Johnny Foot­ball one of 3 fi­nal­ists


Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - CHRISTO­PHER JACK­SON / ap Con­tact Suzanne Hal­libur­ton at 445-3954. Twit­ter: @ suzhal­libur­ton

one Ag­gie has won the Heis­man — John David Crow in 1957 — and only three other A&M play­ers have fin­ished in the top 10 of the vot­ing, the last quar­ter­back Bucky Richard­son (10th in 1991).

“This is a dream come true for me, and I know it’s a credit to all my coaches and team­mates,” Manziel said in a state­ment. “I def­i­nitely wouldn’t be a Heis­man fi­nal­ist with­out my team­mates and coaches.”

If Te’o ends up win­ning the Heis­man, he would be the first true de­fender to win the award. He’s the best player for the topranked Fight­ing Ir­ish, who will play Alabama for the na­tional cham­pi­onship. Te’o, who notched seven in­ter­cep­tions with 101 tack­les, would be the eighth Notre Dame player to win.

Klein, the Heis­man fa­vorite as late as two weeks ago, when he ap­peared on the cover of Sports Il­lus­trated, also could be­come a first; Kansas State has never pro­duced a Heis­man win­ner.

Klein, who, like Manziel, is a fi­nal­ist for the Davey O’Brien Award as the na­tion’s top quar­ter­back, threw for 2,490 yards and 15 touch­downs and rushed for 890 yards and 22 scores. He set an NCAA record with 49 rush­ing touch­downs in 2011-12, the most scored in any two-year pe­riod.

Klein led Kansas State to a Big 12 co-cham­pi­onship and a berth in the Fi­esta Bowl.

All bal­lots were due Mon­day af­ter a twoweek vot­ing process. The win­ner will be an­nounced Satur­day night in a na­tion­ally tele­vised cer­e­mony.

The three fi­nal­ists also will be on hand for the Col­lege Foot­ball Awards in Or­lando on Thurs­day.

Te’o won the Butkus Award on Mon­day as the na­tion’s top line­backer. Also on Mon­day, Manziel earned the SEC’s of­fen­sive player of the year honor. His 4,600 to­tal yards broke the league’s sin­gle-sea­son record, set by Auburn’s Cam New­ton dur­ing his Heis­man year in 2010.

Kansas State quar­ter­back Collin Klein led the Wild­cats to the Big 12 ti­tle and seemed to be the Heis­man Tro­phy fron­trun­ner for much of the sea­son.

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