It’ll be Notre Dame vs. Alabama for the BCS titleContinue reading.
Johnny Manziel picks Alabama, praises Notre Dame
Johnny Manziel’s picking Alabama in Monday night’s BCS national championship game. But the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Texas A&M says his team and Notre Dame are sort of kindred spirits.
“I think Notre Dame has done a lot of great things this year,” Manziel said on Sunday. “They’ve shocked a lot of people, kind of like what we did this year. People didn’t have expectations for really either one of our teams this year. I’m picking Alabama through SEC loyalty. And I feel like their offensive line and what they can do, and having [quarterback A.J. McCarron] who’s been there and has experience — Everett [Golson], I don’t know if he’s been on this big a stage and A.J. has, so I feel offensively they have a little bit of an advantage — then all the NFL-caliber guys they have on defense really makes them a pretty well-rounded team.”
There’s been a lot of talk this week about how Golson needs to do his best Manziel impression on Monday, considering A&M handed Alabama its only loss of the year. A&M tackle and Outland Award winner Luke Joeckel — who also picked Alabama through SEC loyalty — said that’s a little unfair.
“Not many guys can do what Johnny can do,” he said. “It’s hard for me to say with [Manziel] sitting right here, but he’s a very exciting player. I know at Notre Dame, that quarterback’s an incredible athlete, too. They’re just going to have to execute. Against Alabama, Johnny executed all game long, he made plays when he had to make plays, and our receivers made plays when they had to make plays, and our offensive line tried to do as good a job as we could. To beat a good team like Alabama, you’ve got to execute for four quarters, all game long.”
Said Manziel: “Me being a little more mobile helped. I feel like Everett, in the same sense, can do some of that. He can escape when he needs to, and make some throws when he needs to. … I feel with their ability to rush the ball, and do play-action stuff off that, with Everett, I feel they can do some good.”
Of the six players honored by the Orange Bowl on Sunday, Manziel, Joeckel and Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks picked the Tide, sticking with their conference mates. USC receiver Marqise Lee — who praised Notre Dame’s defense — Clemson’s Daniel Rodriguez and Texas’ Nate Boyer picked Notre Dame.
But Manziel, who became friends with Irish linebacker and Heisman runner-up Manti Te’o on the awards circuit, again made sure everyone knew he picked Alabama only because of his conference affiliation.
“It should be noted how much respect I have for Notre Dame, and how much respect I have for Manti,” he said.