Yesterday, the three Heisman Trophy finalists headed to New York this weekend were announced. Two of those finalists — Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o — were among the few early postseason award winners Monday.
Klein was presented with the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, beating out Matt Barkley (USC), EJ Manuel (Florida State), AJ McCarron (Alabama) and Geno Smith (West Virginia). The award goes to a quarterback nearing completion of their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate.
“Collin is not just a tremendous athlete and leader on the field, but an MVP off the field as well, who repeatedly has been recognized for his numerous contributions to the community and to the spirit of sportsmanship,” said John C. Unitas Jr., president of The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.
Te’o took home Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the nation’s top defensive player. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner and Florida State end Bjoern Werner were the other finalists.
“It’s something that you dream of when you’re a little kid,” Te’o said. “You never think it could happen, then it finally hits you in the face and it’s a dream come true.”
The Home Depot College Football Awards Show will be on Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET.