Historic, Tight Heisman Trophy Race Between Manziel and Te'o
Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel received 85 points and Notre Dame's senior linebacker Manti Te'o got 84 in the survey of 37 USA Today Sports Media Group voters.
The award has never gone to a freshman or a linebacker.
The survey of members with official Heisman votes showed Manziel receiving two more first-place votes, with Te'o having a big surge in second-place mentions. Manziel was named on all but one ballot and Te'o on all but two.
Detroit Free columnist Drew Sharp who favors Manziel noted that Texas A&M is in the country's toughest football conference and produced the single biggest victory this season over No. 1 Alabama. He felt that the competition for Notre Dame at Big Ten was overmatched.
Keith Sargeant of the Home News Tribune also favored Manziel for being statistically the best quarterback against three top 10 teams. His performance against Alabama was given weight.
But Bob Kravitz, voter and columnist with The Indianapolis Star, favored Te'o for being the heart and soul of the best defense on the best team in college football. He added that Te'O is the best defensive-only player to vie for the award.
Columnist and voter Bryce Miller of the Des Moines Register also called Te'o as the heart and soul of their team, which is undefeated and fighting for the championship.
Manziel, Te'o and Kansas State senior quarterback Collin Klein, who got 36 points, each are invited to the award ceremony Saturday in New York.
The closest vote in Heisman history was 2009, when Alabama running back Mark Ingram won with 1,304 points, 28 better than runner-up Toby Gerhart, a Stanford running back.
Johnny Manziel Named Heisman Finalist
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