I'm sure I'll get blasted for this right out of the gate, but I'm going to say it anyway.
As impressive as "Johnny Football" has been throughout the course of this season, I don't believe he should be the winner of this year's Heisman Trophy.
|Photo by: Ronald Martinez|
So with that, here are my reasons.
1. He's a freshman.
Yes, I know, this is every critics go-to argument for Manziel not winning it. But my argument goes beyond just the fact that he's a freshman.
To me, the Heisman Trophy winner should have an impressive overall body of work behind him. And as much as it is a college award, everyone uses it as an NFL catapult. Can you name a winner over the last two decades that wasn't a 1st-round pick?
And quite frankly, I'm tired of seeing players win the award and then proceed to do absolutely nothing at the next level. In the last 20 years, only 7 winners haven't been 1st-round picks:
2006 - Troy Smith, 5th round
2003 - Jason White, undrafted
2001 - Eric Crouch, 3rd round
2000 - Chris Weinke, 4th round
1996 - Danny Wuerffel, 4th round
1993 - Charlie Ward, entered the NBA Draft
1992 - Gino Torretta, 7th round
Out of these players, Crouch stands out as being the most like Manziel. At the time, I didn't think the Nebraska signal caller deserved it either. I thought Joey Harrington had a much better season, and had he not gotten picked by the Lions, he would have had a much better professional career. Hell, Crouch didn't even play quarterback in the NFL. He ended up playing defensive back -- and poorly at that.
My point is, do we really want to give a "prestigious" award to someone who could easily be nothing more than a flash in the pan?
2. He was just arrested back in June.
That's right, ESPN hasn't said much about this. On June 29th, prior to being chosen as A&M's starting QB and before his first collegiate game, Manziel was arrested and charged with three misdemeanors; disorderly conduct, failure to identify, and possession of a fictitious driver's license. These charges stemmed from a late-night fight in College Station, Texas.
While these aren't the worst offenses ever committed by a player, I don't think I can remember a season where the Heisman winner started the year in cuffs. Again, this leads me back to the fact that the kid is only 19.
Basically, he hasn't proven enough to win it yet.
3. Manti Te'o and Collin Klein are the cornerstones of their teams.
These guys are the backbones of their respective clubs. The Notre Dame defense is driven by Te'o's passion and tenacity, much in the way KState's potent offense is anchored by Klein's smart decisions and play-making ability.
Like I said, Manziel has had an impressive year, but another of my pet peeves about the Heisman Trophy is the late season hype -- and for the record, momentum is completely different than hype.
Last season, RG3 had momentum, Andrew Luck had hype. Klein supposedly lost momentum when his team lost, which is absurd, while Te'o has been consistently good all year long.
In closing, if I were voting, it would look like this:
1. Manti Te'o
2. Collin Klein
3. Johnny Manziel
This way, the kid gets a trip to the ceremony and receives major recognition for his great season, and still has the opportunity to come back and prove himself again next year.
Although, I don't anticipate the Heisman Committee agreeing with my way of thinking on this one.