Notre Dame's Manti Te'o may be the most valuable player in college football this season, but not the most outstanding player. That compliment belongs to another rising star, Texas A&M redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel.
Manziel, better known as Johnny Football, has taken college football by storm over the past three months with his athleticism, strong arm and nose for the end zone.
Manziel is without question the most deserving Heisman Trophy candidate as the regular season comes to a close. His numbers are incredible, his team has been unbelievably successful, and his impact has been felt well outside of College Station.
The only word to describe Manziel in 2012 is "outstanding."
According to the Heisman Trophy's official website, the award was created to honor the nation's most "outstanding" player, not the most valuable or best player on the best team:
The Heisman Memorial Trophy will be awarded to an individual designated as the most outstanding college football player in the United States.
Not since Tim Tebow have college football fans had such an overwhelming crush.
Aggie lover or not, how can you argue with the numbers Manziel has posted this season?
Still, even more impressive than his 4,600 total yards of offense and 43 total touchdowns in 12 games this season, is the fact that the 19-year-old has led the Aggies to a 10-2 record in the team's first year in the SEC, hands-down the best conference in football.
It's impossible to deny just how amazing Manziel has been this season.
Sure, you can point to Texas A&M's two losses to Florida and LSU, but both teams are ranked in the BCS Top 10 and the Aggies dropped those two games by a combined eight points. Plus, last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III only led his Baylor team to a 9-3 regular-season record.
Manziel's entertaining style, poise and outright brilliance with the ball in his hands has elevated him into an elite group of polarizing college signal-callers, one that includes Cam Newton and Tim Tebow. And this tweet from ESPN's Numbers Never Lie only adds to Manziel's legend:
Johnny Manziel set a single-season SEC record with 4,600 yards this year. He passed 2007 Tebow and 2010 Cam Newton today. #JohnnyFootball— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) November 25, 2012
This tweet from college football fan Brady Hogan makes a key point in favor of Johnny Manziel, the fact that he has been the most productive and entertaining player all season long:
There's no reason Johnny shouldn't get the Heisman. It doesnt matter if he's a freshman, he's THE BEST player in college football hands down— Brady Hogan (@BradyHogan) November 25, 2012
Even Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli agrees that Manziel is the most deserving contender:
Johnny Manziel better win the heisman— Mike Napoli (@MikeNapoli25) November 25, 2012
Johnny Football is by far the most deserving Heisman candidate this season. If anything, his freshman status should make him even more worthy of winning college football's most coveted individual award.
What Johnny Manziel has done this season has already been noticed, and now it must be properly rewarded.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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