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Ricky Williams gave first-place Heisman vote to Te’o, not Manziel

Ricky Williams AP

And before you ask, yes, it’s a ssslllooowww news day.

In becoming the first (redshirt) freshman to claim the Heisman Trophy in the 78 years of the prestigious award, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel finished a comfortable distance ahead of runner-up Manti Te’o.  Manziel was given a first-place nod on 474 ballots, Te’o on 329.  One of the ones who opted for the Notre Dame linebacker?  A certain former Texas Longhorn.

During a radio interview earlier this week and by way of the Dallas Morning News, Heisman winner and ex-UT running back Ricky Williams acknowledged that he Te’o and Manziel 1-2, in that order, on his Heisman ballot.  As a former winner, Williams is given the opportunity to vote on the award annually.

While Williams’ “snub” of a player from an in-state rival may stir up some in Aggie Nation, Williams’ response to a “second-guess” question was immensely more interesting and enlightening.

As you have no doubt heard, Te’o was embroiled in a bit of controversy last month as it came to light that he was the victim of an online hoax involving in part a “dead girlfriend.”  That emotional subplot — Te’o playing the majority of the season through the grief of losing his girlfriend (fake) and beloved grandmother (real) — was one of the myriad storylines heading into the New York City ceremony and was a significant reason according to many that the defensive player was even in the Heisman discussion.

When asked if he would still give Te’o his vote for the Heisman if he knew then what he knows now, Williams was unequivocal that he still would’ve thrown his first-place support to Te’o.

“I wouldn’t have,” Williams said when asked if he would’ve changed his vote. “I was watching that crap on TV. I don’t really watch the news that much, but it was on every day. Finally, when it got to Kathie Lee and Hoda [on the Today Show], I was like, what’s going on with this stuff? I didn’t get what the big deal was.

“To me, it’s like people are surprised that athletes are strange. Do you guys know what we do? Especially football players. To play football in the NFL, you have to be a little bit strange. Otherwise you would’ve given up a long time ago.”

Being Ricky Williams, he’s certainly qualified when it comes to the nature of being a bit strange.

Regardless, good for him.  Yeah, he’ll take some grief from Aggie fans, but he voted for Te’o based on the player’s on-field accomplishments (we think).  The fact that Te’o was duped has nothing to do with the linebacker leading the Irish to a perfect season and a spot in the BCS title game.  He may have been exposed against Alabama — who isn’t these days? — but his play through the first 12 games was very much Heisman worthy, as Williams and 328 voters would attest.

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21 Responses to “Ricky Williams gave first-place Heisman vote to Te’o, not Manziel”
  1. mgscott says: Feb 17, 2013 1:23 PM

    Good to hear that Ricky is still in communication with the outside world.

  2. allan357 says: Feb 17, 2013 1:27 PM

    The writer is correct — this MUST be a slow news day.

  3. pettytom says: Feb 17, 2013 1:51 PM

    I’m sure he was high when he voted and when he did the interview.

  4. mrlaloosh says: Feb 17, 2013 2:31 PM

    Rickey will get a thank-uou note from Te’os girlfriend. He’ll use it to roll a spliff.

  5. mauldawg says: Feb 17, 2013 3:01 PM

    What do you expect from Williams. Someone must have told him where to put his mark.

  6. imaduffer says: Feb 17, 2013 3:01 PM

    Any one care for a brownie and a glass of iced tea??????

  7. goodfieldnohit says: Feb 17, 2013 3:09 PM

    At least Ricky isn’t a University of Texas coach that has been caught banging a student trainer.

  8. alligatorsnapper says: Feb 17, 2013 3:21 PM

    I remember Ricky from his days in the Big Easy, though I don’t think he would remember me (or those days). Maybe Ricky met Te’o’s girl friend and that helped him vote for Teo?

  9. metalhead65 says: Feb 17, 2013 5:50 PM

    his vote should prove Ricky is enjoying retirement being he is able to smoke weed without worrying about a drug test. it is sad he and others were gullible enough to fall for the dame hype on teo. his play against the kind of talent he will be facing every week on Sundays in the NFL tells you all you need to know about him. how did Johnny football and his team do against the tide when they played? oh yeah he had a great game and his team WON.

  10. jackericsson says: Feb 17, 2013 6:57 PM

    What was he smoking?

  11. jintzforever says: Feb 17, 2013 9:27 PM

    Good to confirm Ricky is smoking pot again/still.

  12. gatorprof says: Feb 17, 2013 10:17 PM

    Is Ricky wearing a beard these days?

  13. mikefoxtrottango says: Feb 18, 2013 12:13 AM

    “He may have been exposed against Alabama — who isn’t these days?”


    Johnny Manziel???

  14. irishfbfan1 says: Feb 18, 2013 2:00 AM

    Well, at least Ricky knows who was deserving. Te’o without doubt meant so much to this football team that had an outstanding season, a never forget type season. Te’o will have a great career in the NFL.

  15. irishfbfan1 says: Feb 18, 2013 2:02 AM

    And Go Irish!

  16. vols84 says: Feb 18, 2013 7:35 AM

    Is Ricky still reproducing?

  17. florida727 says: Feb 18, 2013 9:11 AM

    In a related story, it has been confirmed that former University of Texas running back Ricky Williams has chosen not to forego the use of marijuana.

    As far as Te’o goes, if you think his performance against Alabama was a fluke, wait until he tries those arm tackles in the NFL.

  18. Travis Normand says: Feb 18, 2013 11:27 AM

    John Taylor, what is the “Aggie Nation?”

  19. Travis Normand says: Feb 18, 2013 11:28 AM

    “He [Te’o] may have been exposed against Alabama — who isn’t these days? — but his play through the first 12 games was very much Heisman worthy . . . ”

    Lets see….umm….Johnny Manziel wasn’t.

  20. tyler4richardson says: Feb 18, 2013 3:00 PM

    I never knew former winners get a vote. That’s awesome. Too bad they don’t take a vote away from some of the clowns of media.

  21. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 21, 2013 11:18 AM

    The Aggie defense gave up less points IN TUSCALOOSA, than ND gave up in 1 half…

    I’d say that he and Notre Dame got more than exposed….

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