Found December 08, 2012 on College Football Zealots:
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?
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Johnny Manziel: First freshman Heisman trophy winner

Texas A&M freshman Johnny Manziel is the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. He’s the first freshman to win the award. His numbers were better than Cam Newton’s when Newton won the award, whose numbers were better than Tim Tebow’s when he won. It really shouldn’t have been as close as it was. While Manziel won by a decent margin, he was easily the best player in the country and...

Johnny Manziel becomes first freshman to win Heisman

For the first time in its history the Heisman trophy has went to a freshman. Johnny Manziel was chosen as the winner of the 2012 Heisman Trophy beating out Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and [...]

Manziel makes history with Heisman win

No one knows exactly what winning the Heisman Trophy requires. We do have an idea of what you can't do. You can't play just defense. Unless you're Archie Griffin, you can't win it twice. You can't be an offensive lineman. You couldn't win it as a freshman until Saturday night, when Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel snagged the award in a decisive...

Manziel breaks down Heisman wall

Johnny Manziel was understandably wide-eyed, but he certainly didn't look, or sound, like a freshman as he hugged his parents, said a few calming words to his tearful dad, John Paul, and coolly strolled to the stage to accept the Heisman Trophy on Saturday. He also didn't appear flustered or sound like he was new to addressing a crowd when he offered a polished and selfless...

Pair of Aggies haul in big awards

What could be a big week for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is already off to a roaring start. Manziel, who was named the SEC's offensive player of the year earlier in the week, capped his 20th birthday Thursday by winning the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. Manziel received the award at The Home Depot College Football Awards in Lake Buena Vista, Fla...

Manziel's Heisman win one for the ages

It was moment unlike any other in the Heisman Trophys existence. The freshman, the first ever to win the storied award in its 78 years, stood with the collected past winners behind him, dozens more peering back from the portraits lining the wall in Best Buy Theater in Times Square. Johnny Manziel took a deep breath, letting out a whoo before the Texas A&M quarterback broke...

Manziel is first freshman Heisman Trophy winner

NEW YORK (AP) -- Johnny Football just got himself a way cooler nickname: Johnny Heisman. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, taking college football's top individual prize Saturday night after a record-breaking debut. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o finished a distant second and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein...

Johnny ‘Football’ To Johnny Heisman: Manziel Wins Heisman Trophy

He’s Johnny Heisman now. There is a lot to like about Johnny Manziel, and our universe has been infatuated with everything he’s done in his breakthrough season. His first name rhymes with iconic actor Denzel Washington, he was a backup quarterback and YouTube sensation at one point. It finally was a moment when Manziel arrived at Texas A&M, where he made a statement and cemented...

Expectations will be high for Manziel's encore

NEW YORK (AP) -- Heisman Trophy history suggests it will never get better for Johnny Manziel than it did this season. In the 78-year history of the Heisman, only one player has one more than one: Ohio State's Archie Griffin in 1974 and 75. But even if another Heisman is not in Johnny Football's his future, there's still plenty left for Johnny Football and Texas A&...

Commitment of top wide receiver a game-changer for Texas A&M

With a few days left until bowl games kick off, it is a relatively slow week in the world of college football. Well, except in College Station, TX, where Kevin Sumlin just put a new toy under the Christmas tree for Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel.   That toy is Ricky Seals-Jones, the top high school wide receiver in the country who on Monday, announced via...

Discover Fan Loyalty Poll Cotton Bowl Preview: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Oklahoma Sooners

The latest results of the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll asked the question if college football fans would rather receive gifts this Holiday season as per usual, or if they would forego receiving presents in order to watch their favorite team win the BCS Championship. In a very close vote, 46 percent of fans opted for presents, while 42 percent said they would trade in all of their Holiday...
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!

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.