Hype surrounds Heisman Trophy finalists | College football
The Heisman Trophy will be presented Saturday in New York; the finalists are Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State senior quarterback Collin Klein.
Collin Klein: Senior quarterback would be first Kansas State player to get the award, but also is considered the least likely winner among the finalists.
Manti Te'o: Notre Dame senior would be the first defense-only player to win. He has seven interceptions; no other linebacker at this level has more than four.
Johnny Manziel: Texas A&M quarterback with 4,600 yards total offense (compared with Klein's 3,380) would be the first freshman winner.
NEW YORK — Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was looking forward to a break after a five-cities-in-five-days tour, during which he has become the most decorated player in college football.
"I'm just trying to get a workout in and get some sleep," he said Friday about his plans for the night.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel seemed to have more energy when he arrived at a Manhattan hotel with his fellow Heisman Trophy finalist. In fairness, "Johnny Football" has had more free time this week.
Manziel and Te'o spent about 30 minutes getting grilled by dozens of reporters in a cramped conference room, posed for pictures with the big bronze statue that they are hoping to win and were quickly whisked away for more interviews and photo opportunities.
Manziel, Te'o or Collin Klein — the other finalist, who couldn't make it to New York on Friday — each has a chance for a Heisman first when the award is presented Saturday (show is at 5 p.m. PST on ESPN).
Manziel is trying to be the first freshman to win. Te'o would be the first winner to play only defense. Quarterback Klein would be Kansas State's first winner.
Manziel and Te'o were on the same flight from Orlando, Fla., where several awards were handed out Thursday night. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound quarterback was relieved the 255-pound Te'o didn't try to record a sack when they met.
"He's a big guy," Manziel said with a smile. "I thought he might stuff me in a locker and beat me up a little bit."
Te'o has won six major awards, including the Maxwell as national player of the year, and will play against Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee officials introduced coach Butch Jones as the successor to Derek Dooley, who was fired Nov. 18 after having a 15-21 record over three seasons.
Jones, 44, called Tennessee his dream job and said he was taking over "the best college-football program in America." He was 23-14 at Cincinnati the last three seasons after going 27-13 at Central Michigan.
During the search to replace Dooley, the Volunteers contacted former NFL coach Jon Gruden, who is an ESPN analyst, and Louisville coach Charlie Strong.
Earlier in the week, Jones turned down an offer to coach Colorado.
• Navy (7-4) will seek to defeat Army (2-9) for the 11th consecutive time when the teams meet Saturday in Philadelphia. Navy leads the series 56-49-7.