Will Johnny Manziel Be the First Freshman Heisman Winner?
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award, a 13.5-inch tall bronze trophy weighing 25 pounds, has been awarded to the most outstanding player in college football since 1935.
The Heisman, probably the most recognized individual award in all of sports, has had many suitors this college football season – but few as electrifying as the finalists: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.
Of the three finalists Manziel – a.k.a. Johnny Football – is the favorite to win college football's most prestigious award on Saturday night in Manhattan. If Manziel does win he would be the first freshman to win the Heisman and the first Texas A&M player since halfback John David Crow won the school's only Heisman in 1957.
Manziel has already been unanimously named the Southeastern Conference’s Offensive Player of the year for his dynamic debut season and was voted Freshman of the Year by the Associated Press. And it's easy to see why.
As a redshirt freshman, Manziel has taken the college football world by storm with a record-setting first season of action. First he broke the SEC record for total offensive yards in a game (set back in 1969) with 557 yards against Arkansas. Then he broke his own record with 576 total yards against Louisiana Tech.
Manziel went on to break 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton’s SEC’s season total offense record with 4,600 yards through Texas A&M’s first 12 games. For the season, Manziel passed for 3,419 yards and rushed for 1,181 yards, becoming just the fifth NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision player and first freshman to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. He’s had three games with 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in 2012, which had never been done by a FBS player in a career, let alone a single season.
It has been over 20 years since A&M has had anyone in the running for a Heisman. “This is a dream come true for me, and I know it’s a credit to all my coaches and teammates," Manziel says in a press release. "I definitely wouldn’t be a Heisman finalist without my teammates and coaches.”