Manziel, the only freshman in FBS history to top the 3,000-yard passing mark and 1,000-yard rushing mark in the same season, is joined on the list of finalists by Kansas State’s Collin Klein and Ohio State’s Braxton Miller. The winner will be announced Dec. 6 during the live telecast of the The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN, with the recipient honored Feb. 18, 2013 during a ceremony at the Fort Worth Club.
Manziel, who ranks 21st nationally in passing efficiency (155.13 rating), has completed 67.7 percent of his passes this season and has accounted for 38 touchdowns in leading No. 9 A&M (9-2) into contention for a BCS bowl berth in the school’s first season as a member of the Southeastern Conference.
Heading into Saturday’s regular-season finale against Missouri, Manziel has rushed for 1,114 and 14 touchdowns. He has thrown for 3,047 yards and 21 touchdowns, with seven interceptions. Manziel is one of only five quarterbacks in FBS history _ as well as the only freshman _ to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. The list includes former Texas standout Vince Young, in 2005.
Manziel and Klein, a dual threat who has completed 66.7 percent of his passes while ranking second nationally in rushing touchdowns (20), have been projected in recent weeks among the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy. Klein, a senior, has thrown for 2,306 yards and rushed for 787 while keeping No. 7 Kansas State (10-1, 7-1 in Big 12) on pace to claim a Big 12 title if the Wildcats defeat No. 16 Texas (8-2, 5-2) in the team’s regular-season finale, Dec. 1 in Manhattan, Kan.
Miller, a sophomore, has led Ohio State to an 11-0 record and the No. 4 spot in the Associated Press poll. Ohio State is not in the BCS standings because the school is on NCAA probation and banned from bowl participation this season.
Miller ranks 34th nationally in total offense (278.6 yards per game), with 1,214 rushing yards and 1,850 passing yards. He has rushed for 13 touchdowns and passed for 14 scores.
In addition to members of the O’Brien selection committee, fans can vote on the winner at www.VoteOBrien.org. Fan voting closes at noon on Dec. 2.
_ Jimmy Burch