Heisman Trophy 2012: Close race expected between 'Johnny Football', Manti Te'o

Jeff Gross

A USA TODAY survey showed that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o are in a dead heat for the 2012 Heisman Trophy.

It's looking like the 2012 Heisman Trophy race will be one of the closest in the award's history, with Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te'o duking it out for the prestigious honor.

A survey of USA TODAY Sports Media Group voters revealed just how close the voting appears to be. Manziel received 85 points in the final survey, while Te'o checked in at 84 points. The third Heisman finalist, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, finished with 36 points.

Whether Manziel or Te'o wins, it will be a historic day in Heisman Trophy history. The award has never gone to a freshman or a linebacker.

Manziel led Texas A&M to a 10-2 record this season, racking up huge yardage and touchdown numbers in the process. The quarterback has 3419 yards and 24 touchdowns passing to go along with 1181 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground.

Te'o is the heart and soul of a Notre Dame defense that has led the Fighting Irish to an undefeated season and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Te'o has 101 tackles, two sacks and seven interceptions on the year.

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