NEW YORK (AP) _ Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
Manziel is the favorite to win college football's most famous player of the award when it is presented Saturday night in New York. He would be the first freshman to win the Heisman and the first Texas A&M player since halfback John David Crow won the school's only Heisman in 1957.
Te'o is trying to become the first defense-only player to win a Heisman and the eighth player from Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have had seven Heisman winners, tied for the most, but none since Tim Brown in 1987.
Klein would be the first player from Kansas State to win the Heisman.
The finalists were announced on Monday.
Kansas State Release:
Klein Named Heisman Trophy Finalist
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State senior quarterback Collin Klein has been named one of three finalists for the prestigious Heisman Trophy, the Heisman Trust announced Monday, becoming the first Wildcat finalist for the coveted award since Michael Bishop was the runner-up in 1998.
Joining Klein in New York will be Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) and Manti Te’o (Notre Dame). The 2012 Heisman winner will be announced at 7 p.m. (CT), Saturday at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square in New York City. The ceremony will be televised nationally by ESPN.
“I’m just honored with this opportunity that the Lord has provided me here at K-State,” said Klein. “I’m so proud to represent K-State in this because I feel like my road is very synonymous and in line with the K-State way. It has been a process, it has been a journey. There have been a lot of ups and downs, as well as a lot of hard times and growing pains through it. I’m just very proud to represent the K-State family and our heart and spirit in this environment.”
Klein, also a finalist for the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien awards, was named the 2012 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner earlier Monday. Klein will be in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday for The Home Depot College Football Awards Show televised by ESPN at 6:30 p.m. (CT). On Friday in Baltimore, Md., the Loveland, Colo., product will be presented the Unitas Award at the foundation’s dinner before traveling to New York Saturday morning for the Heisman ceremony.
Culminating with the third conference championship in school history, Klein led the Wildcats to their seventh 11-win season in school history and second BCS bowl berth. The Loveland, Colo., product has been a model of consistency as he has accounted for 37 touchdowns this year, including at least three in eight games. Of his 37 scores, 22 have been rushing touchdown to tie for second nationally and rank first among quarterbacks.
Over the past two seasons, Klein has accomplished a feat only previously obtained by Heisman Trophy winners. In 2011, he became the fourth quarterback from a BCS AQ school in the BCS era to rush for at least 20 touchdowns and pass for at least 10 touchdown, joining Cam Newton (Auburn, 2010), Tim Tebow (Florida, 2007) and Eric Crouch (Nebraska, 2000). However, by doing so again in 2012, Klein became the first ever to do so in multiple seasons.
In his 12 regular-season games, Klein completed 180-of-272 passes for 2,490 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing 194 times for 980 yards. He ranks eighth in school history in passing yardage and 10th in touchdowns, while he is tied for tied for seventh in completions. Also, he ranks third in school history with a current season pass efficiency rating of 156.12, while he is tied for second in rushing touchdowns behind his school-record 27 scores last season.
Klein, a player who will be remembered as one of the best in K-State history as both a passer and runner, ranks in the top 10 in school history in rushing touchdowns (1st; 55), touchdown responsibility (1st; 84), scoring (2nd; 336), total yards (3rd; 7,028), passing efficiency (3rd; 141.05), rushing attempts (3rd; 588), rushing yards (5th; 2,455), completions (5th, 353), passing touchdowns (t6th; 29), passing yards (7th; 4,573) and pass attempts (8th; 572). His 55 rushing touchdowns also rank fourth in Big 12 history and second among quarterbacks.
Fifth-ranked Kansas State will face No. 4 Oregon in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (CT), will be televised by ESPN.