An Interesting Quintet of Student-Athletes-2013 Heisman Trophy Finalists

Howard Goldin

Five of the six finalists for the 2013 Heisman Trophy, that were invited to New York City for the announcement ceremony, sat down for informal interviews with a gaggle of reporters at the Mariott Marquis on Friday afternoon. AJ McCarron was unable to attend on Friday.

The following article is based on 10-15 minutes spent at a table with each of the five finalists listening to the student-athlete respond to a variety of questions. It is not intended to be a comprehensive biography of each nor a comparison of the chances of each to win the Trophy.

All the story includes are five brief and subjective vignettes of extremely talented football players who spoke articulately and showed patience and courtesy to the many reporters who were trying to ask many specific questions in a very brief period of time.

Jordan Lynch is a graduate student majoring in Communication at Northern Illinois University. He is a native of Chicago who is visiting New York City for the first time with his parents. He said he was very much looking forward to “taking a tour of New York with my parents tonight.” He described the experience as “kind of surreal” after the previous 24 hours, “We had practice last night. Then I had to go home and do my laundry. This is keeping me awake.” The quarterback explained he is not thinking about this experience now, but “20 years down the road, I will see it as a once in a lifetime experience.”

Andre Williams is an Applied Psychology major at Boston College. He is one of only two running backs and two natives of this section of the country among the six finalists. The native of Plainfield, New Jersey lived in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania most of his life. He spoke of his start in college in an interesting manner, “I didn’t like the recruiting process; it was stressful.” He decided early upon BC because he liked the school and it was near to his home.

Johnny Manziel, a sophomore at Texas A &M, is not a newcomer to this experience as he was the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. He easily answered questions and madea point to give credit to others for his success, “I was thinking today of how many people helped me get to this point. [This season] I needed to step aside and let the credit go to my teammates.”

Tre Wilsion is the other running back, at Auburn, and local product of the six finalists. The native New Yorker lived on Long Island until the age of 10 when his family moved to Palm Beach, Florida. He told reporters, “Pretty much all of my family is here.” He was asked about his father, who is the DJ in the rap trio De La Sol. Although he had no desire to follow his father into the music business, always preferring sports, he was impressed to be able to meet his father’s contemporaries in the music field, “it was great meeting a lot of people, a lot of guys that are already famous and legends.”

Jameis Winston is the only freshman in the group, at Florida State, and the favorite to win the Trophy. He began playing football at the very early ago of four.  He explained how playing baseball, a sport he loves, was helpful to him in football. Although, the Heisman people discouraged questions about his recent legal problems [he was accused of rape], Winston openly responded to one, “I respect the process. I knew I didn’t do anything wrong, so I knew I would be vindicated.”