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Heisman Race 2012: Why Johnny Manziel Should Win the Heisman in a Landslide

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies runs away from the tackle of Kony Ealy #47 of the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on November 24, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Michael SaenzContributor IIINovember 26, 2012

The Heisman trophy should go to the best player in college football. Period. No matter if he is a freshman. 

For a second, let's not make this a career achievement award. It is not, and it was never intended to be. Don't tell me a freshman shouldn't win it or that he'll get his chance later. No, it doesn’t work like that.

If Johnny Manziel deserves the Heisman this year, why shouldn't he get it? Because he's a redshirt freshman? That's weak. Real weak.

However, you can make the case that Manti Te'o deserves it; in fact, he may just win it. But if he does, he is going to win it because of his past four years and the story he brings.

Te'o is great off the field and a throwback linebacker on a dominant defense. He also plays for Notre Dame, which is possibly the most storied collegiate team ever. That should be good enough to steal a few votes.

Remember in the beginning of the season when no one thought the Aggies could hang in the SEC? 

Enter Manziel.

How did that work out? A 10-2 record and win over then-No. 1 Alabama.

The Aggies just completed their first 10-win season since the 1998 season. Manziel broke the SEC total offense record by eclipsing 4,600 total yards on the year.

I don't think people realize how great of a season Manziel had. That's a shame.

Yes, Te'o led Notre Dame to its first undefeated season since 1988, but a defensive player hasn't won the Heisman Trophy Award since Charles Woodson did it in 1997. There's a reason why it hasn't happened since then.

Football has become a quarterback-driven league. That's just what it is, no way around it. So why do people want to give it to Te'o, a linebacker? People are acting like the quarterback isn’t the most important player on the field. And why?

Because people are afraid that #JohnnyFootball will become the next #TebowTime.

But I’ll say this: If you do think Te’o should win it, it should be because of his 103 tackles and seven interceptions, or because he's the best player on a team that will be playing for the BCS National Championship.

Not because he is a senior, or because Manziel is a freshman.

I honestly believe the Heisman voters dropped the ball not giving the award to Adrian Peterson when he was a freshman.

Voters, don’t drop the ball again this year. Vote for the player who’s been the best player this season: Johnny Manziel

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