Ricky Williams’ has one ahead of Manziel

Perhaps it was the old Longhorns-Aggies rivalry welling up in him.

Or perhaps it was just “Ricky Being Ricky,” but former University of Texas Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams says he didn’t vote Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel No. 1 on his Heisman ballot.

Manziel won the Heisman last December, becoming the first freshman to win the award. However, Williams, who gets a vote as the 1998 Heisman winner, told Dallas radio station KTCK-AM that Manziel wasn’t his first choice.

“I gave him a second-place vote,” Williams said during a weekend interview. Williams then acknowledged he gave his first-place vote to Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.

Not long after the Heisman was awarded, Te’o made national headlines when it was discovered a former girlfriend, whom he said died of cancer during the season, was actually fictional.

Te’o apparently was “catfished” — a term used when someone is duped into a fake internet relationship. Some critics alleged that Te’o knowingly used his fake girlfriend’s death to garner attention for the Heisman, but Williams said knowledge of the scandal wouldn’t have changed his Heisman vote.

“I wouldn’t have,” Williams told the radio station. “I didn’t get what the big deal was. To me, it’s like people are surprised that athletes are strange. Do you guys know what we do?

“To play football in the NFL, you have to be a little bit strange. Otherwise, you would’ve given up a long time ago.”

Actually, Williams did give up football. He retired from the NFL in 2004 after running afoul of the league’s substance abuse policy.

He returned in 2005 only to be suspended for the 2006 season for violating the substance abuse policy again. Williams retired from football again after the 2011 season, presumably for good this time.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire