Thursday, December 6, 2012
Adrian Peterson: Manziel for Heisman!
By David Ubben
Adrian Peterson's alma mater, Oklahoma, takes on former Big 12 foe Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl next month, but Peterson is not letting that game influence who he thinks should win the Heisman.
Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is the heavy favorite heading into Saturday night's trophy presentation, and though Peterson doesn't have a vote because he never won the award, he wasn't shy about declaring who he thought should win.
"Hopefully, they don't rob him like they did me," Peterson, who lost by 328 votes to junior Matt Leinart in 2004, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I hope he wins."
Peterson is perhaps the greatest victim ever of the "I'm not voting for a freshman!" ideal that permeates Heisman voting. Back in 2004, when Peterson lost, a sophomore had never even won the award. He's absolutely right that he was robbed for no good reason besides his age, though having teammate Jason White finish third in voting didn't help his case.
Tim Tebow in 2007 was the first of three consecutive sophomores to win the award, including Oklahoma's Sam Bradford.
Now, another barrier might fall. I'd argue that Peterson's 1,925-yard freshman season was more impressive than Manziel's. He set an NCAA record for 100-yard games by a freshman, with 11, and went down as one of the all-time Sooner greats, though the rest of his career was marred by injuries and he never got an opportunity to bring home a Heisman.
You never know what's ahead, and Peterson wants to see Manziel get his opportunity now.