Maui Sports

Te’o Motivated After Runner-up Finish for Heisman

December 9, 2012, 7:27 AM HST
* Updated December 9, 7:29 AM
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Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (left) shares a moment with Hawaii-born Manti Te’o at the Heisman Trophy awards ceremony Saturday in New York. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images.

By Rodney S. Yap

Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, beating out Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein for the award.

Manziel becomes the first freshman to win the Heisman. Actually he is a redshirt freshman, meaning he attended Texas A&M and practiced with the team but did not play last year. That still makes him the most inexperienced college player to win the sport’s most prestigious award.

“This was a moment I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid, pretending I was Doug Flutie throwing Hail Marys with my dad,” said Manziel.

Manziel won every region of Heisman voting except the Midwest, losing to Te’o by three votes there.

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This season, he set a SEC record with 4,600 total yards. Johnny Football as he has become known, threw for 3,419 yards and 24 TDs and ran for 1,181 yards and 19 TDs.

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Manziel, now Johnny Heisman, sparked the Aggies to a 10-2 record, with a 6-2 mark in the school’s first season in the SEC. The quarterback’s signature moment of the season came on Nov. 10 when he led the Aggies to a 29-24 win on the road over then-No. 1 Alabama.

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M. Photo by The Associated Press.

“It’s motivation,” Te’o told reporters in his final Heisman Trophy interview Saturday. “I always wanted to be the best. I just use that as motivation to be the best I can be. Obviously, I have a lot of work to do. I’m just excited to get back and get things cracking. … Go back home, see all my brothers, get back into the groove of things. Get the pads back on, smack around some guys, study a lot of film. That’s what I love about all this time, I have weeks and weeks to study film. Usually, I’ll have about three days to study film, but now I’ve got three weeks to study film.”

Top-ranked Notre Dame will face No. 2 Alabama on Jan. 7 in the BCS national championship game.

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Te’o apologized to the fans back home in Hawaii, particularly the supporters who gathered for a huge watch party in his hometown, Lai’e.

“I did the best I could do, and I’m happy with that,” Te’o said. “I wish I could have came first, obviously, but it gives me motivation and gives me fire to come back and get better. Obviously, what I did wasn’t good enough. And I felt I could do better, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

Heisman Trophy Voting Results

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M; 2,029 (474 first-place votes)

Manti Te’o, Notre Dame; 1,706 (321 first-place votes)

Collin Klein, Kansas St.; 894 (60 first-place votes)

Marqise Lee, Southern California; 207 (19 first-place votes)

Braxton Miller, Ohio St.; 144 (3 first-place votes)

Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina; 61 (4 first-place votes)

Jordan Lynch, N. Illinois; 52 (3 first-place votes)

Tavon Austin, West Virginia; 47 (6 first-place votes)

Kenjon Barner, Oregon; 42 (1 first-place vote)

Jarvis Jones, Georgia; 41 (1 first-place vote)

Manti Te’o Postseason Hardware Haul

* Maxwell Award: Player of the year

* Walter Camp Award: Player of the year

* Chuck Bednarik Award: Defensive player of the year

* Bronco Nagurski Trophy: Best defensive player

* Butkus Award: Top linebacker

* Lombardi Award: Best lineman or linebacker

 

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