yourself,” Manziel added.

Make no mistake, Manziel made it clear that it would be a dream come true to win the Heisman, but he also said all the right (meaning boring), big picture things. In all, it seems like Manziel is actually quite normal, even though his freshman season has been anything but normal.

“Whatever is meant to be will happen,” Manziel said. “So I’m just doing whatever Coach Sumlin asks me to do in terms of lifting and getting ready for bowl practice and making sure our team stays focused and can hopefully take care of business in the bowl game.

“I think the Heisman and all the other awards like that will play itself out.”

But not without some help from A&M. This was a program that had absolutely no intention of pushing Manziel for Heisman until the past couple of weeks, and that was because Manziel had already surpassed all expectations anyone had for him (or the Aggies) in 2012.

(Hat tip: USA Today) 

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah