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Why Johnny Manziel Shouldn't Win The 2012 Heisman Trophy

Jeffrey Sakakibara |
December 6, 2012 | 11:46 a.m. PST

Staff Writer

It's too soon for Manziel to receive the Heisman. (Shutterbug459/Wikimedia Commons)
It's too soon for Manziel to receive the Heisman. (Shutterbug459/Wikimedia Commons)
The finalists for the prestigious Heisman Trophy have been announced. As the nation suspected, it has come down to Manti Te’o and Johnny Manziel. 

Manti Te’o, a linebacker for the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish, led his team with 103 tackles and seven interceptions. Te'o's seven interceptions were the most by any FBS linebacker since the 2001 season. The Irish are set for a clash against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship game.

Johnny Manziel is the Texas A&M Aggies' freshman quarterback. Manziel led his team to a 10-2 campaign, including an upset win over the then-No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. The quarterback was a dual threat through the air and on the ground, recording a total of 4,600 yards and 43 touchdowns. 

At the very least, Manziel has two years left at Texas A&M and will most likely make a huge impact for Texas A&M in terms of BCS standings and playoff contention going forward. 

But for so many years, journalists and fans alike have gone down slippery slopes. One phenomenal game and suddenly the man becomes a national star. One impressive season and suddenly there are hopes for a national championship. One trade and suddenly a team goes from playoff contender to title favorite. 

We’ve seen this all too many times and quite frankly it’s a tragedy that can be avoided. There’s still ample room for Johnny Manziel to grow into a mature leader for Texas A&M and ultimately as an NFL-ready quarterback. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Manziel doesn’t deserve the Heisman.

It’s just too soon.

Though it may be a responsibility for the Heisman trust to give the award to the player that most deserves it, I believe there’s also a responsibility to protect the future of a player; especially because he’s still a college kid at the end of the day. 

ESPN.com reported Manziel playing golf with some of the ESPN broadcasters, and the media hype around Manziel is rapidly bubbling out of proportion. Media everywhere are already touting Manziel as an NFL-ready quarterback, and there’s going to come a game where he just doesn’t perform. And instead of reflecting on his mistakes, the nation is going to come down on him for putting up “unHeisman-like” numbers. 

Does Manti deserve it more? 

It’s tough to say, because the Heisman focuses so much on raw statistics and quite frankly, players on the defensive end can’t rack up 300 yards on a single night. But with everything that happened to Manti in his personal life and how he’s carried the team as a leader, I would have no problem with Manti winning the 2012 Heisman. 

Manti can walk away from Notre Dame with the most respected individual award in college football, and he can use the Heisman to propel his confidence in the NFL. 

I mean there’s just not a lot to lose for Manti and way too much to risk for Johnny. If Johnny Manziel is to be the face of college football for years to come, then let’s see where he is in one year’s time.  



Reach Staff Writer Jeffrey Sakakibara via email. Follow Jeffrey on Twitter.


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Anonymous (not verified) on December 9, 2012 1:11 PM

I agree, 100%! I don't think freshmen should even be considered at all for the Heisman, even if they are the "best". The only thing they should win is more playing time for the next season. What if Maziel gets injured in his upcoming bowl game or next season, what if he flops next season? Plus, he doesn't get any endorsement deals since he's a freshman, why give it to him if Nissan can't use him in their commercials? If he, or any freshman is Heisman worthy, then he should be twice as worthy next season, right?

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