Published November 19, 2012 - 11:30am
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Banned from contact with the media as are all Texas A&M freshmen, Johnny Manziel lets his play do the talking.
And for now, thanks to Kansas State’s Optimus Klein transforming into a heap of scrap metal in Texas, Johnny Football is the Heisman front-runner.
No freshman has ever won college football’s most prestigious award but Manziel, backed by eye-popping stats and a seismic win at Bryant-Denny Stadium, deserves the hardware. He’s one of only five players to ever throw for at least 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season. That list includes 2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton. Amazingly, Tim Tebow never rushed for 1,000 yards in a season but totaled 2,947 yards on the ground in his career. Manziel’s accounted for 38 total touchdowns this season, tops in a conference that has captured six consecutive national titles.
The slithery, scrambling quarterback has done it without an entourage as well. For the first time all season in Saturday’s win over Sam Houston State, the Aggies appeared to campaign for Manziel’s trip to New York. Nursing a 40-point lead, head coach Kevin Sumlin let his quarterback attempt an extra point. The kick was wide right, but still made SportsCenter. Mission accomplished. Oh, the audacity. Truth is, like LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery said after hearing of Manziel’s heroics at Alabama, the redshirt freshman deserves the trophy. What he has done in his first season has shocked the rest of the SEC and opened the eyes of many in a defense-driven league.
Manziel’s had signature moments indicative of every Heisman-winning season, plays with swag (see road win at Mississippi State) and makes plays happen that shouldn’t. Sounds a lot like the SEC’s last best player — also a QB — right? Texas A&M is ranked in the Top 10 to boot. The Aggies finish up with Missouri this week before heading to a bowl game at 10-2. Outside of Alabama, A&M is the SEC’s sexiest BCS at-large possibility thanks to No. 2. Manziel means lots of interest and mega bucks to bowl committees.
In addition to their son’s awesome nickname, Manziel’s parents will soon have something else to trademark: Johnny Heisman.
Here’s the Heisman pose by Johnny Football on that last drive: twitter.com/DrewSDS/status…
— Drew Roberts (@DrewSDS) November 10, 2012
Johnny Manziel with another Heisman pose this weekend: twitter.com/DrewSDS/status…
— Drew Roberts (@DrewSDS) November 19, 2012