NEW YORK Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teo was looking forward to a break after a five-city-in-five-days tour, during which he has become the most decorated player in college football.
Im 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 midtown Manhattan hotel with his fellow Heisman Trophy finalist. In fairness, Johnny Footballs week hasnt been nearly as hectic, though this trip to New York city is different from the first time he visited with his family when he was young.
Its just taking it up a whole nother level, but happy to be here, he said.
Manziel and Teo spent about 30 minutes getting grilled by dozens of reporters in a cramped conference room, posed for some pictures with the big bronze statue that they are hoping to win and quickly were whisked away for more interviews and photo opportunities.
Manziel, Teo or Collin Klein, the other finalist who couldnt make it to town Friday, each has a chance to be a Heisman Trophy first tonight:
Manziel is trying to be the first freshman to win the award.
Teo would be the first winner to play only defense.
Klein would be Kansas States first Heisman winner.
Manziel and Teo were on the same flight from Orlando, Fla., where several college football awards were handed out last night. The 6-1, 200-pound quarterback was just happy the 255-pound linebacker didnt try to record another sack when they met.
Hes a big guy, Manziel said, flashing a big smile from under his white Texas A&M baseball cap. I thought he might stuff me in locker and beat me up a little bit.
The two hadnt had much time for sightseeing yet, but they did walk around Times Square some, saying hello to a few fans. They probably werent too difficult to spot in their team issued warm-up gear.
Weve just been talking about goofy stuff. Playing video games. Playing Galaga. Just some things from back in the day, messing around with each other, Manziel said. Kind of seeing who is going to take more pictures. Hes definitely taking that award right now.
Teo already is going to need a huge trophy case to house his haul from this week. He has won six major awards, including the Maxwell as national player of the year. Hell try to become Notre Dames eighth Heisman winner and first since Tim Brown in 1987.
I can only imagine how I would feel if I win the Heisman, he said.
Charles Woodson of Michigan in 1997 is the closest thing to a true defensive player winning the Heisman. Woodson was a dominant cornerback, but he also returned punts and played a little receiver. That helped burnish his Heisman credentials.
Teo is all linebacker. He leads the top-ranked Irish with 103 tackles and seven interceptions.
Klein was the frontrunner for the Heisman for a good chunk of the season, but he played his worst game late in the season in a loss at Baylor and the momentum Manziel gained by leading Texas A&M to victory at Alabama has been tough to stop.
Manziels numbers are hard to deny. He set a Southeastern Conference record with 4,600 total yards, throwing for more than 3,000 and rushing for more than 1,000.
Klein, by comparison, averages about 100 fewer total yards per game (383-281) than Manziel.
A freshman never has won the Heisman. Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson came closest in 2004, finishing second to Southern Californias Matt Leinart.
Manziel is a redshirt freshman, meaning he attended Texas A&M and practiced with the team but did not play last year. Still, hed be the most inexperienced college player to win the sports most prestigious award.
Its surreal for me to sit here and think about that this early in my career, he said. With what me and my teammates have gone through, with how theyve played and how theyve helped me to get to this point, its just a testament to how good they are and how good theyve been this year.
Without them I wouldnt be here, and thats the real story to all this.