Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was among a record-tying six Heisman finalists revealed on Monday, along with fellow QBs Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, and AJ McCarron of Alabama, and running backs Tre Mason of Auburn and Andre Williams of Boston College.
The six finalists invited to New York City for the presentation are the most since 1994. The winner will be announced Saturday night.
Winston could become the second freshman to win the award given to the top player in college football. Manziel was the first, last year. Manziel will try to join another exclusive Heisman club by becoming the second player to win the award twice. Ohio State's Archie Griffin won it in 1974 and 1975. McCarron won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the top senior quarterback, on Monday.
Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the Bronko Nagurski award, given to the nation's top college defensive player.
Bloomsburg running back Franklyn Quiteh, Henderson State quarterback Kevin Rodgers and West Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Vaughan have been invited to the Dec. 20 ceremony for the Harlon Hill Trophy, given to the top Division II player, in Florence Ala.
Penn State defensive tackle DaQuan Jones has accepted an invitation to play in the 65th Senior Bowl on Jan. 25. . . . Former Penn State defensive lineman Greg Gattuso has been hired as the head coach at Albany (N.Y.).
SOCCER Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona's Lionel Messi, and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery are the nominees for the Ballon d'Or given to the world's top player. Abby Wambach of the United States, Germany's Nadine Angerer, and Brazil's Marta are on the short list for the women's honor.
Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen is retiring, two days after making a pair of crucial penalty saves against Real Salt Lake to help Sporting win its first Major League Soccer title since 2000. . . . The Seattle Sounders declined a contract option on keeper Michael Gspurning.
FIFA said that fans applied for more than 1.1 million tickets for the World Cup in Brazil in the first 24 hours after the latest sales opened.
BASKETBALL Former East Stroudsburg star forward Duane Johnson (Penn Wood) signed to play for the Corio Bay Stingrays in Australia's State League beginning Feb. 1.