COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Record-breaking Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has been selected as a finalist for the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, which is presented annually to the nation's top college quarterback.
Joining Manziel as finalists for the prestigious honor are Matt Barkley (Southern California), Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Collin Klein (Kansas State), Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), Marcus Mariota (Oregon), A.J. McCarron (Alabama), Braxton Miller (Ohio State), Aaron Murray (Georgia) and Geno Smith (West Virginia).
"We think we have another great group of quarterbacks as our finalists," said Archie Manning. "Once again, there were so many outstanding performances by so many different guys, this was very tough to decide on 10, and I'd like to thank our selection committee for their time and effort. But what this is really about is the players themselves and I want to thank them all for their hard work all season long. I'm very much looking forward to the conference championships and bowl games to really see who steps up in the big-game situations."
Manziel is one of two freshmen in the group, the first two freshmen in the nine-year history of the award to have been named as finalists.
The winner of the Manning Award will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans on Jan. 9. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes the candidates' bowl performances into consideration in its balloting.
Among the many records shattered by the Aggie signal caller this season was the Southeastern Conference's total offense record of 4,327 set by Auburn's Cam Newton during his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 2010. Manziel, playing in two less games that Newton, has passed for 3,419 yards and rushed for 1,181 to give him 4,600 total yards on the season while leading Texas A&M to a 10-2 campaign during its first season in the SEC.
Manziel ranks in the top 35 in eight statistical categories in this week's official NCAA statistics, and leads the SEC in rushing (98.4 yards/G), passing (22.8 completions/G), total offense (383.3 yards/G), scoring (9.5 points/G) and points responsibility (21.5 points/G).