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Klein, Manziel and Te’o are this year’s Heisman finalists

Missouri v Texas A&M Getty Images

The year started with a handful of preseason Heisman favorites, including USC quarterback Matt Barkley and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball.

But, the football season is unpredictable and this year’s group of Heisman finalists looks nothing like most thought it would at the beginning of the season. There were plenty of worthy candidates this year, from USC receiver Marqise Lee to Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. In the end, only three were chosen to make the trip to New York City. They are:

Collin Klein, Sr. QB Kansas State
Johnny Manziel, Fr. QB Texas A&M
Manti Te’o, Sr. LB Notre Dame

Klein has totaled nearly 2,500 passing yards, 890 rushing yards and 37 total touchdowns. He’s directly accounted for 69 percent of all of K-State’s offense this year. He would be the first Kansas State player to win the award.

“I’m just honored with this opportunity that the Lord has provided me here at K-State,” Klein said in a statement. “I’m so proud to represent K-State in this because I feel like my road is very synonymous and in line with the K-State way. It has been a process, it has been a journey. There have been a lot of ups and downs, as well as a lot of hard times and growing pains through it. I’m just very proud to represent the K-State family and our heart and spirit in this environment.”

Manziel has been among the most exciting players in college football on one of the most surprising teams in college football. The redshirt freshman leads his team in rushing and passing and has 43 total touchdowns to his name this year. He would be the second A&M player to win the Heisman (John David Crow).

“I’m overwhelmed by this tremendous honor of representing Texas A&M, the 12th Man and all my teammates in New York,” Manziel said in a statement. “This is a dream come true for me, and I know it’s a credit to all my coaches and teammates. I definitely wouldn’t be a Heisman finalist without my teammates and coaches.”

Te’o has been the anchor for Notre Dame’s defense this season. He is tied for second nationally with seven interceptions and leads his team with 103 tackles. He can become the first defense-only player to win the Heisman and the first Notre Dame player to win since Tim Brown in 1987.

The Heisman presentation will be this Saturday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. ET. For a complete list of past Heisman winners, click HERE.

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52 Responses to “Klein, Manziel and Te’o are this year’s Heisman finalists”
  1. papabush88 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:33 PM

    Lee and Miller should’ve been invited.

  2. sinister23 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:40 PM

    Miller? Seriously….name one marque win from his steller play…..exactly HE SUCKS

  3. allen227 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:40 PM

    The voters are gonna give it to the Aggie player.

  4. thegamecocker says: Dec 3, 2012 6:40 PM

    Manti Te’o?? Really, Manti Te’o???!!! Look, the truth is I could give a rats ass about the Heisman Trophy. It’s all BS and football is played with 11 men on each side of the ball at a time. Manziel deserves it and if not him, than Klein. Manti Te’o……I can’t…I just can’t!!

  5. 808raiderinparadise says: Dec 3, 2012 6:48 PM

    Great for Teo, I hope he wins it.

    He deserves it more than any other candidate, being that he led best D in country to #1 in BCS while an average 2QB offense had to grow over the season and could allowing them to squeak by until Golson got rolling.

    4 yr senior player, took ND out of the dumpster into championship game.

    The goaline stands, interceptions, huge sack at Oklahoma on Landry Jones, GUARDING MARQUISE LEE in back of endzone beautifully.

    The 3rd down against standford he lit up Stefan at the inch line. Amazing play over the pile.

    leadership. instincts. performance.

    Personal battles, tragedy …

    Kid just delivers in every aspect.

    If Charles Woodson won it with 8 int, and 40 tackles….. you can’t tell me the season Teo put together on a national championship #1 team isn’t worthy?

    If you do …. your just a ND hater. Get in line.

  6. goodfieldnohit says: Dec 3, 2012 6:55 PM

    The Choking Hazard Warning Label should be removed from this toy. Johnny Football doesn’t choke.

  7. keithdb80 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:57 PM

    Congrats to Johnny “Football” Manziel, one of three Heisman finalists just announced, and the strong favorite to win. I present, with apologies to Chuck Berry, “Go Johnny (Football) Go.”

  8. be4bama says: Dec 3, 2012 7:02 PM

    Johnny Heisman

    Kim Brooks Adcock and RTR Sent from my iPhone

  9. rolltide510 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:03 PM

    Manziel all the way.

  10. buccobrigade says: Dec 3, 2012 7:15 PM

    Is ‘Johnny Football’ even in this conversation of he didn’t beat Alabama?

  11. dinklespiel says: Dec 3, 2012 7:28 PM

    Klein will get it not because he deserves it but by giving it to him the enigma of having to give it to the best offensive player or the best defensive player can be avoided by the voters.

  12. thegamecocker says: Dec 3, 2012 7:29 PM


    Yes, that is what many of us are telling you! First of all Woodson didn’t deserve it that year. Second, ND is not the National Champion and most likely will not be. Third, we all have our trials and tribulations we must go through. It’s called “life”. That does not enter into the equation for this BS reward. Did the other 1o players have anything to do with the way T’eo played? Yes, they did and the same with the other candidates as well. Eliminate the Heisman or make it a team award….

  13. 808raiderinparadise says: Dec 3, 2012 7:30 PM

    Week 1 …. Barkley for Heisman !!!

    Week 3 … Geno Smith more TD’s than incompletions, Heisman !!!

    Week 5 … Optimus Klein for Heisman !!!

    ughhhh, who’s that QB that beat Alabama?…

    Johnny Football for Heisman !!!!

    The Award is clearly offensive only, they just search for QB’s.

    Teo deserves it. But he could care less.


  14. papabush88 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:33 PM


    It’s an odd Heisman year. Te’o, Manziel, and Klein were all great…but Heisman worthy? I don’t know. Then again, who else was truly Heisman worthy this year?

    You asked me recently how much longer USC’s scholarship reductions were in play. 2014 was the last year the NCAA designated to us. However, with the recent findings that the NCAA illegally mettled in the USC/Todd McNair case, there is word that Lane has gotten the go-ahead to recruit a full 25 man class for 2013.

  15. 808raiderinparadise says: Dec 3, 2012 7:35 PM


    I see but read the Heisman websitemission statement its supposed to be awraded to:

    “most outstanding college football player shows perseverence and integrity”

    AKA Manti Teo.

    I said National Chmapionship as in they are playing for it, ranked #1.

    and I think ND can win that game.

    I think Alabama is outstanding team, wow, but I do think ND has a special way about them defensievely and QB Golson has come a long way VERY fast.

  16. niubears says: Dec 3, 2012 7:43 PM

    Clowney is the best player in college football… Dude’s an absolute machine.

  17. thefiesty1 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:45 PM

    No Freshman, period. Give him a couple of years and the crown him after he has a career to base it on.

  18. westaugustafan55 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:45 PM

    Regardless of who wins the Heisman, Tavon Austin is the living example of the criteria of the Heisman. Name another player in the US capable of performing as he does at his receiver position and running for 350 yards against Oklahoma. Name another player who can score from virtually any spot on the football field as he does. There simply are no others who perform as well as he does in every aspect of his game. If the WVU record is a concern, remember Paul Hornung won his on a 2-8 team.

  19. papabush88 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:52 PM


    Tavon Austin is good…but Marqise Lee is just as deserving as him.

  20. gatordontplay says: Dec 3, 2012 8:09 PM

    Scooby snacks

  21. crazysamoan says: Dec 3, 2012 8:18 PM

    Manti Te’o the next Jr. Seau.
    Go get that Heisman Uso!!!!

  22. rockthered1286 says: Dec 3, 2012 8:31 PM

    Stats talk. Manti has some big plays that stick out but other than being 2nd in picks, what else does he have to show in comparison to his peers? Truth: Te’o isn’t even top 20 in any other defensive category (FF, FR, Sacks, tackles, tackle for loss).

  23. dinklespiel says: Dec 3, 2012 8:45 PM

    First it is not a TEAM award. Second it is for this year’s outstanding player, not last year’s or how somebody thinks they will do in the pro’s next year. Lastly, I do not see any reference to ” no freshman allowed” in the mission statement , so cut with the ” no freshman, no way” crap.

  24. dinklespiel says: Dec 3, 2012 8:52 PM

    While I’m at it, it’s not an MVP award either.

  25. ImjustSayin2626 says: Dec 3, 2012 8:59 PM

    I get it…Notre Dame is back. Ok…but Te’o does not deserve it over Manziel. Consider the following stats:

    Past 5 Hiesman QB’s:

    2011: RGIII-Passed for 4293, 37 tds, 6 Int’s, 72.4% completion rate, with 699 yards rushing, and 10 rushing tds.

    2010: Newton-Passed for 2854, 30 tds, 7 Int’s, 66.1% completion rate, with 1473 yards rushing, and 20 rushing tds.

    2008: Bradford-Passed for 4720, 50 tds, 8 Int’s, 67.9% completion rate, with 47 yards rushing, and 0 rushing tds.

    2007: Tebow-Passed for 3286, 32 tds, 6 Int’s, 66.9% completion rate, with 895 yards rushing, and 23 rushing tds.

    2006: Smith-Passed for 2542, 30 tds, 6 Int’s, 65.3% completion rate, with 204 yards rushing, and 1 rushing td.

    2012: Manziel-Passed for 3419, 35 tds, 8 Int’s, 68.3% completion rate, with 1181 yards rushing, and 24 rushing tds.

    Manziel set the single season all purpose yards record set by Newton, for the SEC. He was also the first SEC QB to ever pass for over 3000K yards and rush for over 1000K yards in the same season.

    To all the pungnets that say he should not win because he is a freshmen, why in the mother of all things football, does that even matter? The award goes to the best college football player of the year, regardless of their class. It’s a performance based award and Johnny has outperformed the rest of the field. If he does not win it simply becasue he is a freshmen, I say hog-wash!

  26. pushingiron says: Dec 3, 2012 9:30 PM

    The Fiesty1 is an idiot.

  27. buccobrigade says: Dec 3, 2012 9:32 PM

    If all people are going to do is cite past QB winners stats, let’s just call this what it is: QB of the year Award.

  28. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 9:37 PM

    Johnny Football will probably win, his hype machine started late and is gaining stream at the right time. I have to say, I’m kinda rooting for Klein. I like his style, on and off the field. T’eo is amazing, the anchor of a great defense, and a leader of men. But, the criteria for a defensive player to win the Heisman is humongous. He has a shot, media hype (maybe the wrong word) plays a really big part in it. It should get interesting.

  29. txag83 says: Dec 3, 2012 9:44 PM


    Are you kidding me?!? Questioning whether Manziel is heisman worthy? He has better numbers then RG3, Newton AND Tebow the years they won it. Besides, have you seen this guy play? I haven’t seen a more electrifying player in years…Give it to him!

  30. ImjustSayin2626 says: Dec 3, 2012 9:45 PM


    2/3 finalists are this year are QB’s.

    I stated all the stats of past QB’s to dispute the claim that Manziel does not deserve it because he is a freshmen. His stats are better than most of the past 5 QB Heisman winners, so I did a position-position comparison.

    I do not believe it should be a QB of the year award, but his stats have to be viewed in light of past winners solely to demonstrate how significant his performance was this year.

  31. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 9:48 PM

    On a side note, the no freshmen idea is outdated. Freshmen play a large role in college football today. Excluding Frosh want a problem back in the day as very few played. High school football has come light years from back then.

  32. buckeye94 says: Dec 3, 2012 9:59 PM

    So miller is a huge part of the offense and helps his team 12-0 but he gets labeled as he sucks. Notre Dame goes undefeated with Teo being the leader and he gets full credit. Great.

  33. letafan4ever says: Dec 3, 2012 10:09 PM

    Rooting for Te’O to get it!!

  34. toolfantx says: Dec 3, 2012 10:35 PM

    “most outstanding college football player shows perseverence and integrity”

    This is what the Heisman is supposed to be awarded for. Don’t believe it always is though.

    All 3 are deserving. Hope Klien wins it, but would not be upsetting like Ricky Williams beating out Michael Bishop was.


  35. justheb says: Dec 4, 2012 12:09 AM

    Mormons & Catholics vs.

    Roll Damn Tide is a Joke!!!

  36. hardballtalkusername says: Dec 4, 2012 12:11 AM

    Lee at least deserved an invite. I hate USC but I believe he’s the most difficult player to contain in NCAAF.

  37. kozbee says: Dec 4, 2012 12:30 AM

    A LB,get serious everyone knows Heismans only go to QBs & Runningbacks.

    Heisman 2012 – Manziel

  38. strauhal says: Dec 4, 2012 1:03 AM

    I have a question – Lee and Barner were both on everyone’s short list. There were Heisman candidates last year. Why are there three this year? It seems like at least four would be a reasonable number to have, while five seems a little much, it’s possibly not too much. Why not invite Lee and Barner? Is three the normal number of invites?

  39. rsmeans says: Dec 4, 2012 2:35 AM

    Johnny obviously is head and shoulders above anyone in the country. If he does not win it then teams should no longer respect the Heisman which has gone 14 times to members of ND and OSU which are both largely irrelevant in today’s football. Klein is a great player also and deserves the second spot but the Heisman has never been known for voting the best player as the Heisman winner.

  40. dkhhuey says: Dec 4, 2012 8:33 AM

    As much as I would have loved to see Braxton at least get an invite, in reality, there is no way he was getting one! Let’s face it – this is a dog pile on OSU / B1G year and that no doubt played into it.
    Before you attack, I am in no way saying OSU didn’t deserve the punishment and the B1G doesn’t suck bad – I’m just making an observation.

    I think it will be Braxton’s to lose next year! He was literally uncoached his freshman year and accomplished what he did mainly on his natural ability. This year was his first real year under a great coach that installed an offense that suited Braxton’s skill set. Next year, Braxton 2.0 will be much much better and I am looking forward to watching him grow!

  41. florida727 says: Dec 4, 2012 8:43 AM

    “the Heisman which has gone 14 times to members of ND and OSU which are both largely irrelevant in today’s football”


    #rsmeans, you do know who’s playing for the national championship on January 7th in Miami, right?

    I’ve got no dog in the proverbial fight, so I think I’m being unbiased when I say this, but if you look at the numbers, I’m not sure how anyone other than Manziel wins it. Cam Newton was the runaway winner in 2010, and Manziel’s numbers blow Newton’s away across the board: more passing yards, more passing TDs, better TD-to-INT ratio, better completion percentage, more rushing TDs.

    Is the award biased in favor of offensive players, and QBs in particular? Of course it is. But so are the contracts given to players at the next level. It’s the most high profile position in football. Deservedly? Probably. Anyone else control the outcome of any particular game more than the QB? Except for the center, no one else touches the ball on EVERY play and determines what happens from there. Again, there’s a reason why it’s the highest paid position at the next level.

    I think it comes down to Manziel v. Te’o.

    Nothing against Klein. Incredible year. But Manziel’s numbers obliterate Klein’s. 2500 passing yards for Klein, 3400 for Manziel. 900 rushing yards for Klein, 1200 for Manziel. 37 total TDs for Klein, FIFTY-NINE (59) for Manziel. Pretty easy call between the 2 QBs in my opinion.

  42. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 4, 2012 10:06 AM

    808raiderinparadise says:
    you can’t tell me the season Teo put together on a national championship #1 team isn’t worthy?

    How many times do I have to come on this board and read about how Manti Te’o leads a championship team. What championship has ND won since he’s been there?

    To win an award like this as a defender, you need eye popping numbers. If you want to argue JJ Watt or Von Miller derserve NFL MVP (which is the NFL equivalent to the Heisman)… we can. They have eye popping numbers… especially Watt.

    Te’o doesn’t… not even close. Yes he is very valuable to his team, but leadership is hard to quantify, it doesn’t show up in a box score. He is a great player on a great team. This is not a team award. Its an award for the most outstanding individual player. And if you’ve actually watched Manziel play this year…. its hard to deny he is OUTSTANDING. You’ll have your shot for the team award Jan 7.

  43. normtide says: Dec 4, 2012 10:15 AM

    What championship had the Irish won this year? They don’t even have a league title.

    Just- how about pedophile priest vs lawsuits? Wait, that’s being fought in another arena.

  44. papabush88 says: Dec 4, 2012 10:40 AM

    The best thing Manziel did was prove that the SEC is not as great as advertised. A&M is basically a Big 12 school still. And he broke records that the sacred Cam Newton set.

  45. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 4, 2012 10:49 AM


    That’s so not true. This Aggie team is WILDY different than last years team. New Coaching staff and new philosophy…

    Plus, A&M hasn’t hada a player like Manziel in years… maybe ever.

    What Manziel did was prove that Sumlin’s offense could work in the SEC, and honestly… Urban Meyer proved it long before Sumlin…

  46. normtide says: Dec 4, 2012 11:26 AM

    I know a trojan fan isn’t calling someone over hyped. Funny. How’s that dynasty Kiffen’s building working out for ya?

  47. keithdb80 says: Dec 4, 2012 12:25 PM

    The people who argue that A&M’s success in the SEC proves the weakness of the conference as compared to the Big 12 are stunningly dishonest in their selection of facts. They ignore Missouri’s abysmal failure in the SEC.

  48. normtide says: Dec 4, 2012 12:28 PM

    Desperate people usually cling to anything, easier then admitting the truth. Its always easier to try to tear others down then actually put in the work to lift yourself up.

  49. papabush88 says: Dec 4, 2012 1:27 PM


    From the beginning, I thought those that had USC as #1 was too high.

    Lane and Monte failed this year. Lane’s playcalling was weak and predictable. There were plays that were unpredictable…but in a negative way. Meaning, I couldn’t believe some of the plays he called. Inside run on 3rd and long. Bubble screen on fourth and 10. Monte’s Tampa 2 is just pathetic. Gives more credence to last year’s defense. They survived on talent alone and won 3 of 5 games in which they were picked to lose.

    The Trojans’ dominance in second half of season last year was because Lane was calling gutsy and aggressive plays. He was ultra conservative this year.

    Again, I think the SEC is great. Better than the Big 12 and B1G and ACC. About on par with Pac 12 (if not slightly better by a fraction of a percent). But just over-hyped.

    Lane showed he can be a good coach last year. He got too cute and conservative this year. And Monte has just been bad all three years.

    I’m not trying to tear down others. Probably only 3 teams in the SEC that Ohio State could’ve beaten this year. That should speak about how good the SEC is and how bad the B1G is. I lift myself up knowing that the 2012 USC Trojans team is VERY young. Only one returning starter was on the D-line. We lose Barkley and TJ McDonald. That’s about it. Nickell Robey is a little overrated. I’m not too worried about 2013 and beyond….as long as Monte goes. Second order of business is getting a new OC.

  50. keithdb80 says: Dec 4, 2012 1:34 PM

    Vegas seems to think the SEC is pretty tough. The SEC team is favored in all nine bowl games the SEC is represented in by a total of 57 points.

  51. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 5, 2012 4:54 PM

    Manziel has topped the CBS Heisman Poll (which is comprised of 30+ actual voters and has predicted 1st and 2nd place correctly for last 5 years)
    Manziel topped the Scripps Howard Heisman poll (which is comprised of 10 actual voters and has predicted the 21 of the last 25 times)

    He tops EVERY poll I’ve seen but I somehow get the feeling he’s going to get the shaft…

  52. theageofquarrel says: Dec 8, 2012 11:12 AM

    Who cares who wins it. They will more than likely suck in the NFL anyways.

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