2012 Heis­man win­ner a fi­nal­ist again

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Houston

Johnny Manziel isn’t sure if he will de­clare for the NFL draft next month.

But if he does he has thought a lot about his legacy and how he wants to be re­mem­bered as one of the best to have played and some­one who made a ma­jor im­pact for Texas A&M.

He has made a pretty com­pelling ar­gu­ment for both. He is a fi­nal­ist for the Heis­man Tro­phy again, with a chance to join Archie Grif­fin as the sec­ond player to win the award twice.

“To be a col­lege foot­ball player in a skill po­si­tion, that’s what you shoot for ev­ery year,” Manziel said. “So to get to New York and to be one of the best play­ers in the coun­try and then to be that per­son to win it, it is a dream come true for any­body that’s grown up play­ing Pop Warner Foot­ball, that’s grown up play­ing mid­dle school, high school foot­ball.”

Johnny Foot­ball is one of six play­ers who will at­tend the pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­mony on Satur­day night in New York. Manziel isn’t ex­pected to take home another Heis­man af­ter Florida State’s Jameis Win­ston burst onto the scene with a spec­tac­u­lar red­shirt fresh­man sea­son, much the way Manziel did last year.

Manziel be­came the first fresh­man to win the Heis­man in 2012 af­ter set­ting nu­mer­ous school and South­east­ern Con­fer­ence records while lead­ing Texas A&M to an 11-2 record and a vic­tory over No 1 Alabama in its first sea­son in the SEC.

The Ag­gies were sup­posed to con­tend for a na­tional ti­tle in Manziel’s en­core. But another stand­out sea­son by the elec­tric quar­ter­back wasn’t enough to over­come a por­ous de­fense that was among the worst in the na­tion. The Ag­gies fin­ished 8-4.

“This year we def­i­nitely had our ups and downs,” Manziel said. “We didn’t have a fi­nal record like we wanted to at the be­gin­ning of the year. But just the whole sea­son and how it’s been, it’s been a ride.”

That ride for Manziel started when he was sus­pended for the first half of the Ag­gies’ sea­son opener against Rice for what the school said was an “in­ad­ver­tent” vi­o­la­tion of NCAA rules in­volv­ing sign­ing au­to­graphs.

The quar­ter­back was in­ves­ti­gated for al­legedly ac­cept­ing money for au­to­graphs from me­mora­bilia bro­kers, a vi­o­la­tion of NCAA rules that could have led to a much longer sus­pen­sion.

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