Originally written on College Football Zealots  |  Last updated 12/8/12
For the last two years, I've been covering the Heisman Trophy on a weekly basis during the season for Crystal Ball Run. During that time I've had a chance to really see from week to week the ebb and flow of who's hot and who's not as players jockey for position in our weekly poll. This years story of Johnny Manziel is definitely one for the ages. Manziel becomes the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He's also the first Texas A&M player to win the trophy since 1957. But that's just the beginning of the story. A bigger surprise for me is where Manziel came from to win the trophy. Where did he come from? He came from a place completely off the map. The 2011 Texas A&M Aggies were branded as chokers for their penchant to lose first half leads and let games slip away. They let their season slip away in a similar fashion as they started 5-2 but won only one of their last five regular season games and finished 6-6 before winning their bowl game. The off-season was a time of change for the Aggies. Head coach Mike Sherman was shown the door and Houston's Kevin Sumlin was tabbed to pick the Aggies up off the mat. The Aggies also moved from their long-time Big 12 home to the hornet's nest that is the SEC. Pre-season predictions had the Aggies finishing near the bottom of the SEC West. We were guilty as well, as we had them sixth in the SEC West. To think that a freshman quarterback on a team that finished 7-6 the previous year, was changing conferences and had a new coach would win the Heisman was unthinkable. With the odds already stacked against them, the Aggies went out and lost their first game to Florida. Sitting at 0-1, the Aggies marched off five straight victories before meeting up with the rough and tumble LSU Tigers where the Aggies fell for the second time this season. Manziel was putting up impressive stats throughout the season but the one game that put him on the radar for the Heisman was the road win against the #1 team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Aggies jumped out to a 20-0 lead and held on late for a 29-24 win where Manziel had 253 yards passing, 92 yards rushing and 2 touchdown passes. Statistically, it wasn't his best game but nobody expected the Aggies to win and the fact that Manziel led them to victory was his Heisman moment. Manziel finished the regular season with 4600 yards of total offense which set an SEC record. The last two players to hold that record were Cam Newton (2010) and Tim Tebow (2007). Both of them won the Heisman Trophy. Johnny Manziel wins the Heisman Trophy with a storybook freshman season. Now what can he do for an encore?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Steel workers on Kings arena wrote ‘Go Warriors’ on materials

Report: Cavs could put Love on trading block within next year

Red Sox GM: 'Time to think about' team being sellers

Cardinals fire scouting director in hacking scandal fallout

Report: Lakers to get second meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Antonio Gates suspended four games for violating drug policy

Tim Duncan officially returning to Spurs for another season

Rolando McClain suspended four games for substance abuse

Jets' Richardson suspended four games for violating drug policy

Report: Aldridge not impressed with Lakers' branding pitch

Toronto column after trade details Kessel's love of hot dogs

Report: Mavericks Sign Wes Matthews to Four-Year Contract

Dwyane Wade celebrates contract with tea, painted toenails

Coach K at fan town hall: 'I have no thoughts on retiring'

Carroll doesn’t just bring skill to Toronto; he brings relevance

Carroll doesn’t just bring skill to Toronto; he brings relevance

Lakers and Knicks: Piece by piece with no shortcuts

Bubba Watson to paint over Confederate flag on General Lee

Brewery offers Aldridge free beer for life if he stays a Blazer

P. Diddy avoids felony charges in incident at UCLA

Day 1 of Greenbrier Classic nets golf fans $192,400

Mike Scioscia took down Mike Trout’s Nerf basketball hoop

What the Greg Monroe signing means for the Bucks

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.