Johnny Manziel has won the Heisman. The voters have selected Johnathan Paul Manziel of the Texas A&M Aggies as the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.
The 20-year-old quarterback—more affectionately known around College Station as “Johnny Football”—is just the second TAMU player ever to win the award and first since halfback John David Crow took home the honors back in 1957.
Perhaps most impressively, Johnny Football has become the first freshman to capture the award in its illustrious, 78-year history.
Manziel beat out Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas State signal-caller Collin Klein for the nod as the most outstanding player in college football. It was a close race, but ultimately the Aggies QB’s numbers were too hard to ignore.
During the 2012 season, Manziel threw for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns, with just eight interceptions on 273-of-400 passing. He also rushed 184 times for 1,181 yards and 19 scores.
Those eye-popping statistics, coupled with signature wins over No. 1-ranked Alabama, No. 15 Mississippi State and No. 23 Louisiana Tech, were likely what pushed the young man over the edge in the voters’ minds.
While Te’o (103 tackles, seven interceptions, two fumble recoveries for the undefeated, No. 1-ranked Fighting Irish) and Klein (180-of-272 for 2,490 yards and 15 TDs with seven INTs, plus 194 rush attempts for 895 yards and 22 touchdowns with the Wildcats) made compelling cases, they simply didn’t have Manziel’s bravado.
The Heisman voters are often impressed by upset victories late in the season, and offensive statistics are immensely important. Considering Johnny Football engineered an upset of the Crimson Tide, took his Aggies to a major bowl appearance (the Cotton Bowl vs. Oklahoma) in their inaugural SEC season and put up some amazing numbers, it’s not hard to see why he’s been honored with the Heisman Trophy.
Congratulations to Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies. He certainly deserves the Heisman, and we look forward to seeing much more of the young man in the Cotton Bowl and during the 2013 season.