Thursday night is the annual College Football Awards show in Florida hosted by ESPN. While many deserving athletes will take the stage, the main focus will be on the three Heisman Trophy nominees: Collin Klein, Johnny Manziel and Manti Te’o. They are all also up for other awards in the ceremony.
All three are also finalists for the Maxwell Award, which is given out to the best player in the country. The honor went to Andrew Luck in 2011. Both Manziel and Klein are up for the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the best quarterback. Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback, Braxton Miller is also up for the O’Brien.
Manziel, which is celebrating his 20th birthday the same day of the college football awards show, described the whole experience so far as surreal.
On bringing his family with him to celebrate:
It’s been surreal for them as well. They’re getting overwhelmed just as much as I am. The thing they’re doing is they’re just enjoying it. They’re just sort of living through me and enjoying the trip, coming to Orlando and then New York. I’m happy for my family getting a chance to do all of this with me.
Klein, who was the Heisman front-runner for most of the season, said he isn’t one to let hype get to his head.
I think my motivation toward this game and for my performance is deeper than that. I know what truly motivates me and a lasting human motivation is going to be more out of a love and a passion of what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for and why you’re doing it, more than trying to prove someone wrong.
Te’o, who is looking to add to his Nagurksi and Butkus Awards, is also up for Chuck Bednarik Award given out to the best defensive player in the country. Te’o said earlier this week:
If you ask people who the Butkus Award or the Bednarik Award winners are, or even the Heisman Trophy winner some years, they probably don’t remember them. But they remember who won the national championship. They remember that. That’s the trophy everybody wants.
While there will plenty of other players there, the spotlight will shine the brightest on the three players looking to take home the most coveted individual award out there on Saturday night, the Heisman Trophy.