Originally posted 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?
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What does Tevin Coleman’s return mean for Devonta Freeman?

Antonio Cromartie: Odell Beckham Jr. a ‘one hit wonder’

Thompson fires shots at Clippers: ‘Didn’t they lose to the Rockets?’

'Sell high' and 'buy low' fantasy candidates

Marshawn Lynch ruled out by Seahawks for Week 5

Howard says he played through torn MCL, meniscus in playoffs


Bills offensive progress stalled by injuries

Bruins’ Zac Rinaldo: Raffi Torres’ suspension 'really opened my eyes’

Cowboys’ Sean Lee cleared to play vs. Patriots after concussion battle

NHL Dept. of Player Safety inconsistent with discipline?

Tennessee desperate for big win over #19 Georgia

UCLA punter Adam Searl arrested on suspicion of rape

WATCH: Prince Fielder wipes out trying to climb over dugout railing

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

What’s wrong with Ohio State’s offense?

Weeden: ‘I don’t need a 12-yr-old telling me how to play’

Fan at Texas A&M game was so drunk, he reportedly told police he was at Baylor vs. Texas Tech

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Mallett’s dad: Criticism of QB makes his grandmothers cry

LSU has sold a disappointing amount of tickets for South Carolina game

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of the college football season

Dalton motivated by getting booed at celebrity softball game

Which undefeated college team has best résumé?

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

NHL Department of Player Safety inconsistent in disciplining players?

Explaining the silence on Thabo Sefolosha’s police brutality trial

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of CFB

Joe Maddon's defensive calculus

Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension

Looking at four NHL goaltenders who debuted for new teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker