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Heisman Finalist has East Texas Ties

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious honor that a single college football player can receive, and this Saturday we’ll find out if Tyler native Johnny Manziel wins it.

Even Texas Longhorn fans might admit that Manziel has had a pretty great season with the Texas A&M Aggies.

If Johnny Football, as he’s known now, wins the Heisman he’ll become the first freshman ever to win the award. Some say he’s the favorite, among a pool of finalists that includes quarterback Collin Klein of Kansas State and Notre Dame linebacker Mantay Te’o. Manziel played high school football at Tivy High in Kerrville.

East Texas almost had a Heisman winner with Palestine native Adrian Peterson. When he played for Oklahoma, he finished second in Heisman voting. That was the year Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart won the Heisman (2004). Peterson was a true freshman that year. Manziel is a redshirt freshman, meaning he was with the team last year but didn’t play.

Manziel still has family over in Tyler. The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports Johnny’s grandparents still live in Tyler — Jerry and Lyana Loggins, John Paul Manziel, Pat Manziel and stepgrandmother Tammie.

If Manziel’s name is called Saturday night on ESPN, it will mark the second straight year that Texas has produced a winner. Baylor quarterback, Robert Griffin III, won last year.

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