After seeing Johnny Manziel’s brazen behavior in the wake of last year’s Heisman coronation I vowed never again to vote for a freshman. It wasn’t that freshmen were undeserving. But Manziel got me to thinking that the award should go to someone more mature and better able to deal with the accompanying adulation. But as this year’s vote neared I decided it would be wrong to exclude Jameis Winston based on Johnny Football’s poor example. Winston became the choice when Jordan Lynch and Braxton Miller hits walls in their conference title games.
This was a difficult season to select three candidates but the No. 1 choice is clear cut in Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. He staked his claim to the prize in his first start against Pittsburgh when broke the Seminoles single-game record for completion percentage by connecting on 25-for-27 passes (92.6 percent) for 356 yards and four touchdowns and seemed to progress game-by-game. Like Auburn’s Cam Newton in 2010, he overcame off-the-field adversity to perform at a high level each week.
It seems I’m always going against the grain in Heisman voting. Maybe I don’t like the idea of USA Today or ESPN telling he how it’s going to turn out before I have even sent my ballot in. My vote went to A.J. McCarron of Alabama. The Heisman going to a freshman bothers me. I did not vote for Manziel last year for the same reason. I think character should enter into the equation and in my estimation there is still a shadow over Jameis Winston of Florida State because of the handling of his case by authorities in Florida. Why McCarron? He had a complete career at ‘Bama, leading his team to two national championships.