Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/27/12

Johnny Manziel has become the talk of college football after leading the Aggies to a 10-2 record and some unexpected success in the school’s first year in the SEC. Manziel led the Aggies to an upset win at then-No. 1 Alabama, and his stunning play has him as one of the top candidates to win the Heisman Trophy. The redshirt freshman quarterback even broke Cam Newton’s conference record for total offense in a season. Manziel has accounted for 4,400 yards (rushing and passing combined), and 43 touchdowns this season. He earned the nickname “Johnny Football,” which the school is working to trademark. Despite the constant attention from fans and the media, Manziel says he hasn’t lost sight of who he is. He spoke with the media for the first time this season and said the successful season hasn’t changed him. “I’m a small-town kid,” he said. “I come from Kerrville, Texas, and I still see myself that way. I don’t see myself as Johnny Football, I still see myself as Jonathan Manziel, a small-town guy from Kerrville who is extremely fortunate and extremely blessed to be able to play football here at A&M.” Manziel even admitted that the team’s success surprised him. “I don’t think I ever really envisioned how big this season would be for us,” he said. “I don’t really think anybody envisioned that we would win 10 games at the beginning of this season and that we would all have so much success as a team.” Manziel and A&M are off until their bowl game, but we should be seeing plenty of him before then thanks to the awards shows. Manziel should win the Heisman Trophy easily. Heisman Pundit believes he and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o are the leading contenders for the honor. I’d really be curious to hear someone’s reason for putting someone else higher on their Heisman ballot.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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