Collin Klein arrived in New York City early Saturday via train looking a little worn out from a whirl wind week that included stops in Orlando, Baltimore and the Big Apple. I’m sure Klein would rather be back in his Manhattan breaking down tape of Oregon, but for now he’s repping K-State—and who better to do it?
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There are three distinct corners of the triangle with the Heisman finalist. Johnny Manziel is trying to become the first freshman to win the honor. Manti Ta’o is the best player on the nation’s only unbeaten team, but is a defensive specialist for an award which is traditionally offensive.
Klein is the ‘old school’, a guys who paid his dues—struggled early, but persevered to become one of the most dynamic talents in college football. These are the three finalist as they appeared on my ballot and, not surprisingly, they are the three who’ll be center stage tonight. For the record, here’s my ballot for the 78th Heisman Trophy:
1 Collin Klein
2 Manti Ta’o
3 Johnny Manzeil
In a season where there was no clear cut leader for the award, it stands to reason that most voters will look for a moment that tipped them one way or the other.
For Manziel it happened to be the same day that he became a Heisman candidate. That he engineered the Texas A&M win at Alabama created the strongest impression of the year. That it happened late in the season proved to be great timing.
That it happened one week before Klein threw three interceptions in K-State’s blowout loss at Baylor probably cemented him the award. It’s easy to forget that A&M needed a goal line interception of Alabama in the waning seconds to secure the win, one wonders how Manziel’s candidacy would look without it.