Each of the three finalists for the 2012 Heiman Trophy arrived in New York with a chance to make history. A win by Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o or K-State signal-caller Collin Klein would represent a historic first. To add drama to the presentation of the 78th Heisman Trophy, the race could also be historically tight, according to USA Today Sports.
To make the case for each of the three finalists, HuffPost Sports invited an expert on each player. Here is a brief preview of each of the three endorsements. Be sure to check out each argument in full and let us know who was the most persuasive.
This quarterback has matured faster than anyone could have expected and his infectious, competitive attitude has spread to the entire team and it's hungry, loyal fan base. By now, you've probably heard that Manziel broke Cam Newton's total offensive record of 4,327 yards in two fewer games. What that stat doesn't tell you is that during blowout wins, Manziel sat out nine full quarters. That's 2.25 games, bringing his actual playtime total to 9.75 games played. He also broke Archie Manning's single-game offensive record in his 557 yard, 4 touchdown performance against Arkansas.
In October, Te'o led the charge in the first of several noteworthy goal-line stands this season to secure a 20-13 win against Stanford. The Cardinal, who can win the Pac-12 with a win this weekend, failed to reach the end zone on offense.
With his numbers this season, he became the first quarterback ever from a BCS-Automatic Qualifying school to ever have consecutive seasons of at least 20 rushing touchdowns and at least 10 passing touchdowns. To think that he is the first, with such dual-threat quarterbacks as Eric Crouch, Pat White and Tim Tebow in the past decade, is truly an impressive feat. Also, he has improved throwing the ball, increasing his completion percentage from 57 percent, up to 66 percent this season.
As each of these candidate surrogates attests, the three finalists have produced stellar seasons and would be worthy recipients of the most prestigious award in college football. Of course, only one of them will leave New York as the 78th winner of the Heisman Trophy. Who should it be? Did any of these arguments change your mind?