Texas A&M Aggies QB Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame Fighting Irish LB Manti Te’o are in position to make Heisman Trophy history, according to YouWager.
Manziel, Te’o and Kansas StateWildcats QB Collin Klein, were invited Monday to attend the Heisman presentation ceremony.
The 19 year-old Manziel is the favorite by many online sports betting fans to win college football’s most famous player of the year award on Saturday night in Manhattan. Manziel would be the first freshman to win the Heisman and the first Aggies player since halfback John David Crow won the school’s only Heisman in 1957.
Three sophomores have won the award (Tim Tebow in 2007, Sam Bradford in 2008 and Mark Ingram in 2009), however the best a first-year player has ever done is second.
Back in 2004 Adrian Peterson of the Oklahoma Sooners finished second to Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart. Peterson was a true freshman. As Texas A&M freshman, Manziel attended the school in 2011 and practiced with the team but did not play.
The Texas native rapidly became a national sensation this season, putting up huge numbers in first-year Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin’s spread offense. He led the college football team (No. 9 BCS, No. 10 AP) to a 10-2 record in their first season in the Southeastern Conference.
Manziel and the Aggies play the Sooners (No. 11 BCS, No. 12 AP) in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
The 21 year-old Te’o is trying to become the first defense-only player to win the Heisman. Notre Dame already has seven Heisman winners, tied for the most with the Ohio State Bobcats, but none since Tim Brown in 1987.
The native of Hawaii became the face of the No. 1 team in the country and leader of a defense that has been the most difficult to score upon in the nation. Te’o intercepted seven passes, second-most in the country and tops for a linebacker. The senior player also led the Irish with 103 tackles, and earlier Monday won the Butkus Award as the country’s best linebacker.
Te’o and Notre Dame will face No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 7 in Miami.