Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o were named the three finalists for the 2012 Heisman Trophy in an announcement made Monday.
Those three players have been invited to New York to be on hand for the 78th annual Heisman Trophy presentation on Saturday at the Downtown Athletic Club.
The number of finalists varies from year to year, although in recent years, more than three usually have been invited to the presentation ceremony.
Manziel, a redshirt freshman, could become the first freshman to win the award. He threw for 3,419 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for 1,181 yards and 19 scores for the 10-2 Aggies.
Klein has led the Wildcats to an 11-1 season, a share of the Big 12 title and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Also a dual-threat quarterback, Klein has amassed 3,380 total yards and 37 touchdowns.
Te’o is attempting to become just the second defensive player to win the Heisman, joining Charles Woodson, who won the award in 1997 as a defensive back for Michigan.
Te’o has seven interceptions and 101 tackles for the No. 1-ranked Irish (12-0), who play Alabama in the national championship game.
COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: Paul Petrino has been hired as the head football coach at the University of Idaho. Petrino, the brother of former Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino, spent the 2012 season with the Arkansas Razorbacks after two years as offensive coordinator at Illinois, where he left when Ron Zook was ousted after the 2011 season. Idaho finished the 2012 season with a 1-11 overall record and a 1-6 mark in the WAC. It fired coach Robb Akey in October and named offensive coordinator Jason Gesser as interim coach when the Vandals were 1-7. … University of Southern California Quarterback Matt Barkley will likely play in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech on Dec. 1 in El Paso, Texas, coach Lane Kiffin announced. Barkley missed the regular season finale against Notre Dame on Nov. 24 because of a sprained shoulder. USC started off the season as the nation’s top-ranked team but heads into the Sun Bowl at 7-5. Georgia Tech (6-7) is playing in the Sun Bowl for the second year in a row. … Joker Phillips, who was fired as Kentucky’s head coach this season, has been named Florida’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, the university announced.